It has been three months now since I started tracking our finances and it has definitely been an eye opening experience to see where all of our money is going each month and how much we have been spending. If you have been following along on our journey to become debt free, you may have read my January and February expense posts. Luckily for you, I am not going to do a detailed expense report for March. I know you don’t care what we are spending our money on, so I’ll just get right to it..
So How Did We Pay Off $3000 in Debt in 3 Months?
What you probably want to know is how we paid off $3000 in debt in 3 months! I know it doesn’t seem like that much, but when you aren’t tracking it, you might not even realize how much debt you’re actually paying off each month. Any amount of debt paid off is good in my book!
So how did we do it? Well, we didn’t do anything different from what we normally do, besides one exception. All I did is make my normal monthly payments on everything. The exception is we got our taxes back in February and used all of that money to pay off our Discover and Amazon cards. I am so happy we have paid 2 credit cards off and we haven’t ran the balance up since we paid them off! If we have used them, I make sure to pay the balance off immediately. I took the payment I was making on those two cards and am currently putting it toward my next card that is accruing interest so I can get that one paid off faster.
So in short, this is all I did:
- Continue to make my minimum monthly payments on my installment accounts.
- Paid off 2 credit cards with our tax return.
- Took those 2 monthly payments and applied them towards my next highest interest accruing account.
Do I think tracking our expenses has been helpful?
Definitely! Tracking expenses can be time consuming, but worth it in the end. I am happy I have started to do this. By tracking our expenses I am able to budget better. I know about how much money is going toward our bills each month and how much is going toward groceries. After that, we really don’t have much else to spend on anything. My income has been pretty steady the past couple months, but J.C.’s fluctuates more depending on how much he subs and how much he sells on eBay. He is pretty much out of criterions to sell, so that will be less money coming in.
One thing that I have noticed after tracking our expenses for the month is that we basically spend everything we are bringing in, which sucks! I can’t wait to get to a point where we are spending less and saving more.
For the month of March, we had a surplus of $86. It isn’t a lot, but it is better than being negative. And I am proud to say we didn’t use credit cards at all in March! That is a very hard thing to do when that credit is so easily accessible.
As far as saving went for the month of March, we came in at $330.23.
- $300.38 in my retirement accounts
- $29.85 using the keep the change program at Bank of America
I am also happy to report that I met my only goal I made for March which was working one extra shift! I actually picked up 2 half shifts that ended up being a total of close to 15 extra hours. I think a goal I might set for April is to really try to stick with our budget and only spend $1000 or less on groceries for the month. This might be hard, but I am tracking every grocery purchase, so I am determined!