Month 14: -$112,378.52
Welp, here’s the effect of planning a wedding, buying a wedding dress and going on two out-of-state work trips! I barely made any progress at all this month. It makes me not want to even post an update. But, that’s sort of the purpose of these posts, right? A real life look into what it’s like to pay off six figures of student loan debt. Sometimes you make huge progress, and sometimes you barely make any. And that’s OK. (I’m speaking this positive pep talk to myself right now, that’s for sure.)
If you want more detailed information, check out November’s payoff report. Remember, calling this “Month 14” is a misnomer. This is year 6 & Month 2 of payoff.
Extra Income This Month
Affiliate links are used in this post, and most posts here on WMSB. If you click on a link and make a purchase, WMSB receives a small commission. You don’t get charged a penny more for this, but it keeps WMSB running, and makes my debt repayment happy.
Amazon Affiliate: $0.00, but I think I should have enough for a payout next month.
SiteGround Affiliate: $0.00
Day Designer Affiliate: $0.00
Ebates Cash Back: $0.00 sent quarterly
Sponsored Posts: $0.00 – I did apply to some but not nearly enough and I wasn’t selected for the ones I pitched.
Expected/Unexpected Reimbursements: $32. Back in May I went to Denver for work. I paid for the premium seat upgrade each way, which was like $16. The premium seats are a little bigger, you receive service a lot faster, and it includes a glass of wine and a small box of snacks, so it was totally worth it. Then the night before my flight there, and the flight home, they cancelled the premium service on the flight. Thankfully they didn’t change my seat, but no more free wine or snacks. They gave me a credit for a future flight and also said they’d refund the money. Well, they didn’t. Two emails later, they finally reimbursed my office, which meant that they finally were able to reimburse me. I put the $32 toward the flight upgrade I got coming back from Austin, which was a lot more expensive. But at least it softened that blow a little.
Also, Austin was AMAZING.
Where My Payments Went
Law School Refinanced Loan: $935.00
Extra Blogging Expenses: $0.00
Total Payments: Only $1,135.00 toward debt, but several hundred toward our wedding account and my wedding dress! Ahh!
We’re back to a two paycheck month. Those three paycheck months are so fun! In any case, I sometimes feel silly by the small contributions I make into each account. But my IRA has $1,000 more in it than last year, and that $270 a month for the pension really adds up! One step at a time!
Current Law School Student Loans Balances
Paying off six figures of student loan debt feels like a bottomless pit. To create this chart, you can see in red that I combined the total of my bar exam, subsidized and unsubsidized loans, so that the progress can still be tracked over time and it doesn’t look like I’m starting over. In my opinion, keeping momentum in debt repayment (and being kind to yourself if you get off track) is key to long term success.
I’m looking forward to having that discover card paid off again (should be next month, again, since so much of my money went toward the wedding) so that I can see what a difference the snowball method makes on these loans! Wahoo!
I’m keeping track of how the per-day interest is impacted because I’m really curious to see what a difference making principal payments makes, and also determine what kind of daily impact refinancing my student loans is having on my life.
Before Refi Per-Day Interest: $20.34
Last Month’s Per-Day Interest: $15.77
Current Per-Day Interest: $13.56 – This makes more sense than last month’s interest per day increasing over the month before!
I refinanced with Darien Rowayton Bank. I wrote all about it in the Complete Guide to What it was Like to Refinance My Student Loans. DRB has rebranded their student loan branch into “Laurel Road.” Now I’m saving almost $7.00 PER DAY!
This graph is obviously not to scale of “0” but is based on a low balance of $110,000. It is motivating, though!
I didn’t apply at CommonBond because based on the three rate quotes I received, DRB/Laurel Road was already pretty low and I was ready to start the process. I learned that CommonBond has a process of beating the rate of a competitor if theirs isn’t already lower! I am happy with DRB’s service, but now I wish I had applied at CommonBond, too! CommonBond and WMSB have teamed up to give you an exclusive $200 cash bonus if you refinance your student loans with CommonBond using this link!
Financial Goals Now:
There are still things to accomplish, and goals to achieve that I’ll discuss below. But we definitely need to take the time to celebrate the wins we achieve throughout the payoff process. If we don’t, we will burn out or get discouraged. I’m speaking from experience here.
My Debt Repayment Goals:
1) Pay off my car. 3) Pay off the Bar Exam Student Loan. I stuck with the snowball method, to pay off the bar exam loan, and it totally worked! 4) Re-evaluate my savings and retirement plan. 5) Tackle the accrued interest from my income based repayment plan. CHANGE OF PLANS! Refinance my Student Loans.
6) Reduce Student Loan Balance by $10,000 to $104,500. I’m coming for you, law school student loans! It’s strange to not have a snowball anymore. So I’m tracking my repayment in increments.
NEW: 6b) Save my half of the cash for our wedding. This is the most fun and emotional savings goal I’ve ever had!
We got our engagement photos back last night. They’re STUNNING! Our photographer, South Sound Weddings, did an incredible job!
7) Reduce Student Loan Balance to less than $100,000. When I hit that $99,999.99 mark, I think we should celebrate!
Here are answers or insight into a few common questions that have come up during this process:
- September 2016: Progress Report #1 -$125,136.26
- What is the Snowball Method?
- How I Paid Off $11,000 in Credit Card Debt + my car at the same time
- Do you hate your career? I did for a long time too. Here are 4 Changes I Made to No Longer Hate Being a Lawyer
- A Review of the Hosting Service I Use for Blogging – which allows me to earn extra money by blogging
- This article at Clear Point gives fantastic advice about how to tell your loan servicer how to process your payments. I would highly recommend reading the post and the comments if you’re dealing with student loans.
- The Real Life Tracking SheetI use to track my financial, health and self development goals.
- The Complete Guide to Refinancing Federal Student Loans – My experience from start to finish applying with DRB, SoFi and Earnest to refinance my student loans.
- New: A Guide at Dough Roller to Eliminate Law School Student Loan Debt from beginning to end!