Debt Free Journey | December Update

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December was a busy and expensive month, as expected!

Despite the craziness, we were able to cash flow Christmas, and make all of our minimum debt payments this month.

We weren’t able to make any additional debt payments this month, BUT we were able to catch up on all of our bills for the office, and start building up a little buffer to make our budget a little less stressful.

I still find it pretty difficult to balance our budget for the office and at home, but each month we think of new ways to improve.

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    If you’re new to budgeting, don’t be too hard on yourself! It takes several months to get in to the swing of things.

    Although this wasn’t our highest month for debt payments, we did hit a HUGE milestone: over 50K of debt paid off in 2019!

    I can’t wait to see how much we pay off in 2020. We have some BIG goals, and I’m so happy to have you following along.

    Keep reading for all the numbers for our December 2019 Debt Free Journey update.

    Want to go back to the beginningStart here.

    Don’t forget to check out our debt free journey on YouTube as well.  I’d love to see you over there!

    How much debt did we pay off in December?

    Debt Payoff Total for December:  $4,299.54

    Total Debt Paid to Date:  $51,996.64

    This is our smallest debt payoff month so far, but I’m still happy with our progress.

    We had initially planned to pay off a little more than this, but decided to start building up a little buffer for our podiatry practice instead. This is to eliminate stress in our business budget.

    Here is how we were able to pay off $51,996.64 in 6 months.

    After cutting out our car payments, downsizing our home, and getting on a super tight budget, we are able to live on well under $4,000/month.

    More on our Debt Free Journey:

    These are our basic “necessary” expenses that do not change (much) each month:

    Rent:  $1,328

    Water: $110

    Electricity: $110

    Home Security:  $60

    Internet: $64

    TV:  $73 (We just found out they are getting rid of Playstation Vue, so this is our last payment!)

    Netflix:  $14 (haha, it’s necessary!)

    Groceries:  $550 (This includes cleaning supplies, hair products, deodorant, etc)

    Gym: $22 (we use it!)

    Giving:  $300 (We did a little extra for Christmas)

    Dan Fun Money:  $200

    Shannon Fun Money:  $200 (We increased our fun money in anticipation of Christmas shopping for each other)

    Child Care:  $320

    Contact Subscription (Hubble Free Trial):  $36

    Health Care: (Health Sharing Ministry) $135

    Auto Insurance: $82

    Renter’s Insurance:  $17

    Identity Theft Protection: $13

    Total “Bare Bones” Monthly Expenses:  $3634

    The ability to live on less than $50,000/year gives me security, knowing that even if our medical practice closed tomorrow, we could quickly find work to support our family.

    Where does the money to Pay Debt come from?!

    We own our own business and pay ourselves an income from the monthly business budget.

    After taxes we bring home about $6000/month, leaving us almost $3,000 each month to use for whatever other miscellaneous expenses we might have that month.

    We try to keep our miscellaneous expenses low, in order to pay more debt!

    We always plan how we spend extra money…EXACTLY…down to the penny.

    RelatedHow to do a Zero Based Budget

    For example, in December we set aside money in our budget for things like:

    • Christmas (gifts, activities)
    • Christmas cards
    • Printer Ink (We use HP Instant Ink)
    • School parties
    • Extra giving
    • Babysitting

    And of course….anything extra goes to debt! With the exception of this month, as we decided to put all of our energy into cash flowing Christmas and catching up on bills.

    Related: How to have a debt free Christmas

    Paying ourselves a simple set salary each month from our business, helps us to control our spending at home.

    We also keep our office on a tight budget.

    Since it’s a medical practice, the expenses are very high, and we have struggled to figure out the best way to budget the super inconsistent income.

    The plus side, is that we have a 4 year history of practice financials to go by, so I look at our worst income month, and have reduced our office spending to be about equal to that.

    This means that if we have a great month, ALL of that extra money is available to go to debt!

    We do one giant debt snowball, that includes our home and business debt all together.

    December Debt Pay Off

    Total minimum debt payments December:  $4,299.54

    Total extra debt paid December:  $0

    Debt Payoff Total for December:  $4,299.54

    Total Debt Paid to Date:  $51,996.64

    Big December Milestone: Over $50,000 paid off in 2019!

    January Goals:

    • Do a No Spend Month
    • Build a cash buffer for our medical practice to eliminate financial stress
    • Start paying student loans!

    New this month: Our student loans are coming out of voluntary forbearance. We put them in forbearance at the beginning of last year because we were struggling so much! This will add about $1500/month to our minimum debt payment. Ready to get aggressive on those nasty loans!

    Our next debts on our debt snowball are:

    • Student Loan 1: $524.59 left
    • Student Loan 2: $2060.33

    Changes to our Debt Payoff Plan for next month

    Another very exciting change is coming to our budget!

    After working for almost 3 years on building my online business, it’s finally starting to make a profit!

    I’m hoping to start investing half of my blogging income back into the business, and the other half will start going to debt (and taxes).

    Check out my first blogging income report here, if that’s something that interest you!

    I have a lot of ideas to grow my blog, and help others pay off debt! I’m so excited to see what God has in store for my blog and our finances in 2020!

    Related: How to start a blog, How to Make Money Blogging

    Are we on track with our Debt Payoff Goals?!

    This might seem like a lot of debt to pay off in such a short time, but don’t forget how much we started with.

    Our plan is to be debt free in by Summer 2022, which means we will need to pay off closer to $17,000/month!

    In January, we will continue to work on getting new patients in the office, and I will keep working hard to grow my blog as a source of side hustle income.

    With the combination of controlling our spending, and increasing our income I am still confident we will do this faster than three years.

    See you next month!

    Debt free journey update for the month of December.Debt payoff motivation and inspiration with real numbers to show you how to budget and pay off debt fast.You can pay off debt with any income, but you do need a debt payoff plan to follow and stick to.See how we have paid off over 50K of debt in 2019, and follow along our long debt free journey to pay off our multiple six figure debt.We follow Dave Ramsey's baby steps and do the debt snowball method.
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    hi! I'm shannon

    I’m a wife, mom of three, doctor, and blogger! In 2018, I decided to turn my mom blog, into a personal finance blog so others could follow along on our journey to pay off over HALF a MILLION dollars in student loan and practice start up debt. I hope you enjoy following along, and maybe even find some inspiration along the way.