Debt Free Journey February 2020 Update

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February seemed like the longest short month ever! Does that extra “leap day” really make that much of a difference?!

It was easy to save money and prevent the temptation of going anywhere fun, because we were ALL sick…a lot in February.

The stomach bug got our family not once, but twice. I’m pretty sure this is what made the month feel never ending.

In January we caught up on a lot of bills at the office, which meant in February we were free to make some pretty decent debt pay off progress.

It feels good to be back on track after our “no spend” month, and I’m excited to see some bigger numbers in the next few months.

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    One hurdle to our progress will be that we really need new exam chairs for our office, and they don’t come cheap.

    We will of course want to cash flow those, to prevent adding any more debt!

    This might slow down our progress, but at least we will still be moving forward.

    Keep reading for all the numbers for our February 2020 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 February?

    Debt Payoff Total for February:  $6498.83

    Total Debt Paid to Date:  $63,463.90

    We paid off about $1500 more this month than we did last month. I’m excited to see us inching closer and closer to that 100K mark! It will be a really exciting milestone.

    Here is how we were able to pay off $63,463.90 in 8 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: $112

    Electricity: $112

    Home Security:  $44

    Internet: $68

    TV:  $54 (We now use YouTube TV and love it!)

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

    Groceries:  $700 (We budgeted way more than usual this month to include a larger than normal Costco trip. Our grocery budget always includes one large Costco trip, cleaning supplies, hair products, deodorant, etc)

    Gym: $22 (we use it!)

    Giving:  $200

    Dan Fun Money:  $100

    Shannon Fun Money:  $50

    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:  $3407

    In February we brought home close to $7,000, so we were living on half our income which is awesome!

    All of the extra money is free to allocate to our miscellaneous spending and debt!

    We try to keep our miscellaneous spending as low as possible so the rest can go to debt.

    We use our income that we bring home to pay off our “personal” debts, and then we also have debts at our medical practice.

    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 (but this month we brought home more because my blog is earning an income, and we had a few other random income sources), 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 February we set aside money in our budget for things like:

    • Birthday gifts
    • Oil change
    • Valentine’s Day school parties and gifts for kids
    • Enrollment in spring activities for kids
    • Amazon Prime annual renewal fee (grab a free 30 day trial here)

    And of course….anything extra goes to debt!

    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.

    I’m currently learning a new way of budgeting for the office called the “Profit First” method, and can’t wait to share once I become an “expert”.

    Since it’s a medical practice, the expenses are very high, and we struggle 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.

    February Debt Pay Off

    Total minimum debt payments February:  $5789.04

    Total extra debt paid February:  $709.79

    Debt Payoff Total for February:  $6498.83

    Total Debt Paid to Date:  $63,463.90

    March Goals:

    • Continue paying on student loan debt
    • My husband is not doing his usual side hustle this month and therefore it will be a tight month! We might have a smaller debt pay off, but it depends on how the office collections are, as well as my blog income.

    Our next debts on our debt snowball are:

    • Student Loan 2: $2060.33 $1370.45
    • Student Loan 3: $2171.64
    • Student Loan 4: $2351.37

    Changes to our Debt Payoff Plan for next month

    My blog is making money! You can read more about that here.

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

    I am now able to contribute $200-300/month consistently to our monthly budget, and that will grow as my blog continues to grow.

    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 March, 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!

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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.