Debt By Numbers

On Friday I cleared my $10,000th dollar of debt principal this year. This brings my total debt paid down since I started paying it on November 30th, 2011, to $11,314.00. This means that I’ve paid down about 30% of my debt in eight and a half months.

Since I’ve reached my $10,000th dollar of the year, I thought this would be a good time to reflect on how much debt I’ve paid, how much farther I’ve got to go, and my estimated debt free date.

How Far I’ve Come

As I mentioned, I’ve paid off about 30% of my existing debt. That might sound like a lot to some of you, but to me, it seems pretty paltry considering the huge efforts I’ve been putting into hacking away at my debt. I feel like I’ve deprived myself of a lot of things, for only 30% of my debt? 50% would be nice, or even better, 60%. Unfortunately, I didn’t accumulate this debt slowly, and I’m not going to get rid of it slowly either. My student loan took four years to accumulate, and here’s the damage I’ve done to it in eight and a half months.

Student Loan Debt









Paying off well over a third of my student loan debt sounds pretty good. Especially when you consider what my student loan debt would be sitting at if I’d chosen to make only the minimum payments: $25,079.28. Now that is ridiculous. If I was making my minimum payments I would only have chipped off $1640.72 in eight months! That’s practically nothing! Instead I’ve eradicated over $9,000. At this rate I should be student loan debt free by August 2014. Here’s hoping I can make it sooner!

My car loan is much more boring because I’ve only been making the minimum payments on it, but with a low principal and an interest rate of 2.9%, the interest that’s accumulating on this baby is minuscule compared to my monster student loan.

My Car Loan Debt

Fun Facts About My Debt

  • I should have a total debt of under $25,000 by my birthday (want to guess when that is?)
  • I’ll have paid off half of my student loan debt by January 2013.
  • I’ve exceeded this year’s debt repayment goal by just over a third.
  • I make weekly extra payments to my student loan instead of monthly, just to save those few extra cents (and because I love updating my sidebar “The Facts” widget)
  • If I calculate long enough, I can come up with a debt milestone to hit for every single month of debt repayment, and believe me, I celebrate every one to keep my motivation up.
  • Once I’m done paying off my debt, I’ve have enough spare cash to buy a new iPad every single month.

Staying Motivated

If life doesn’t throw me for a loop, I’m looking at another 24 months of debt repayment. That’s a long time to go without hair cuts, restaurants, books, and lots of other things that make life worth living. Knowing that’s what’s in front of me can be disheartening at times. Sometimes I want to just say screw it and spend my entire debt payment on cute stuff from urban outfitters. But that would be counter productive.

So in order to stay motivated, I try to focus on the good things that are going to be happening in that two years:

  • I’m going to get to have my first Christmas with my fiancée in a house together complete with our own Christmas tree and stockings.
  • I’m going to get married (with cash)
  • Go on an epic honeymoon (already booked and paid with cash)
  • Run a half marathon

These are all great life achievements to look forward to, and I can’t wait to experience them. In the mean time, I’m going to keep dutifully making my debt payments every week and try to forget about the slow tick of the interest clock, except when I’m celebrating a debt milestone, which I will do with much fanfare and copious amounts of alcohol.

What’s your most interesting fun debt fact? I want to know!

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  • Anne @ Unique Gifter

    Congratulations! That’s a whole lotta debt to slay in a few months. Don’t forget that you’re also managing to pay for your wedding, so you should be even further ahead in a few months, when you no longer have that expense! Now, I would like to see someone build a tower out of all those new iPads in your future 😉 Think house of cards styles.

    • Jordann

      I could SWIM in iPads!

  • Modest Money

    30% of your debt might not seem like a lot, but that first 30% is the most crucial. The quicker you pay that off, the more you’ll save on interest. So congrats on knocking that first chunk off so quickly. I suspect you’ll pay off your debt quicker than 24 months with the rate you’re going. With any luck your blog will be able to start adding an extra payment each month before long.

    • Jordann

      Totally! My daily interest charge is down to almost half of what it was when I started. I hope my blog will be able to contribute to my debt repayment…some day.

  • John | MarriedW/Debt

    This is excellent progress. I’m a debt tracking nerd, so your stats are interesting to me. We just paid off everything (but the house) after 4 years of serious work, over $100,000. It’s tough to stay motivated, but tracking your progress really helps. (So does blogging)

    • Jordann

      Wow $100,000!? That makes my debt seem much more reasonable. You should be super proud of that. I agree, blogging is a huge help!

  • Outlier Model

    Awesome job! I am especially jealous that you’ll be student loan free by 2014! I think 30% is great.

    I still have $28k in student loans, though I’m paying them monthly. We’ve concentrated on building our assets the last little while, but I hope to make a more concentrated effort into paying off the loans after we buy our next place.

    • Jordann

      28k is right around where I started. It’s a lot, but it’s doable. Good luck on your debt repayment!

  • Michelle

    I can’t wait until my loans are gone! My student loans are deferred until January of 2013, but I’m already paying on them and hope to have them gone by next Fall.

    • Jordann

      I wish I’d started paying on my student loans right away instead of waiting until the grace period was over, that’s really smart of you!

  • Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses

    That’s some substantial progress, and yes just think when you’re debt free all the spare cash you’ll have every month!

    • Jordann

      Definitely! I’m going to spend at least a few months blowing it, before settling down to save it for something else.

  • Miss T

    You are doing awesome. Woot woot. I love how organized and motivated you are. That is really important in achieving goals. Just think of how much farther ahead you will be after the wedding.

    • Jordann

      Definitely! I have my debt repayment all mapped out and after the wedding my debt’s going to be looking really tiny.

  • Budget & the Beach

    Great job!!

    • Jordann


  • See Debt Run

    I’m so proud of you, Jordann! I know it sucks and it’s hard, but we’ve got to keep working and pushing ourselves so we can one day be FREE of it all. You’re doing so awesome with the extra payments and side hustles. Btw, we celebrate all the small goals as well! It definitely helps to keep us motivated. Remember: look how far you’ve come, not how far you still have to go.

    • Jordann

      Thanks Michelle, you’re right, I’ve made a lot of progress, I should be proud of that!

  • Cait Flanders

    Jordann, you are killing it! I hope you’re proud of the progress you’re seeing here because I sure am. PS – you’ve inspired me to create a few pie graphs for my next post 😛

    • Jordann

      Yay I love pie graphs! They have so much visual impact.

  • bogofdebt

    That’s amazing progress! I celebrate every milestone too! Otherwise, I’d get discouraged and that’s never good.

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