I get so inspired reading all of your accomplishments each month! Thank you for sharing them with me and letting me share them with the rest of our community!
If your month didn’t shape up to what you had hoped, don’t give up! I like what Linda shared on her report. She said, “Do NOT let less progress than expected hurt your momentum. As my daughter reassured me, ‘Some months are just more expensive than other months.’”
Everyone’s journey is different. We all have different struggles and challenges. We all have a different “why.” I agree with Andra who said, “To stay motivated you’ve got to keep reminding yourself of the big goal of being debt-free and what that will do for your life!”
For those who are new here, in 2019 we’re having a Debt Smash-athon! Everyone is invited to participate by reporting how much you paid in debt each month. We’re also keeping track of how much we invest for retirement and save for our big goals. If you want to learn more and join this debt smashing movement, you can join the fun here.
Let’s start with the numbers, even though the best part is all of your personal thoughts and accomplishments. You’ll find those after the numbers.
April Debt Smash-athon Totals
During April, we collectively put $93,380.86 toward debt!
Way to go friends!!
Of the 42 of you who completed the Debt Smash-athon report for April, 81% reported putting money toward debt in April. That averages out to $2,746 per Debt Smasher, with a median of $1,481 paid in debt.
As a group, we invested $29,928.33 toward retirement! 57% of respondents reported retirement savings.
We also put a total of $31,957.91 toward big savings goals other than debt and retirement. 55% of respondents saved money for a big goal in April.
When you put that all together, the 42 total reporters made $155,266 of financial improvement in April! That is so exciting! Way to go friends!
Each month I will have a special prize for a randomly selected Debt Smasher who reported his or her progress. This month’s winner will get their own copies of The Total Money Makeover and The Total Money Makeover Workbook!
The Total Money Makeover was the book that really got me excited about paying off our debt when I read it back in 2013. I don’t have the workbook, but after taking a peek, it looks really helpful and I’m excited for our winner to get it!
April’s randomly chosen winner is Pam who said:
I would say our overall success since we started paying down debt is using the debt reduction calculator (found on-line). It is my guide for paying down debt and I continually refer back to this and the monthly payment schedule. It keeps us on track, and provides me with a great visual way to easily see where we are on our debt payoff journey- and what we need to do next to reach our goals!
I’ll be in touch, Pam!
Beyond the numbers
We all know that numbers aren’t the only indication of progress. Even with small numbers, we still make important progress as we change our course and build better money habits.
I was blown away by all of your accomplishments this month. I picked a variety of the wonderful responses to share with you below. I wish I could give you each a personal shout out, but that would make this post far too long.
“Paid off last student loan – DEBT FREE except mortgage!!!” ~Alasa
“We paid off our last credit card!” ~Anonymous
“Paid off my gas bill!” ~Engelien
Beth reduced her credit card debt by half!
“We are days away from paying off a credit card!” ~Pam
“We only spent $375 on food for a family of 5, and usually, it’s closer to $800.” ~Amy
Rivkah went camping using saved funds and was able to borrow half of the gear instead of buying it!
“Budget traveled for 2 weeks of spring break. Only spent cash and came in a LOT under budget” ~Nancy
Ingrid lowered the interest rate on her mortgage!
“Son’s trade school is now paid through August–cashflowed!!” ~Andra
Jenna paid a BIG chuck toward her student loan debt!
“I paid for my children’s double birthday party in cash! So no new debt!” ~Heather
Jesse got a new job!!
“We were able to purchase a new grill. We made a plan at the beginning of the year and have been saving every month for this larger purchase. Our entire family loves it and I love that we could afford a really nice grill because we executed our savings plan.” ~Jessica
Julie pushed through doing a lot of overtime that was offered so her May debt payment will be a big one!
“Increased my 401K to 18% to max out my retirement savings for 2019” ~Chris
Tiffany is feeling like she is gaining more control of her finances!
What was the key to your success?
“Budgeting and living below our means are our keys to success.” ~Rho
After a bit of a set back, Shirley worked things out on paper and had “thinking sessions” to take stock.
“Putting some side hustle money toward debt.” ~Jen
“Keep on keeping on and rolling with the punches. We were able to weather some expenses that have and will come up and still stay in the black.” ~Shannon
“Staying on top of our spending/budget until the very end of the month.” ~Jackie
“Focus! Instead of getting coffee, even though it’s really needed lately, I decided I’d rather put it towards debt and watch the numbers fall.” ~Jenna
Reminding myself to be grateful for the opportunity to even earn money through side hustling with VIPKID even when I didn’t really feel like waking up early to teach. ~Danielle
“My yearly raise went into effect this month. I’m putting that amount directly toward my mortgage principal. I love watching the balance go down!” ~Emily
Linda kept repeating her mortgage-free goal to herself to keep on track!
“Putting our money into retirement account right away instead of waiting until the end of the month, when we might have spent some of it.” ~Kara
“Motivation from others. Both positive and channeling the negative into driving me more. A lot of people still don’t understand that I just don’t spend money and “only $25″ is still $25 and can add up.” ~Julie
“Our tax refund took us to the finish line, but all our frugal efforts over the year so far helped us build the good money habits to pay off our debt.” ~Anonymous
“Having individual spending money, even as low as $10/month, gives us each freedom to spend on what we want. In addition, this month we budgeted $50 for miscellaneous expenses which gave us freedom to buy a few things that made our lives easier. These things helped make our otherwise super tight budget manageable. We still saved over 50% of our income toward the next bill due.” ~Brooke
Join Us in the Debt Smash-athon!
It’s not just me who’s excited about this. This is what fellow Debt Smashers are saying:
“Thanks for doing this!! I decided at the beginning of this year that I was going to do everything I could to get this debt to go down as fast as possible, and because I’m watching the success of everyone in the group, I have more accountability to get my numbers down. Yay!!!” ~Jenna
“This is such a motivating challenge. Thanks for hosting this!” ~Danielle
“Thanks for staying motivated!” ~Nancy
Well, $155,266 of financial improvement among us is nothing to sneeze at! I can’t wait to see what you do in May!
You can do this!