Way to stay strong in smashing your debt and reaching your financial goals, friends! I love seing each of your names and reading of your progress each month.
You’re doing great things! You’re making a difference in your financial future and that of your family!
These are accomplishments worth celebrating! That is what the Debt Smash-athon is all about!
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.
July Debt Smash-athon Totals
During July, we collectively put $62,603.93 toward debt!
Way to go friends!!
Of the 49 of you who completed the Debt Smash-athon report for July, 94% reported putting money toward debt in July. That averages out to $1,360.96 per Debt Smasher, with a median of $1,005.50 paid in debt.
As a group, we invested $28,046.63 toward retirement! 57% of respondents reported retirement savings.
We also put a total of $21,206.78 toward big savings goals other than debt and retirement. 51% of respondents saved money for a big goal in July.
When you put that all together, the 49 total reporters made $111,857.34 of financial improvement in July! That is so ahh-mazing!! 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 a $25 Amazon gift card!
July’s randomly chosen winner is Ashley who said
“We paid more than we did in June! And we hit the half way goal for this year. Which means if we can keep this up we will have our debt with the largest interest completed before the end of the year.“
I’ll be in touch, Ashley!
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.
Melissa paid off a credit card!
“Paid off another card and saving 20% toward retirement” ~Deb
“Closed one of 3 credit cards as fully paid off” ~J
“Paid off my credit card and made my first large payment to my loan! It’s great watching numbers drop fast!” ~Jen
“We bought new equipment for my husband’s business using the money we had saved.” ~Amy
“We were finally able to replace our 25 year old water heater without incurring any debt! We paid cash on delivery and got a nice discount because of it!” ~Andra
“Learning to say no to impulse buys!” ~Tiffany
“Picked up a couple weeks of unexpected work for an extra $2200!” ~Amber
“Contributed to a 401(k) the first month I was eligible” ~Bethany
“I had a great month with my side hustle which really helped my mortgage payoff progress this month. I also cash flowed the removal of a dead tree from my property.” ~Emily
“We hit our goal of how much we wanted to save in our “baby fund”. Baby is due in December. :)” ~Chelsea
“For several months now, we’ve been doing the “credit card float” that you mentioned in one of your latest posts—although we always pay off the bill in full every month, the payments were still eating up almost all our extra income. We finally said, “Enough is enough!” in July, and we really tightened our belts so that by September, we’ll have everything paid off and squared up again, which will free up several hundred dollars of income every month for our goals!” ~Torrie
“Earning almost $1000 in side hustle money!” ~Danielle
“We refinanced our home and dropped the percent by 1 1/8 of a percent and paid for the fees out of pocket (so we didn’t add to the debt). This was awesome and setup because we were saving money to do this. Ultimately this saves us 10s of thousands on interest.” ~Brett
Jessica stayed within her budget!
“I made some extra money by carpooling to work (an app pays me, kind of like Uber, but for coworkers!), and I was able to put some extra money aside in my bar exam registration savings account.” ~Becky
“Continue to win at our side hustles which is buy and sell anything we can make a buck at. We made $3473 just in buying items and reselling them for a profit this month.” ~Nancy
What was the key to your success?
“I log on every day to see my loan status and I love watching the interest and overall number drop! When I have ANY extra money to contribute, it’s even more enjoyable!!” ~Jenna
“Not procrastinating!” ~Megan
“Raid the pantry and freezer instead of buying more groceries” ~Ingrid
“Picking up a little job opportunity that provides $200/mo and determining that that would go straight toward debt every month.” ~Dessa
“We are moving again, and I was extremely motivated to not waste the food we had at home (and to not have to move it!). So, I cooked meals every day instead of being tempted to eat out during a very stressful time.” ~Brooke
“Staying on track as much as possible. Revising our plan moving forward and refocusing” ~Pam
“I turned down a number of social events, or when I did go out I’d order the cheapest thing I could find.” ~Jessica
“Writing down everything I spent” ~Pamela
“Budgeting ahead so we could cover not working for a few weeks. YNAB really helped make us successful.” ~Tiffany
“Set a plan to pay off lowest loan by the end of the year!” ~Alexa
“Writing every spend” ~Orit
“We switched to biweekly payments on our mortgage. Can’t spend it elsewhere if it is already on the way to the bank. We also just switched our solar payments from monthly to biweekly. My husband and I also did a test run on being a one car family (kept the second, just didn’t drive it). Even though it only saved us on gas this month, it convinced us that we could do it pretty easily which means we can sell the second vehicle and save on gas and insurance starting in August.” ~Elise
“I started my annual overhaul of all utilities, services, insurance etc. to determine cost savings.” ~Linda
“Listening to podcasts to stay encouraged and learn more.” ~Andra
“Seriously, side hustling. Have the opportunity to put time into some debt forgiveness agreements with the people that we borrowed money from. This has absolutely been a life saver since we have had two broken cars, a broken dishwasher and some minor medical bills come up.” ~Shannon
“Keeping a long term vision. It’s okay that we spent more than usual on some categories, because they were planned or for unexpected things, but ones that match our values.” ~Stephanie
“Tracking our expenses.” ~Chelsea
“Resisting the lure of following ads and chasing loss leader items in stores. Canceling regular but unnecessary shopping trips truly saves us so much.” ~Linda
“Being intentional” ~Miranda
“Having a game plan for shopping, and hiding the credit cards.” ~Tiffany
“This month we decided to pay half as much into our savings account and take that money that would have gone into our savings go towards our debt.” ~Ann
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:
“I just love contributing to this, and seeing how our numbers grow each month! Thank you for hosting this!” ~Becky
“I feel like there is nothing really notable from July, but checking in with the Smash-athon each month helps me reflect, reset, and get ready for a new month.” ~Jackie
Well, $111,857 of financial improvement among us is pretty impressive, friends! I can’t wait to see what you do in August!
You can do this!