Life got a little crazy here, so today we’re catching up with TWO months of your debt smashing progress! I love reading of your progress and how you are working hard to reach your financial goals even in these crazy times.
In fact, some of you even reached the exciting milestone of being free of credit card debt or debt freedom altogether in these past two months! Hooray! It’s amazing what you can do when you set a goal and work hard for it!
Now that September is nearly through, it’s time to report your September numbers too!
For those who are new here, in 2019 we had a Debt Smash-athon! Everyone was invited to participate by reporting how much you paid in debt each month. We also kept track of how much we invested for retirement and saved 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 & August Debt Smash-athon Totals
During July and August, we collectively put $100,590 toward debt!
Way to go friends!!
Of the 50 of you who completed the Debt Smash-athon report for July and August, 86% reported putting money toward debt in July and August. That averages out to $2,339 per Debt Smasher, with a median of $1,234 paid in debt.
As a group, we invested $14,566 toward retirement! 44% of respondents reported retirement savings.
We also put a total of $30,152 toward big savings goals other than debt and retirement. 52% of respondents saved money for a big goal in July and August.
When you put that all together, the 50 total reporters made $145,309 of financial improvement in July and August! Way to go friends!
Each month I have a special prize for a randomly selected Debt Smasher who reported his or her progress, so this time we have two winners! They will each get an Amazon gift card!
Our randomly chosen July winner from July respondents is Mary and August’s winner is Austin!
Congratulations to both of you! I will be in touch
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.
“Paid off my last credit card!!” ~Amber
“I finally paid off the rest of my school loans!” ~Darcy
“We sold our house, and we used some of the money we made to pay off the rest of our car loan and fully complete our emergency fund. WE’RE DEBT-FREE!!!” ~Torrie
“Paid off all credit card debt, now to tackle the second mortgage!” ~Sherrie
“Almost done with back to school expenses and on budget…a few more fees to go but getting close. Sent kids back to school shopping on their own with a budget and they did an awesome job – got what was needed and came in within a few dollars of what we send them with. Kids that can drive…the best thing ever!” ~Shannon
“Continuing to shrink the total of our consumer debt” ~Amanda
“I had saved up for, and paid for my Bar study course and all related-expenses in cash, so I didn’t go into debt trying to get my law license. Results come out in October/November!” ~Becky
“Had the cash 💰 saved to pay our plumber for replacing pipes underneath our house!” ~Missy
“Put the majority of a third paycheck to getting a month ahead.” ~Jackie
“I was able to save enough to pay the remaining balance of my new garage doors and not go into debt! I also still made progress on my mortgage payoff goal.” ~Emily
“In June we paid off our big debt item- so we took some time in July to reset our budget and think about some big goals we want to accomplish. Our biggest win was finally feeling confident enough with YNAB to combine all our accounts and income deposits- for the last 20 years we have had our paychecks allotted into different accounts- no need for that now that YNAB does it!” ~Nicole
“My husband got a new job! This doesn’t save money in the short-term, but it’s a long-term improvement! And we get to move back to Florida!” ~Brooke
“I’ve saved up enough to pay off 1 of my graduate student loans (~14K). Unfortunately, with the threat of furlough I haven’t actually paid off that loan and have instead kept that for an extra emergency fund. If all goes well I’ll pay it off at the end of December” ~Danielle
“We took two weeks to travel to see friends. I’m self-employed, so we had to save for a year to take off the time. But it was SO awesome to have enough saved that I didn’t have to worry about losing income while I was not working, because we had saved enough to cover expenses of the trip, as well as my income while not working for two weeks! It was awesome! So worth it to save!” ~Austin
“We received our flight cancellation money! Flight was cancelled in February!” ~Ingrid
What was the key to your success?
“Patience. Tracking spending.” ~Elaine
“Taking it one day at a time” ~Victoria
“I got a raise and increased my 401k contribution, leaving my take home pay at the same level.” ~Jackie
“Knowing that when I get rid of my student loan I can then pay off the Mtg. Then buy a larger homestead property that will help us be more self reliant.” ~Gina
“Covid meant we didn’t go anywhere” ~Beth
“Continued perseverance” ~Winnie
“We sold our van! We went from being a one-car family to being a no-car family. We moved to a house in a walkable neighborhood and decided if we ever wanted to go car-free now’s the time.” ~Amy
“Following YNAB rule 4. We came in on budget this month, but that was only because we had to re-purpose money from multiple categories in which we underspent to categories in which we over-spent. But that’s budgeting! Think what life would have been like if I didn’t have that structure set up. I would feel like I was overspending every single month! But as it is, I have the money on hand, I just have to adjust as life brings different needs and priorities, on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis.” ~Austin
“Saving as much as I can during Covid! Not shopping online, and watching every penny.” ~Amber
“Trying to do less online shopping!” ~Whitney
“God, meal planning. Borrowing things rather then charging for our own.” ~Kathy
“Started using YNAB differently- In the past we have tried to pay our visa at the time we budget. I paid it when the statement was due(mid month) this month and it was so much easier to calculate. Taking time to check everything mid month has been a unplanned help.” ~Nicole
“My husband taking on teaching work.” ~Jen
Join Us in the Debt Smash-athon!
Well, $145,309 of financial improvement among us is fabulous! I can’t wait to see how September went! If you’re ready to report for September, you can go do that here!