We made some healthy financial progress this month! And by “we” I mean all of you! Our family’s progress was pretty minimal this month, but it’s so encouraging to see that as a group we are making huge progress!
I loved reading your reports. I read every single one. I’m smiling from ear to ear as I read of you doing great things to rock your financial future. I love hearing your sacrifices and successes. I’m cheering you on. My heart aches for those of you who were hit with overwhelming trials reaching far beyond finances.
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.
March Debt Smash-athon Totals
During March, we collectively put $149,866.53 toward debt!
Way to go friends!!
Of the 50 of you who completed the Debt Smash-athon report for March, 90% reported putting money toward debt in March. That averages out to $3,330 per Debt Smasher, with a median of $2,040 paid in debt.
As a group, we invested $31,202.12 toward retirement! 50% of respondents reported retirement savings.
We also put a total of $39,151.21 toward big savings goals other than debt and retirement. 58% of respondents saved money for a big goal in March.
When you put that all together, the 50 total reporters made $220,219.92 of financial improvement in March! That is remarkable! 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.
March’s randomly chosen winner is Emily who said “I cash flowed a vacation to Las Vegas and Colorado this month and still made progress on my mortgage debt. Feeling good!” I’ll be in touch, Emily!
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.
Jen got solidly under $100K on her federal student loans!
“Student loan debt below $6000! Finally a month of successfully using the envelope system!” –Alasa
Jackie paid off a credit card and is down to just one with a balance!
“We paid off our van and got the lien release form from the bank.” –Amy
“Paid off Husband’s truck!!” –Kathy
Daniella paid off her last credit card and personal loan!
Carie paid off an entire student loan that was at 8% interest!
Candice paid off her Chase card!
“Broke my February record for most debt paid in a month! And probably most money saved for retirement in a month as well!” –Winnie
Jessi stuck to the budget!
“Finally got my husband to have a serious look at the money!” –Sam
“Contributing enough to 401k to get the employer match” –Stephanie
“Increasing our net worth by over £900. The highest amount for many months.” –Jane
Heather started a part-time job from home so she can keep being a SAHM!
Danielle earned $960 for teaching English with VIPKID in March!
If you’re looking for a job working from home, this is a great one. I wrote in-depth about teaching with VIPKid if you want to learn more.
What was the key to your success?
“My husband worked some overtime and we were very diligent with our spending!” –Brandy
Tiffany put anything extra toward debt and goals!
“A willingness to be flexible. Our budget underwent a big change this month when my husband started a new job. In addition to adjusting our budget to account for a new pay schedule, we also changed the way we budget our personal spending. It has been a game changer so far.” -Tara
“Having a grateful heart.” –Brickney
“Absolute determination to reach my savings stretch goal this year. I’m staying under budget in every category for the 3rd month in a row and these are NOT generous budget amounts. The savings will be worth it!!!” –Nancy
Pam continued with cash only for spending!
“Stick with plan and say no to invites for concerts and dinners.” –Engelien
“Wanting to be mortgage free ASAP” –Jules
“Two main keys, my wife is taking some substitute teaching jobs that are helping to increase our income to meet our saving goals AND we made (and followed through) with plans to help us stay in budget during our vacation. It is easier to blow out the budget during a vacation, but we stayed at an Airbnb so we could make most of our meals for much less than going out and on several occasions we brought our lunches and ate them at Sea World and the San Diego zoo (instead of buying lunch for 8 people there). We still made sure to have room to splurge as well and came home having had a great time!” –Brett
Shirley said staying home was the key to her success this month!
“Making a budget with our savings goal as the top priority.” –Jessica
“Trading work for debt repayment on a family loan – about half of debt payment this month was in this form. They are happy to have the work done. I am happy to have the debt paid off.” –Shannon
Kolia tracked every penny!
Deb stretched the time between her grocery shopping trips!
“I recently started shopping and delivering groceries for Shipt as my side hustle. I’ve been enjoying it so far and I’m excited to see how much I can make next month when I’m not on vacation for a week and a half!” –Emily
Jessica used windfalls wisely!
“Looking through finances and finally just doing it” –Ashley
“On the front page of our Bills and Budget binder, I wrote down our goal of being out of consumer debt by end of year! I see it every time I open the binder and it helps keep me focused.” –Andra
Ingrid ate leftovers and out of the pantry!
Tina was able to cut several recurring bills just by making a few phone calls!
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! It’s so so so fun and motivating!” –Shannon
“You report is great! Thank You for helping me to be motivated ALL the time!” –Aneta
“I wish I had started reporting my numbers here sooner because it provides inspiration when the debt payoff and retirement savings gets stale!” –Winnie
“Thanks for continuing with this Debt smashing report, it’s fun to be part of it no matter what stage of our financial life we are at.” –Nancy
“Thank you for this platform to celebrate our financial monthly wins. Every win really does count!” –Linda
Well, $220,219.92 of financial improvement among us is awesome! I can’t wait to see what you do in April!
You can do this!