Time for a Debt Smash-athon update! I love hearing how each of our Debt Smashers is making progress toward their goals! It’s so encouraging to see you pushing past obstacles and making the most of your situation.
Paying off debt is surely not easy and definitely not the most fun thing you could be doing with your money, but it’s so worth it!
I’m excited to share some of the encouragement that each of you shared. You are all so inspiring!
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.
MAY Debt Smash-athon Totals
During May, we collectively put $59,988 toward debt!
Way to go friends!!
Of the 25 of you who completed the Debt Smash-athon report for May, 92% reported putting money toward debt in May. That averages out to $2,499 per Debt Smasher, with a median of $1,500 paid in debt.
As a group, we invested $18,127 toward retirement! 54% of respondents reported retirement savings.
We also put a total of $24,293 toward big savings goals other than debt and retirement. 58% of respondents saved money for a big goal in May.
When you put that all together, the 25 total reporters made $102,407 of financial improvement in May! That is a great finish to the year! Way to go friends!
Each month I 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!
May’s randomly chosen winner is Nicole!” I’ll 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.
Even with all that is going on, you made lots of progress! I picked a variety of the wonderful responses to share with you below.
“Paid off Jeep in just under three years. Just the house left!” ~Jo
“We passed the halfway point – more than 52% of our debt is paid off!” ~Jackie
“Under a grand to paying off our HELOC- next month we should be able to start paying extra on our mortgage!!!” ~Nicole
“I paid off my third credit card! And officially wiped out the $19,000 of credit card debt I took on April 2019 (buying out a co-signed truck lease).” ~Winnie
“Paid off of our laaaaaaaaast credit card!!!!” ~Ivory
“Finished three month emergency fund” ~Tina
“Refinanced our mortgage to a 15 year at 3%! We’ve been wanting to refi for the last 5 years but the house was under construction (for 14 years total and still going)” ~Christina
“This month I hit my mortgage principal goal I set for myself for the year! I’m excited to see how much I can exceed my goal this year! This pandemic has allowed me to work my side hustle so much. Also, with everything being closed there’s less to spend money on.” ~Emily
“Used extra paycheck to max out Roth IRA for the year!” ~Kolia
“Donation to church fund providing financial assistance to unemployed people” ~Elaine
“Extra big mortgage payment!” ~Sheila
“We are continuing a blistering pace of debt reduction. We are paying $800/month toward credit card debt reduction. We are at $13,250, and on track to be credit card debt-free by December 2021. That may seem like a long way off, but to us, the goal is in sight! We are fired up about it! We have a 20-year plan to debt freedom, including mortgage and student loans, and we are following the plan.” ~Austin
“We had our lowest spending month of the year, and we reached the savings goal for our emergency fund with our stimulus check” ~Stephanie
“I negotiated a further reduction to my Mortgage interest rate.” ~Anne
What was the key to your success?
“Reduced shopping and spending. Increased hours at work. Small bonus!” ~Sherrie
“Giving more money to charities. It motivated me to save more” ~Christina
“Tax refund!” ~Ingrid
“Watching spending and not going out” ~Randi
“We have been blessed to have maintained our income uninterrupted but have had time to spend on the things that matter. And patience! Lots and lots of patience.” ~Jill
“A very low spending month thanks to Covid19 restrictions” ~Anne
“I put my usual amount of aggressive debt payments to my credit card, but my Mom paid me for being her tech support so I put 75% of that to my credit cards as well.” ~Winnie
“My husband was paid for work done in the fall. We had to ask about it because it had been overlooked! Because we have lower expenses from staying home, every little thing extra like credit card rewards, rakutan checks, etc, could go toward debt repayment.” ~Jen
“Continued to cook at home with minimal exposure to stores and curbside pickup restaurants.” ~Brooke
“My husband had a one-time opportunity to sell some of his vacation time. As he was pretty unlikely to be able to use it before losing it anyway, he decided to sell it.” ~Sheila
“Shopping once a week, only eating out twice, driving less” ~Amy
“Signing up for YNAB has really been a game-changer for us. When we did the Frugal Fresh Start for the first time last October, I signed up for YNAB, and it has made a big difference in our ability to stay much closer to our budget, several of those months actually coming in under budget.” ~Austin
“Many months of self-sacrifice (i.e. cancelled family trips, shaved expenses off our budget, pared down family events and parties), focusing on the goal at hand, envisioning how our lives will be without debt, reaffirming our values of financial freedom (and not being under the thumb of capitalism) and creating a debt-free paradigm that we can model for our daughters” ~Ivory
Join Us in the Debt Smash-athon!
Well, $102,407 of financial improvement among us is great, especially considering these uncertain times! I can’t wait to see what you do in June!