Now that October is in the books, we have only two months left in our 2019 Debt Smash-athon. I don’t know about each of you, but we still have big things to accomplish before the year is over. We have a stretch goal for where we want to get our mortgage principal by the end of the year. We’re still a ways off, but we’re giving it our all.
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. It’s not too late to start! 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.
October Debt Smash-athon Totals
During October, we collectively put $64,753 toward debt!
Way to go friends!!
Of the 36 of you who completed the Debt Smash-athon report for October, 89% reported putting money toward debt in October. That averages out to $2,024 per Debt Smasher, with a median of $1,269 paid in debt.
As a group, we invested $28,791 toward retirement! 67% of respondents reported retirement savings.
We also put a total of $17,832 toward big savings goals other than debt and retirement. 53% of respondents saved money for a big goal in October.
When you put that all together, the 36 total reporters made $111,375 of financial improvement in October! That is huge! 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!
October’s randomly chosen winner is Linda who said her big win for the month was that she “had the cash to start a side gig. Been wanting to for awhile and now it has happened,” I’ll be in touch, Linda!
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.
“I am paying off my last credit card” ~Deb
“For the first time since I started my undergraduate degree, I have a positive net worth!!!” ~Danielle
“Paid off over $25,000 in debt in the last 22 months” ~Jackie
“I paid off a credit card” ~Darcy
“Paid off the last of non-secured loans.” ~Beth
“I achieved the mortgage goal I set for myself for the year! I am so excited that I did this 2 months early! And I still have 2 more months to really exceed it. I think I will make the goal higher next year. It’s so motivating watching those numbers go down!” ~Emily
“Did calculations with the calculator you recommended and was able to get a debt free date of 6 years from now. Still a LONG way to go, but at least the end is in sight.” ~Jen
“Increased my 401k contribution equal to half my raise!” ~Kolia
“Cash flowed a work/vacation trip to Texas.” ~Jen
“Paid off a car using “found” money. This includes mileage reimbursement from work, daycare reimbursement, money from side hustle, etc. One debt down, 4 more to go.” ~Chris
“We paid off one student loan! We also closed on a new construction home.” ~Ashley
“Paid down my credit cards so that I can pay them both off in November!” ~Becky
“Paying off a huge chunk of debt” ~Ann
“Financial planning for the end of the year.” ~Linda
What was the key to your success?
“Focus – putting every extra $ toward debt” ~Deb
“Asking myself “Is this necessary?” when making purchases” ~Stephanie
“Keeping consistent.” ~Ashley
“Stuck to the budget. Freezer cooking and coupons kept grocery costs down.” ~Linda
“Paying off debt as SOON as the paychecks come in, not stalling” ~Ann
“Focusing on the reason why we’re doing this – staying focused on the goal and talking about it a LOT.” ~Austin
“Having a plan and continuing to track every penny, even tho we are now debt free” ~Kara
“Sticking to the plan.” ~Angie
“Taking advantage of some university programs (my husband is a graduate student) that help us financially.” ~Brooke
“Accepting help to pay for a surprise expense” ~Bethany
“Planning ahead and working the plan. Travel was planned for, budgeted and we came in way under budget!” ~Shannon
“Stick to the plan” ~Rivkah
“I’ve always made a loose budget, but in October, we stuck to it pretty strictly, even though it meant saying no to things we really wanted at the time.” ~Torrie
“Put windfalls to debt instead of spending on fun things.” ~Beth
“Written budget” ~Jessica
“We have to say “NO!” to the things we want and “YES!” to our financial goal of getting out of debt.” ~Darcy
“Frugal living!” ~Ingrid
“Accepting that lots of purchases are going to have to wait and finding contentment.” ~Jen
“Consistency – setting a number towards my debt payoff and setting it on autopay. That way lifestyle creep doesn’t derail my goals.” ~Danielle
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 love this support group” ~Anonymous
“I love reporting my progress every month as it keeps me motivated. Thanks for hosting this!” ~Danielle
Well, $111,375 of financial improvement among us is nothing to sneeze at! I can’t wait to see what you do in November!
You can do this!