I love getting a peek into each of your financial journeys as you share a few details in your Debt Smash-athon reports. I really am rooting for each of you! I’m encouraged by your progress and by your willingness to get up and keep going even after disappointments and struggles. 2020 has definitely not been the year that any of us planned for, but it’s great to see some of you making even more progress on your goals than you had planned.
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.
September Debt Smash-athon Totals
During September, we collectively put $55,748 toward debt!
Way to go friends!!
Of the 19 of you who completed the Debt Smash-athon report for September, 95% reported putting money toward debt in September. That averages out to $3,97 per Debt Smasher, with a median of $1,100 paid in debt.
As a group, we invested $9,791 toward retirement! 58% of respondents reported retirement savings.
We also put a total of $8,467 toward big savings goals other than debt and retirement. 37% of respondents saved money for a big goal in September.
When you put that all together, the 19 total reporters made $74,006 of financial improvement in September! 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 be getting a $25 Amazon gift card.
September’s randomly chosen winner is Jen who said that the key to her success in September was “sinking funds in our budget!” I’ll be in touch, Jen!
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.
Big Wins & Milestones
“Saved enough to BUY my first house!” ~Lindsay
“We started an emergency fund.” ~Jackie
“Restructured our grocery/household budget to a weekly budget to better match our habits. It’s been a good change so far. ” ~Shannon
“70% of our consumer debt is paid off ! Only $5300 to go and then we will never have one penny of consumer debt ever again !” ~Amanda
“Was able to pay cash for a couple items instead of paying for them with credit cards” ~Ivory
“We’ve saved/paid off over $30,000 so far this year! Already surpassed my goal for the whole year.” ~Stephanie
“Someone gave us a newer van that could accommodate our growing family, so we were able to gift our perfectly running van to another family who needed a vehicle. I also sold our 3rd vehicle for $4500 and put every penny of the sale on debt reduction!” ~Austin
“Saved up the money and started a podcast! The first step to launching our business. It’s called Conscious Evolution: The Journey. ” ~Danielle
“I cut back slightly on how much I work my side hustle delivering groceries but I still made great progress on my mortgage payoff goal. I’m trying to balance my work and home life more. I’m proud of myself!” ~Emily
What was the key to your success?
“Reducing expenditures and cutting waste. ” ~Lindsay
“Making a decision and sticking with it.” ~Elaine
“YNAB budgeting and tracking” ~L’Tanya
” Pay myself first” ~Beth
“After three months, my husband finally got his first unemployment check, which we plan on only using for our emergency fund.” ~Jackie
“Sinking funds in our budget.” ~Jen
“Making sure the money earmarked for certain expenses left the account as soon as it landed there” ~Ivory
“Cutting back on small luxuries for a short time in order to meet my short-term savings goals.” ~Danielle
“Diligence, persistence, and being intentional with our money and our choices. ” ~Amanda
“We decided to really get motivated and clear out our home, basement, attic, work space, barn, work shop, work materials, gardening extras and list them for sale. My goal has been a minimum of $100 a week , but, I have been able to beat that each week. I also started to charge for consulting with those ( I advertised on local site) who want to raise backyard chickens and bees. I also started offering vegetable, fruit , herb and flower garden design and construction help. I am well qualified in all of these. A possible client even asked if i would teach home food preservation. These have always been more of a hobby with a few sales each year. Now in this time of a renewed interest in self sufficiency and the need for many to have individual guidance I feel confidant and well educated in this (I also have an advanced science degree) and am working to turn this into a part time business!!” ~Linda
Join Us in the Debt Smash-athon!
It’s not just me who’s excited about this. I love hearing the encouragement that you all share. Here’s a sampling of encouragement to the group:
“Don’t give up!” ~Elaine
“Stay the course. You can do it! For the folks struggling with unemployment and overall job uncertainty, my heart goes out to you. Hang in there. ” ~Ivory
“Don’t beat yourself up for losing focus, just get back at smashing your goals!” ~Stephanie,
Well, $74,006 of financial improvement among us is fabulous! I can’t wait to see what you did in October! When you finish out the month, you can report OCTOBER’s progress here!