Great job smashing debt in September! As a group, our numbers were higher than they ever have been!
Several of you had some enormous payments toward your debt! Two people sold houses and put the proceeds toward debt. One person started a debt free journey with a hefty sum that had been set aside for a home purchase.
Those huge numbers don’t make the small numbers any less significant. We are all on our own journey. Every payment toward debt, each contribution to retirement, and each sum saved for a big goal represents hard work and sacrifice. You might be the only one who ever understands the extent of what that means.
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 participate in this debt smashing movement, 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 $270,782 toward debt!
Way to go friends!!
Of the 40 who completed the Debt Smash-athon report for September, 90% reported putting money toward debt in September. That averages out to $7,521 per Debt Smasher, with a median of $1,203 paid in debt.
As a group, we invested $23,396 toward retirement! 68% of respondents reported retirement savings.
We also put a total of $21,050 toward big savings goals other than debt and retirement. 45% of respondents saved money for a big goal in September.
When you put that all together, the 40 total reporters made $315,228 of financial improvement in September! I had to doublecheck the numbers because that looks outrageous! Way to go!
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 their own copy of the Debt Snowball Calculator. Earlier this week I shared what it does and why I think it’s great for anyone who is working to payoff student loans or credit cards (or any other non-mortgage debt). It’s definitely worth checking out!
The winner will also get a copy of the The Total Money Makeover, the book that inspired us to stop saving for a house and work to pay off our enormous student loan debt first. (And I’m so glad we did!)
September’s randomly chosen winner is Kolia. I’ll be in touch, Kolia!
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.
“Paid off our truck” ~Darcy
“We had worked hard to pay off our small rental property in the last years. We made the decision to sell that property and with the proceeds and other money we had saved, were able to pay off the rest of our mortgage!!!! After quite a challenging 30+ years journey with money, we are officially 100% debt free!!!” ~Kara
“Paid off one of my medical bills.” ~Sherrie
“I earned less this month but still managed to save and pay off debt” ~Ingrid
“Paid down my vacation credit card, but also didn’t spend like crazy during the trip!” ~Becky
“I am on my last credit card -I paid down another $3,000.” ~Deb
“I’ve paid off about $40K in student loans! Still have more to go, but I am feeling great about my path.” ~Danielle
“We kept other expenses in check and even collected some (trashed) cans and bottles to redeem for cash! I also got hired for a part-time gig which will start in a few weeks!” ~Brooke
“We are one month away from reaching a big savings goal!” ~Sheila
“No new debt even though our income received in August was only $25.” ~Amy
“Personally it’s been a very tough year. But this month, I recommitted to getting out of debt! We paid off 11.5% of our total debt this month!!!” ~Brandy
“I cash flowed a long weekend trip away and still made progress on my mortgage debt and I’m proud of that!” ~Emily
“Paid off the first of four parent PLUS loans!!” ~Alexa
“I finally sold a rental house I was renovating for 7 months. The market was right to have a large profit on the sale and I took advantage of it.” ~Chris
What was the key to your success?
“Sticking to my budget, staying out of stores, ordering groceries online.” ~Deb
“Saying ‘no’ more often.” ~Tiffany
“Kept looking towards the goal when I was tired of working.” ~Jen
“Setting goals” ~Austin
“Prayer and talking together as spouses for what would be the best plan for us” ~Ann
“Keeping to the plan.” ~Rivkah
“Patience. Patience. Patience.” ~Shannon
“Researching our options” ~Torrie
“Having aged money (to use the YNAB term) so I can plan out all payments, including debt, in advance” ~Bethany
“Realizing how far we have come this year. We have paid almost $15,000 in debt and we are 4 payments away from only having one loan left.” ~Ashley
“Husband worked lots of overtime!!!” ~Linda
“Extra income and having a set budget for vacation” ~Sam
“Sinking funds” ~Diane
“Use the 5,4,3,2,1 for goal planning. Where do you want to be in 5 years, what can you do in the next 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days, and 1 hour to get there.” ~Chris
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 the monthly check-in process with this challenge! Thank you!” ~Danielle
“I really fell off the debt-payoff-wagon for a few months. It just wasn’t a priority; but I was super excited to tally my numbers up and report them this month, so, thank you!” ~Brandy
Well, $315,228 of financial improvement among us is absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to see what you do in October!
You guys are incredible!