Most people are pretty tight-lipped about their income and not many want to talk about their debt either. I guess that’s what makes us weird. We talk about both… in detail!
Strange or not, talking about our debt and income by sharing it with the world has been a huge part of our success. Being accountable to you, dear reader, while intimidating (and even embarrassing), has kept us going and fired us up to achieve our goal.
When we set our goal, it was quite a stretch goal, with no real foundation in numbers or mathematics. In other words, it looked impossible!
We are not only going to achieve our goal, but we’re on track to hit it earlier than we had scheduled. It’s a huge blessing that I can hardly wrap my mind around.
Don’t underestimate the power of a goal, my friends!
May was a good month. Here are all the details!
In May we paid off $5,762 in debt! The money for this debt payment came from last month’s income. It represents almost 60% of that income.
We’re excited that it finally puts us under $20,000 of debt remaining! On one hand, $20,000 is a lot of money, but on the other hand, with the momentum we’ve built up (and how far we’ve come) it doesn’t seem like much.
Please don’t be discouraged if your debt repayment doesn’t look like this. We are in the homestretch of our repayment now, so we have minimized our expenses and increased our income and our repayment is now flying. It wasn’t always this way though. We were going slow and steady for a long time before we built up momentum.
If you are just starting out on your journey to pay off debt, check out my Smash Debt Quick-Start Guide to help you get organized and make a plan to pay off your debt.
Our total net income for May was $13,996. Since we live on last month’s income, this is income that we haven’t used yet. We have it budgeted to spend in June, which will be a great thing for June’s debt repayment!
Attorney Income (Day Job)– $5,126 Mr. SixFiguresUnder has been working full-time as an attorney for the state of California since last fall. His actual take-home pay is $3,778, but I add back in the cost of the benefits (insurance, dental, vision, parking, union dues and retirement) that are automatically taken out of his check so that I can show them to you in our budget below.
Attorney Income (Private Practice)– $4,539 On top of working full-time (with a three-hour round-trip commute), my husband has his own private law practice on the side. The days are long and won’t be sustainable for the long haul, but right now the extra income is really helping us tackle our debt.
Working completely alone means he has to do everything, and (oddly enough) sending bills out is never at the top of the list. I mentioned last month that the goal for this month was to send out a big backlog of bills. In the spirit of following up, he got most of them done in the past couple of days. Hopefully he will have lots of checks come in this month for work he has already done.
My Income (Blog)– $4,331 The income that I report is the income that I received this month minus all of my blogging expenses. I had received a big affiliate payout that I earned earlier in the year, making this my highest month ever for blog income.
My expenses were also the highest they have ever been, as I set aside a big chunk of income to purchase a new laptop. You would laugh if you saw the one I use now. It’s missing a dozen keys and the main mouse button doesn’t work, and it’s as slow as molasses. I usually use the desktop for obvious reasons.
If you’re interested in the details of my blogging income as well as other blogging tips and resources, you can sign up for my Behind-the-Scenes Blogging emails to get the scoop. If you want to start your own money-making blog, check out my complete step-by-step instructions for setting up a self-hosted blog and the resources I recommend for starting a blog on a budget.
Other Giving– $80 Other charitable donations this month.
Mortgage/Rent– $0 Living in my in-laws’ unfinished basement is a huge blessing. I don’t expect everyone to do what we do, but for us, it’s worth sacrificing some comforts and privacy to pay off our debt faster. If you are considering living with family, here are some things to consider.
Internet– $0 Thanks to some legal work that my husband did for our service provider, we will have free internet for a while. It’s nice to stretch our budget by bartering, though we will still pay income tax on the fair market value of Internet service come tax time next year.
Republic Wireless Cell Phones– $27 We switched our Republic Wireless phones to the new Republic Refund plans. With our refund for the data we didn’t use the month before, I ended up paying under $12 and my husband paid under $15 for our plan. That includes taxes too! You can read about getting refunded for cell data you don’t use here.
Health Insurance– $739 We have our insurance through my husband’s employer. This is the portion of the insurance premium that his employer does not cover. It includes dental and vision insurance premiums too. The portion that comes out of his paycheck will go down after he has worked at the state for a year.
Car Insurance– $59 This is lower than usual to make up for overpaying last month when we paid for three vehicles but took the third off of the insurance near the beginning of the month after retiring it. Our auto insurance is great. In addition to the wonderful coverage, they also give us dividends at the end of the year, which is always a nice treat.
Food– $315 We went over $300 two months in a row, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it.
Gas– $265 My husband is able to telecommute several days each month now, which provides a nice reduction in the gas budget! For the record, gas is about $2.59/gallon here.
Parking– $155– Working downtown means paying for parking. It is set up to come straight out of my husband’s paycheck, which means it is paid for with pre-tax dollars, a small consolation I suppose.
Clothing– $0 I ordered some clothes with ThredUp credits I had that were going to expire, but we didn’t spend anything out of pocket on clothes this month.
Household– $31 The mouse for our desktop computer was on the fritz and finally gave out, so we got this one. The wireless-ness is great, but we’re having to train ourselves to not leave it near the edge of the computer desk, otherwise a really cute little one-year-old will run away with it. In addition we bought a few normal non-food kitchen things (like sandwich bags and foil) and some toiletries.
Entertainment– $29 We stayed two nights at a nice Airbnb rental last weekend. Between my tricks for saving with Airbnb and some credits that I had been accruing for a while, the stay was free except a $25 cleaning fee. We also rented a couple of movies.
Car Repair– $237 My husband replaced the brake pads on his car. He also started replacing the shocks on the van, but our mechanic had to finish the job because one of the shock bolts was broken off inside the mount.
Car Registration– $89 We paid the annual vehicle registration on the blue van.
Medical– $11 We bought some wart medicine at Walgreens because each of the kids has a wart on their hand or foot that has been there for a while. Hopefully this will take care of them.
Gifts– $25 A gift for my son with a summer birthday.
Library Fines– $31 The majority of this is from a book that one of my children (who shall remain nameless) destroyed. While it’s frustrating to pay library fines, I’m pretty happy that for as many books as we check out from the library in 8 years of having kids, this is only the second book we’ve had to pay for. The other one was “lost” (though I’m really quite certain I turned it in).
Kids’ Summer Activities– $280 Earlier this week, I wrote about the 3 activities that we’re paying for this summer. This covers the swim pass for the local pool and the Kids Cook Real Food course (which we’ve started and are loving!).
Retirement– $484 With my husband’s state job, this amount comes directly out of his paycheck and into his state retirement. While we have some retirement savings from our before law school, it’s nice to finally be contributing again.
College Savings– $100 We contribute $25 per month per child to 529 accounts. More on our decision to start saving for college in this post.
Well that was May! I’m excited for June! We’re going to try extra hard to keep expenses down and income up in June. We are so close!
How About You?
- I’d love to hear about how your budget and/or debt repayment went in May!
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