90 Day Celebration!
Today marks the 90 day anniversary of MoneyLifeWax.com! Over the last few months readers of Money Life Wax have gotten a small sample of our story and seen how super simple it is to eradicate debt. Some readers have even reached out saying how awesome our story is, or asking simple questions, like where should they start. This is exactly why I started Money Life Wax, to inspire and create more conversation about personal finance!
“Money doesn’t buy happiness,
but I rather cry in my mansion!”
This post is not a pat me on the back post, this is a, “Hey if we can do it so can you!” Readers who have reached out to us on social media have quickly found that this is something my wife and I are truly passionate about. We love talking about how people can get out of debt, save for the future and live a great life that is free of financial stress!
Debt is a funny thing. The word is not usually the topic of conversation in most social circles… unless you are discussing who has more student loans. For a while, after the one up competition, my solution was to go live for the weekends. It is why I end every post with “Your future self will be glad you read.” Truth be told, I wish my blog post from last week about money tips for new grads existed when I was 23.
Everything happens for a reason and this might sound crazy, but I am grateful we have student loans to pay off. Sure they suck and I wish we did not have them, but I am not sure I would have ever learned to live below my means or think long term. So with the 90 day MLW anniversary today, I decided it would be cool to share what our debt and finances looked like in February 2016 compared to where we are now. The purpose – to show others that in a relatively short amount of time you can truly accomplish a lot if you really put your backs against the wall.
What paying $109,675 looks like
(Disclaimer: We factored our wedding expenses as a debt. It was an expense and had we not paid cash it would be on a credit card like most people in our situation. I wrote on awesome post on keeping wedding costs low here)
As you can see in chart above, we have knocked off a large amount of debt in 21 months. $109,675 to be exact, but who’s counting!?! In all actuality, we have paid more but that nasty thing called interest hurt us in 2016. In March of 2017, Lauren’s student loan interest capitalized… jumping the principal amount $17,000!!! This is why we are so passionate about paying off student loans as fast as possible and helping others do the same.
We could not look in the mirror everyday and pay minimums hoping that one day public loan forgiveness would work out. You can read here why we don’t trust public loan forgiveness – too many things can go wrong. Truth be told, we are not looking to ever let our financial situation be dictated by someone else. I think naivety is putting all of your eggs in one basket. By the end of 2020 we will be debt free besides a mortgage. It is sooo worth delaying for 3 more years in order to accomplish this.
Debt free at 33
I will be 34 actually, my wife will be 33! But how many people with a doctorate in the medical field have you met who are debt free at 33? Currently we owe $197,000 in student loan debt. Slap on another $4,000 in accrued interest, and the total is just over $200,000.
Conservatively, we pay about $4,500 each month towards our student loans. Sometimes we pay more, sometimes less, it really depends on life. Like when our washing machine and my car’s engine self imploded in the same month (Yes, this happened in April 2017). Tack on our tax returns each spring (based off last years numbers) and we have an extra $7,000 in the month of March. Our goal moving forward is to consistently throw $5,000+ towards our debt and all of our tax returns. Factoring in interest, that will take somewhere between 37-39 months to complete – call it the end of 2020.
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That is if nothing changes. Hopefully with a few side hustles, annual raises and summer school checks we can increase cash flow and pay even more! I really hope this helps motivate and encourage others to make some positive personal finance changes. Imagine saving $3,000 a month for a year – you would have over $36,000 with interest!
Q:What would you do with an extra $3,000 a month?
As always, thanks for reading, commenting and sharing. I look forward to growing the Money Life Wax community!