If you are a regular follower of Our Debt Free Family you may have noticed there hasn’t been a hard numbers debt update from us in a while. Honestly, with COVID-19 last year, moving, and then finding out we are expecting a child, our debt progress hasn’t been front-and-center like it used to be. However, that doesn’t mean we haven’t still been making progress.
Debt Update: Where We Stand
As of May 2021, we are holding about $42,000 in total debt. Here is the breakdown…
- $525 credit card debt
- $621 in collections
- $24,185 student loans
- $16,842 car loan
Considering where we started just a couple of years ago, we have paid off more than $20,000 in debt. That is great progress, but we thought we’d be so much farther along by now. Last year, my husband lost his job and then switched careers. I have been taking advantage of the break from student loan payments, for now, trying to save for our new baby (and praying for student loan forgiveness to pass). We’ve been paying minimums on everything else just trying to get caught up from last year and the move.
All in all, that’s okay for us. We’ve stayed afloat and that’s more than a lot of Americans can say after the cards that were dealt to many people in 2020. For that, I am thankful.
So, what’s next for us?
We certainly want to shift our focus back towards paying off more debt. Of course, having the debt paid off means more cash flow month-to-month. More specifically, we’d like to pay off the car loan and free up the $488 per month we make in payments there. With the new arrival coming, our main goals have been focused on saving money and preparing though.
Some of our main goals right now include having a substantial emergency fund stashed away before the baby arrives, paying off all the credit card debt, nixing the new phone upgrades in September to save money on our bills, stocking up on items for the baby and food so we have lower month-to-month expenses when she arrives, and creating a nice space here in our home. We haven’t gotten much of a chance to settle in yet over the past few months. We are still in need of a dresser for our room, for instance. My husband needs a desk (so we don’t have to share one) and we need a frame for our bed.
Once all of those things are properly tackled, we are going to focus on doubling up on our car payment every month to hack away at that quicker. If we are successful, it should help us have it paid off within a year (a full two years early). Then we will shift our focus to getting the rest of our finances in order to hopefully buy our own home and save a good chunk of the $1,520 in rent we pay each month.
While we haven’t made the progress we were hoping for by now, the debt freedom journey is always humbling. You have to go with the flow and shift your focus as needed.
Readers, how have your goals changed during your debt-free journies?
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Amanda is an editor and writer. She has a passion for sharing information that helps people and communities to better themselves in some way. In addition to writing online, she also freelances for local newspapers in her hometown of Charlotte, NC.