This past week I paid off my auto loan (letting out a “WOO!” and a sigh of relief). The loan’s original maturity date was February 2023 so I was able to pay off the loan two years early.
My prioritization for paying off my debt was 1) private student loans 2) auto loan and 3) federal student loans. This past spring, I successfully paid off my private student loans and my next “move” allowed me to complete step 2, 8 months later. Once I paid off my private student loan, I “moved” over that payment amount to my auto loan, which doubled my regular auto payment and I carried over the additional payments that I would make to my private student loans, to my auto loan.
Experiencing my first “debt avalanche”
This was my first experience with a “debt avalanche” so to speak and I’ve found that to make an impact on my debt, the key was to pay off one and to carry over the payments – so not necessarily a divide and conquer approach, more of a make the regular payment on everything, but aggressively put any extra funds to your number 1 priority. Once you get rid of that first priority, move that payment over and let the debt snowball begin. Now that I’ve crossed off step 1 & 2, I’m adding a step and I’ll be focused on building a 2nd nest egg for house expenses. The goal is to carry over the loan payment and add that to my savings each month.
Leveraging my debt AValanche for other money goals
I’m putting a pause to the debt snowball to create more of an emergency fund, but I am still continuing to make the regular payments on the federal loans and taking advantage of the 0% interest rate which is part of the COVID relief – super grateful for this part of the relief that is providing me the flexibility to get my ducks in a row.
When I paid off my auto loan this past Friday, I wanted to mark the occasion because it’s something I’ve been aggressively working towards so Nick got me a sheet cake – does anyone else miss a good sheet cake? I haven’t had one in forever because COVID doesn’t necessarily create a sheet cake type of mood. Anyhow, this got me thinking, when I think of some goals I’ve been trying to run towards, but it’s more slow because most money goals tend to be a slow, but consistent grind, I’m really proud of paying off my private student loans and I’m really proud of paying off my auto loan, because I know it happened through consistent and everyday.
Like making my own lunch every single day for the first two years of work, I’m serious. I used to literally never buy my lunch. Or ‘ignoring’ my bonus each year so that once it was deposited into my account, I would immediately put it towards my student loans. And lastly, the choice of living at home and commuting. A choice that I was lucky even to have had the opportunity to make due to my amazing parents. As I was thinking about this, I thought about my big picture goal. My goal is to make paying off debt and living within means, sexy. That’s right, SEXY.
let’s make living within our means sexy
These choices aren’t always glamorous and it doesn’t mean that I never splurge, but a lot of choices I make are in the hopes of living debt free (or close to it because of a mortgage). Often, and this is different in a COVID world, but let’s take it back to…2019, I would see almost a pressure to spend. This in the form of the girl’s trip I’ve been tempted to take or the expensive meals out, or the more expensive apartment. I want to see when one of your friend’s says, “I’m going to skip on that one because I’m trying to save”, maybe you respond, “let’s stay in and cook”. Or at the least, respect the decision without the peer pressure.
Let’s make living within means, SEXY (because it totally is).