I sat down last night to compare the balances on our outstanding loans as of yesterday versus what they were mid-July (when we started this, our class didn't start until mid-September though)...
In 4 1/2 months we have paid $6198.05 in bills! There are two payments completely gone! Those are the Kohls card (which started appx. $250) and a bill from Clarian Arnett from when LeeAnn broke her arm (which started appx. $500). AND we've got another one that only has $240 to go...and it'll be paid off too!
If I've calculated correctly - that one will be gone at the end of this month (since Brian is going back to work and we'll have that money in savings to use for paying things off instead of bringing his short term disability check up to his "normal" pay amount).
According to the debt snowball - it'll be a few months before the next item is paid off but we are slowly getting there!
AND to top it all off...we've paid for all of LeeAnn's dance for the full year (up front!). We've pulled from savings three times for some grocery stockpiling. We've continued to both put 5% into our 401Ks and still have our BS1 ($1000 in savings) and many of our cash envelopes with money in them to use as needed (car repairs, clothes, medical/dental).
Not only all of that - at the beginning of August (maybe September) Chase decided to raise the minimum payment amounts on credit cards from 2 1/2% to 5% and that SERIOUSLY raised the amount of the minimum payments on both cards and we've been able to pay that too. And I just remembered...there was at least one month, maybe two where we paid the payments for my school loan that my parents pay (as part of our agreement from me going to college). So that was another $440 that we wouldn't have normally paid out.
It was REALLY hard in the beginning...to sit down and face the mess we'd gotten ourselves into. I think we both really wished that we had done this sooner - I wish I'd gone to college with the mindset I have now because I wouldn't have ever even been where I'm at today. But I didn't and we haven't so now we are trying to get to a better place and I think we are doing very well at it.
Talking about money with Brian used to be so hard... I'd cry. I was the bill payer and while he knew we struggled...I don't think he realized sometimes how bad it was. And sadly, even when I knew we were struggling, I'd agree to new toys or eating out or whatever it was that he and I wanted because I felt we deserved it because we both work so hard (him especially!). But I realize now that that isn't the best way to work it and that you have to wait to get what you want.
So here's to our last class of FPU tonight. We did it!