March, you beautiful bastard. It was a heckuva month. I feel like it started two seconds ago. There was a lot of work and a lot of stress but it was also a great month for debt payoff. March is now officially my highest payoff month ever!
My goal for the month was to pay off $1,500 and rid myself of my Stafford Loan, which had an interest rate of 5.35%. I made eight payments total in March. Five were on my last Stafford loan, which I paid off on March 12th. (Whahoo!) I am now down to two loans in total!
The remaining three payments were on the loan I’m focusing on now. The MyCampus loan has a 5% interest rate and a balance today of $2,603. If all goes according to plan, I hope to have this knocked out by early May!
I threw both my nonprofit and my catering earnings at my debt. Since it was SXSW, I made double the amount of money catering that I usually do. March is definitely going to be my highest income month all year. It was kind of glorious to have such an influx of cash! Between my coaching paychecks kicking in and SXSW, I made an extra $1,800 this month!
Of course, my loans are my numero uno priority for money. All in all I spent $2,986 on student loans this month.
Just think about that. $2,983. That’s so much money! And this month I really felt the amount of work I put into getting that money. I hauled hot boxes full of brisket for that money. I ran a fundraising campaign for that money. I was up at 7am and home at 11pm for that money. I worked my butt off all month long. I can honestly say I truly earned every penny.
While I’m super pleased to have had a huge payoff last month I am also beginning to deal with the dreaded burn out. Not of debt repayment, for which a candle will always burn in my heart, but with my work schedule. I’m getting tired of juggling so much all the time. I’m running into a lot of schedule conflicts too- this past weekend I had a game on Saturday afternoon I had to miss because I had already booked a catering gig. I’ve had a few situations like that pop up and I hate to disappoint one group for another. I also hate the feeling I get of being spread too thin. It makes me anxious!
Anyway, a post on burn out is for another time. Back to me totally kicking butt on my loans! Here’s a breakdown of what my loan payments looked like for March.
Date Payment Amount Amount Applied to Principle
3/27/15 $600 $595
3/18/15 $200 unsure
3/12/15 $557.75 $557.75 This paid off my loan!
3/10/15 $200 $200
3/10/15 $116.96 $103.04
3/5/15 $100 $99.73
3/3/15 $600 $598.23
3/2/15 $107 unsure
The black payments are the ones made on my Stafford loan, which is now totally paid off. The seafoam ones are payments on my MyCampus loan, the one I’m currently working on. MyCampus loan originally had a balance of $7,302. Today the balance is $2,603.
I want to throw everything I have in my at this loan for the next two and a half months and try to knock it out. My income will remain fairly high for the next two months but then it will drop significantly for the summer months. Post May, I will be making around $1,800 a month and simply will not have the extra cash to put towards my loans in the amounts I do now. My total debt burden right now is $7,200.
My original goal was to be debt free by December. It’s look more and more like I will be debt free much sooner than that! I am so excited by this. At the beginning of the year I wasn’t even sure I could be debt free by the end of this year. Now it is happening without a doubt. I can build up a bit of a cushion before the year ends! I can start saving in serious amounts! The fall is always a busy time with catering too, which means after my long, hot and low income Texas summer there will be good money to be made.
So there we have it folks. March debt payoff 2015.
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.