Debt Payoff Progress April 2012

In my Debt Payoff Progress post for March, I told you that we hit our monthly target and reduced our debt from $8.340 to $6,560.

For April, despite my recent bachelor party weekend in Louisville – which cost me $600 (partly because I had to get a new car battery installed down there) – we were able to reduce our debt from $6,560 to $4,834 – a reduction of $1,726.

Thankfully we got our federal and state tax refunds in April, which paid for the trip and allowed enough to send an extra $600 to our European Vacation fund.

As you can see from this chart, we are still well on track to be debt free by the end of July.

debt payoff

Additionally, we still have a buffer of $454 for the last month, meaning I have some wiggle room for unexpected expenses as we continue down the path to debt freedom.

What’s the Takeaway?

I think the lesson from the last month is that sometimes in life, things happen that we can’t avoid. Sure I could have saved at least $400 by not going on the bachelor party, but at the expense of looking like a real jerk. An important thing about money is that we don’t allow it to become the most important factor in every decision. 

As far as things that are unplanned, I had to buy a new car battery in Louisville to ensure that I could actually drive home. I paid almost $200 to have it installed. I know I could have saved $50-100 by doing it myself, but again, I didn’t have any tools or the means to do so. Peace of mind was more important than money in this case.

Debt Payoff Calculator

If you want to use the same debt payoff calculator I use, which allows you to run different scenarios such as the debt snowball or paying debts off by interest rate, read this recent post I wrote.

As you all probably know, I am an advocate of paying off debts from smallest to largest to build momentum. This strategy is actually in my 10 Rules to Eliminate Your Debt and Change Your Life.


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  1. How was the bachelor party John? Did you get to the horse races?

    That’s too bad that you had to buy a new car battery, but that’s really more of a general emergency expense than having to do with the bachelor party trip itself.

    Overall it looks like you’re making awesome progress on your debt though. Pretty soon you’ll have to register
    Modest Money recently posted..Partying Philosophy 101: Why You Shouldn’t Be Generous, Even If You’re Filthy RichMy Profile

    • Hey my friend – yeah, the bachelor party was (not) surprisingly tame, but we did hit the races at Churchill Downs.

      Lol – I’ll have to check on getting that domain now.

  2. Just a tip on the battery – most of the big chain auto stores (Autozone, etc.) will install a battery for you for free if you buy it from them.

    • That’s something I did not know. I knew they would test it, but I could have possibly used that as an option. Definitely next time when it happens near home.

      Thanks for reading Daniel!

  3. Congrats on another big hit to the debt! Mr. BFS and I have stopped paying down our current mortgage debt or auto-investing anywhere just to build up cash to put 20% down on the new house in August or September that is being built. Yeah…we’ll be married with lots of house debt…

    • Hi Crystal – good to see you. That’s cool that you guys get to build a house – definitely a dream of mine. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  4. Nice progress! All things considered, that’s a huge decrease in just one month.
    Stephen (Saving from Scratch) recently posted..It’s check-up time!My Profile

    • Hey Stephen – yeah, it’s the power of the rolling debt snowball. I remember when I had two car payments and the monthly payment was only $500. It’s like actually making money.

  5. Congrats!!!
    SavvyFinancialLatina recently posted..Unexpected Scholarship WindfallMy Profile

  6. A big congrats to you..Thanks for a cool blog..
    tinafreysd recently posted..Natural Facial Masks for AcneMy Profile

  7. Wow, congrats John! That is some serious progress – you’re almost there! I can only imagine what they day is going to feel like!
    WorkSaveLive recently posted..Recipe: “Better Than Crack” Brownies (1st Guest Post!)My Profile

    • Thanks my friend – still debating whether it’s uncouth to throw a debt – free party!

  8. Dude, you’re almost there! You’re going to have to change your logo soon! :-) Married (building wealth) ?
    Brent Pittman recently posted..A Free Ride to Medical SchoolMy Profile

    • “Luckily” I will still have my mortgage to maintain my “credibility.”

      I guess that would be considered good debt? :)

  9. Great job on paying down so much debt, even with a vacation and dead battery thrown into the mix. And saving toward a European vacay — awesome!
    Christa recently posted..Free and Cheap E-Book OptionsMy Profile

    • Thanks Christa – it’s been a long road and I am knocking on wood that the journey is almost over. Thanks for reading!

  10. The car battery (on vacation!) is a bummer, but it’s also inevitable. At least you know now that if you have a battery issue again, you’ll be covered (assuming you bought one with a good warranty, which I’m going to guess you did!).
    Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals recently posted..6 Things to Know When Starting a New JobMy Profile

    • Most definitely. It has a 6 year warranty. It’d be nice if the car lasts that long, but at 121,000 miles, I’m hoping and praying – thanks for reading!

  11. Nice job on rolling with the punches this month. The only truth in life is that this won’t be the last battery you’ll have to replace in another city…. 😉
    AverageJoe recently posted..Do You Define Yourself–Like Detroit–Too Narrowly? Our Cuppa Joe DiscussionMy Profile

    • Exactly. I didn’t share how replacing my battery helped me avoid massive hail damage to my car – might save that for another day.

      Thanks for stopping by Joe!

  12. Congrats on making so much on your debt even with the minor mishaps. The important thing is to keep chugging along and just do what you can. Like you mention, things happen in life we can’t avoid so we’ve just got to deal with as best we can. Keep it up!
    Carrie Smith recently posted..Are Small Business Credit Cards a Good Idea?My Profile

    • Thanks Carrie. Appreciate your comment and glad you stopped by!

  13. Looks like you’re doing well!
    This Aggie Saves recently posted..Couldn’t Find A JobMy Profile

    • Thanks Aggie – it took a long time to get to this point, but I am pleased. Looking forward to turning this debt into wealth.

  14. Great job on paying down that much debt! I think what you said about not always basing every decision on money, is one of the best benefits of being debt free.

    It’s about having the freedom to do what you feel is necessary, and still be able to handle surprises along with it.
    Khaleef @ Fat Guy, Skinny Wallet recently posted..100 Push Ups Challenge: Round 2 – Fat GuyMy Profile

    • Thanks Khaleef! You hit it right on the head.

  15. Please post pics of your bachelor party. thx man!

    Nice job on the debt pay down!
    Financial Samurai recently posted..Quit Comparing Yourself To Others Without Knowing Everything FirstMy Profile

    • Thanks Sam. Unfortunately the only picture I have is a camera phone shot of the track at Churchill Downs. This was the most tame bachelor party I’ve ever been on, which would make you assume there’d be more pictures.

  16. You managed to keep the needle moving in the right direction despite spending a little for some well-deserved fun I am sure… It’s hard to go. “cold turkey” with a debt reduction plan, as we must sometimes decide to take a step back before we take two forward. Great job on the overall progress… Keep it up!
    Joe recently Profile

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