Debt Payoff Progress – May

Recently, for about a day, I actually had more money in savings and the emergency fund than I owe on my last non-mortgage debt, and for a minute I felt debt freedom. If I wanted I could be debt free tomorrow, but I made a conscious spending decision by choosing to save for a European vacation monthly for the last year and delay debt freedom by two months. I was just approved for my time-off request for summer vacation and promptly bought 4 plane tickets for my wife and I, taking a $2,100 chunk out of vacation savings and putting my plan for debt freedom back on track for August 1, 2012. 

Last month our balance decreased from $4,834 to $3,079 – a reduction of $1,755.

I’ve mentioned that I have a buffer in my final month’s payoff amount of $462, which will come in handy with the vacation expenses.

Normally I show you in graph format how much is left on my debt repayment plan, but that seems a bit silly now that there are only two payments left. One of $1771 and another around $1,326, give or take a few bucks in interest. 

I had originally expected that our vacation would cost $4,000 to $5,000, but that has been revised because our friends will not be able to join us. Instead of going to Paris, Switzerland and Italy, we will be in London for the night of the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics and then in Croatia for relaxation at the vineyard and on the beaches with my family. Because I have relatives there, I won’t have to plan for a ridiculous amount of hotel lodging expenses.  This is always a good way to go. If you have relatives near your ideal destination, take advantage of it. Even if they are slightly out of the city, you can use it as a base to take city breaks into your destination. Also, maximize vacations by taking advantage of nearby hotspots. If you’re visiting London, why not use one vacation day to double your vacation experiences? Be sure to stay within your limits though.

Many of you know I was planning to be on vacation any day now, but my supervisors wouldn’t approve my June request until some things were known. Once they were known, I submitted a new request for the end of July, and will now be officially debt free the day we take off for our trip.

It feels even better knowing that the trip will be paid for before I even leave.

 

 

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27 Comments
  1. Congrats on being debt-free! And how exciting it is to be at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. I was at the 2010 Shanghai World Fair and while I thought it was too crowded at the time. I always think back on it fondly. I hope to make it to the 2020 Summer Olympics.
    Kelly@thehungryegghead recently posted..Staring into TreesMy Profile

  2. That’s awesome John! Only 2 debt payments left and your prepaid vacation is just around the corner. After all that time fighting through your debt, this must be such a relief. I’m sure you’ll have an awesome time while on vacation. That extra savings/investment money each month will be an awesome feeling too.
    Modest Money recently posted..Pros and Cons to To Investing In The Stock Market TodayMy Profile

  3. Paying for a vacation before you leave is SUCH a nice feeling… and also an unusual one. I keep having mini panic attacks about leaving for Europe next week, and then I remember the balance for my flights or hotels isn’t sitting on my credit card, and it feels so strange. It makes the trip seem “free” somehow — I mean obviously I paid for it but not having the debt hang over you totally changes it.
    Bridget recently posted..Financially I am now in my second year of university!My Profile

  4. Dear John,
    We are sooo proud of you! It will be wonderful having a “guilt-free” vacation! :) Warmly, Shirley & Glen

  5. Debt free vacation! You’ve gotta be stoked, my friend. Congrats on a job well done.
    AverageJoe recently posted..How Did You Golf Today? Ask Me About My Portfolio….My Profile

  6. Congrats! What a great feeling.
    Michelle recently posted..We’re adding ANOTHER roommateMy Profile

  7. Congrats John! 2 to go, and, uh, good timing… “and will now be officially debt free the day we take off for our trip. ”
    PK recently posted..Optimizing Bet Sizes with the Kelly CriterionMy Profile

  8. You got your stuff together! Go you! Sounds like an awesome vacation, too. JEALOUS!
    Michelle recently posted..Take That, Debt Monster!My Profile

  9. CONGRATS! What a great feeling!
    SavvyFinancialLatina recently posted..College Lesson II: Join An OrganizationMy Profile

  10. That’s awesome John! 2 more payments and you’ll be clear of that debt (besides the mortgage).

    It’s also super nice to know that you will get to go on a vacation right after that is cleared up and knowing it is paid for!! Staying with relatives definitely helps as lodging is usually a huge culprit in money guzzling during vacays.
    From Shopping to Saving recently posted..Rich People Like Fake Jewelry TooMy Profile

  11. Woohoo! Isn’t the freedom so close you can almost taste it? You’ve made some awesome progress on your debt, and you’ll be able to take a nice vacation too. It’s a win-win!
    Carrie Smith recently posted..How I Paid Off $14,000 and Became Debt FreeMy Profile

  12. Killing it bro! Enjoy the rest and send pics of the Olympics!
    Brent Pittman recently posted..A Golden Nugget for High School GraduatesMy Profile

  13. That’s great. That vacation sounds like an amazing reward for paying off all of you debt. Congratulations!

  14. Congrats that is pretty amazing! A debt free vacation, you definitely earned it. This is very inspirational hopefully I will get to do that one day too.
    PersonallyFindNancys recently posted..Budgeting using checking accountsMy Profile

  15. That’s awesome you will be debt-free in a couple months (other than the mortgage). I am thinking by years end we will be debt-free except the mortgage. I hope you have fun at the Olympics, that has gotta be one of the best vacations you could take.
    DebtsnTaxes recently posted..The June GoalsMy Profile

  16. Wow only two more payments? That’s amazing, and what a perfect way to reward yourself – going to Europe!
    Jordann @ My Alternate Life recently posted..Save Even More on Rent Part 4My Profile

  17. Congrats John! That is super-awesome! Furthermore, if they approved your vaca request in June then you might not have been able to join our meetup at the end of this month. Sounds like all things worked out perfectly!

  18. Have an awesome time. I have been to all three of the countries you had planned on going to. I have never been to Croatia so make sure to let us know how it is.
    Sean @ One Smart Dollar recently posted..Don’t Give Up Your “Latte Factor”My Profile

  19. What a way to celebrate your debt freedom! Have fun in London and Croatia!
    Christa recently posted..Garage Sale LessonsMy Profile

  20. Congrats! That vacation will be a true vacation/release knowing you have no debt/debt payments to come home to. I’m so excited for you!! :)
    The Happy Homeowner recently posted..Confessions of a PF Blogger: A Second ChanceMy Profile

  21. Hope you had fun in London…I want to visit there also..
    Katherine recently posted..Les Arcs Skiing InformationMy Profile

  22. Congrats on ALMOST being debt-free. It’s great that you have a plan in place. The Olympics will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip so I’m glad you delayed the payoff. Sometimes life is more important than money.
    A Blinkin recently posted..How To Get A Job and GirlfriendMy Profile

  23. A few years ago, I started paying for my vacations before I left, and it is the way to go! I think I enjoy my trips more that way.

    Can’t wait to hear about Croatia – I’ve heard that the country’s beaches are Europe’s best-kept secret!
    Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals recently posted..Crucial Questions To Ask When Hiring A Financial PlannerMy Profile

  24. Congratulations, that must be an absolutely fantastic feeling!

  25. What a great money-conscious approach. You will surely enjoy your vacation more because of it.
    Rebecca recently posted..Traded Camaro for a Mazda…?!?My Profile

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