Debt Repayment Projections 2019

I have decided that I am not comfortable waiting longer than three years to pay off our 253k in student loan debt. Four just seems too long; when we can make some changes and focus in, three just seems more acceptable to me. Two years would be pretty difficult–doable, but I don’t think we are ok with forgoing some travel plans to see friends and family in order to meet that deadline. Traveling to see family in Ohio eats up our budget (as does other fun travel that we are ok with postponing–like our dream vacay to Argentina).

So, three years it is. A goal! I set out to calculate what our repayment would look like by snowballing our debt this year and adding in 600 extra dollars a month to federal student loans fully by September. We actually have another student loan that is set to be paid off in September that we pay 1500 to currently. This is a private loan at a higher interest rate. This frees up 1500 to be put toward our federal loans, which would make it 4000 by the end of September. I’m also setting a goal cut in spending of 300 dollars a month starting now. I will also be getting a raise this year, as will my husband, so I’m adding 300 onto the other 300–although, I think the truth is that this total raise will be more like 1800. The total payment would be 4600 until the end of the year by the end of September–perhaps more, depending on whether or not we decide to travel over the holidays.

If you are interested in playing around with loan amortization based on monthly payments, I use this site. It’s easy to plug in various scenarios, but is there a better one? Please share with me!!

Student Loan Debt Repayment Comparison Projection

With paying 4,600.00 a month after September, this would put us on to paying off in 4.75 years (2025) which is under our goal of 3 years (2023). So, this means we would have to bump up payments significantly—7,000.00, actually–in the next year to achieve this goal. Raises and cutting spending (for example, I’m thinking of switching to a different phone plan) will have to happen. If we don’t bump up at all, it would take us 11 years (which is out of the question! And the reason why I’m analyzing all of this).

I love spreadsheets and creating graphs. However, I am not currently using a spreadsheet to track or calculate student loan payoff or adjust for scenarios. Currently I’m just making little notes in my notebook. Does anyone have a system that works well for this? I have done some searching, but haven’t found anything yet that I’d rather use. I am also not that great at creating spreadsheets with more complex functions other than basic arithmetic (English teacher over here ready to learn!)

What’s your strategy for debt repayment? Share below!

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Adventures in Tracking Phone Data Usage

In an effort to determine whether or not my current phone plan can be cut down (fact: it can), I am tracking my data usage over this month. When I opened my Settings, I saw that my usage was FIFTY GIGABYTES, and I am only halfway through the month! A very big reason for this is because I had a million apps open in the background, sucking data while I’m at work because I turn off the wifi (so I can check Instagram at school…busted). I also stream podcasts a lot, and that streaming uses so much data when I could be pre-downloading them while I’m on wifi.

Why am I so lackadaisical about this, you ask? Well, I have used Virgin Mobile my entire life, and while I really did think that their service worked for me, I bought a new phone last year upon dropping my phone in the toilet. When you switch a phone, you’re not grandfathered into your old plan. This becomes a lifestyle creep if you don’t pay attention to the costs associated with this. To achieve the same plan, I paid 20 more dollars a month, to a total of 54.00 a month for unlimited everything. My husband also has the same plan. So, we both pay 108.00 a month when it used to be 70. Virgin’s prices beats Verizon and ATT, but I am now aware of even lower cost options, thanks to Choose FI. Wondering if I could stomach a data limit of 5 gigs, I have decided to track my data usage to see if this is a good idea. I don’t want to be hit with data overage charges, and I also don’t want to be out climbing or something and forget to download route data on Mountain Project and be stuck because I hit my data cap (if I even get service). I could argue there are logical ways around all of this; e.g., being proactive rather than reactive.

I am not a ‘phone junkie,’ although I can get caught in the browsing trap like the best of them. I really like the idea of saving at least 20 dollars a month (and maybe more), amounting to at least 240.00 a year!

So, I’m resetting my usage today and determining how it goes when I turn off data usage completely and just turn it on when it’s absolutely necessary (example: I have to pull something up in my email while not in a wifi area, or needing more than just the gps function on Google Maps).

I’ll download music playlists I want to listen to from Spotify, and download my maps before heading out. I’ll also download and delete podcasts as I listen to them. And sorry, but no Instagram while waiting somewhere—will be using my Kindle instead!

Updates to come. Hopefully this helps me focus on other non-phone related things…like writing, painting, reading.

Have you switched your phone plan, or are you thinking about it, to save on monthly costs? Comment below!