Getting Rid of My Debt, Part (Let’s Call It) 20

I think the last time I actually counted these posts in the title, I was at 16. So now, let’s just start with twenty. That sounds good.

You’re probably wondering what it’s down to now – of course “down to” is all relative. But now that I think about it, it’s been about a year since I really started keeping track of my total debt. Just thinking of it as an amorphously large number doesn’t really motivate you to kill it in the same way as staring the numbers in the face.

sunset last night - this view will never get old
sunset last night – this view will never get old

Here’s what it was on August 3rd, the last time I wrote about it:

LAL loan: $15,420.14
Simmons Loan: $23,620.04
Big Daddy (federal) loan: $75,390.94

TOTAL BALANCE:  $114,441.12.

As of today, the balance is definitely less!

LAL Loan: $14,745.32
Simmons Loan: $23,620.04
Big Daddy (federal) loan: $75,390.94

TOTAL BALANCE: $113,756.30


For those of you who are new to my blog, as of last September, the total owed was $124,162.34  That included over $4200 of a personal loan. That personal loan is now GONE, FINITO, DEAD. That was the last of my consumer debt – it was from selling my 1 year old car last summer and taking a huge hit on the depreciation from having bought it brand new. (A Scion IQ, in case you are wondering. Super small and super cute. But I digress…)  Before that, I had paid off somewhere in the neighborhood of $7200-8000 of credit card debt. I say “in the neighborhood” because $7200 was when I could bring myself to add it all up. I know it was higher before then. I ran that amount up in less than two years after getting divorced.  My financial advisor recently told me that at that point, she really worried about me. No savings to really think of, and god forbid, I got laid off. She doesn’t anymore, now that she sees how determined I am.

October is one of those glorious months when I get three paychecks from my full time job. I plan on taking one of them and putting it all on my LAL loan. That’s about $1300.  (And yes, I am also planning on saving money out of that paycheck too. It goes in automatically to my online accounts from direct deposit.  You can’t miss what you never held in your hands, right?)  Between my regular payment of $167.11, and the #200 extra I try to put in every month, that’s roughly $1,667.11 that I plan on putting on it in one month. That should bring it down to just above $13,000. And yes, because that will drive me insane, because it will be above $13K, but not for long. By November, the same month in which I turn 42, it should be below $13K.

When I think of my total debt from even just a few years ago, I am floored. The number was so high, it was just this big number out there, looming. I had allowed myself to think like most people do, that it would just be with me, well,  forever.  With the credit card debt added in, and the student loans, I think at one point, I was nearing upwards of $143K. At least $143K. (Notice how I don’t have an exact figure to give you? That was denial taking over.)

Some of you may look at these figures now and think “God, those are overwhelming. How does she handle it?” Well, I try to not think about it all the time. I used to, back when I had just graduated, and my grandmother always used to tell me to not make mountains out of molehills. Granted, this wasn’t just a molehill, but she was telling me to not think about it all at one time. Focus on what part I could take care of that day. One thing, one day at a time. (Have I ever mentioned how much I think my grandma was one of the smartest people in the world, ever?? Ok, now I have.)

I try to look at it like this: in one year, I have paid off over $10K in debt, $10,406.04 in fact! I’ve been able to give a small loan to my mom when she needed it, and have been able to save up more than I have ever done before, even when married.When I look back to my situation just 2 or 3 years ago, I see that I have paid off about $30K.  I was able to pay for that blasted scooter with money I’d saved, and hope to make at least some of it back, even if I have to wait until the springtime. (Still no bites on the craigslist ad, but I have my flyer started and just need a bit of help tomorrow from someone at work to get my pics to stick in the template “just so” and I should be good to go to start posting it pretty much everywhere.)  That’s a very different feeling from when I bought my car in 2012 (after the 1998 Civic with 182K miles started having transmission problems, or I’d still be driving it today), and when they asked what I wanted to put down, I handed over my debit card and said “how about $300, thanks.”

I am NEVER going back to that. NEVER.

The LAL Loan will be gone by the time I leave next September, no ifs about that. I refuse to leave with it hanging over my head.

If you have liked this post, please hit like or subscribe or drop me a line below. Would love to hear how some of you out there have gotten rid of debt! (And if you’ve gone on the road with debt, how did you keep hacking away at it?)


7 thoughts on “Getting Rid of My Debt, Part (Let’s Call It) 20

    • Thank you!! I know you have posted a few times in the past week or so, I just didn’t have a chance to read fully through them! I know you’ve had a very busy summer.

  • I always like the months where you have 3 pay periods =)

    Are these loans able to be consolidated? I’m not much of a finance person but one loan seems easier to manage. If something were to happen and you couldn’t make a payment, you would be hit with 3 late payment fines instead of 1.

    • Unfortunately, they already are. The Big Daddy is all of my federal loans from law school, both subsidized and unsubsidized. The Simmons loan is all of my loans from library science school, subsidized and unsubsidized. My LAL loan is all of my private loans from law school, as each time you got a check, it was its own loan. It’s like having a total of 9 loans from law school, and two more from library science school.

      • Oh boy, sounds like you are in deep doo doo. At least no one is busting your knee caps yet =) My younger sister graduated with a law degree from a private uni about 2 years ago. I’m sure her debt is right up there with yours.

      • Oh yeah, you saw my total, right?? Over 100K. With the LAL loan gone, it’ll go below 100K, whooppee! I know my brother likes Toyota Tacoma a lot. My ex had a Tundra (or whichever one is the bigger of the two. It was enormous.)

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