Snowball Status

by jolyn on January 1, 2010

in Snowball Status

December’s Progress

  • Debt #1 Original Balance: $2260.17
  • Paid Off
  • Debt #2 Original Balance: $6493.00
  • Paid Off
  • Debt #3 Previous Balance: $4.907.12
  • paid $1510.91
  • Current Balance: $3,396.21


Original non-mortgage Debt:
$19,375.72


Current Grand Total:
$3,396.21


***

What I said a month ago…

“Obviously our tenants moving out of our rental house in Vegas is going to put a damper on our debt eradication. We can cash flow two mortgages… But it ain’t pretty. Looking at December’s budget, I’m really not sure yet what progress, if any, we will make toward our snowball this month.”

What I’m saying this month…

I really don’t know how to explain the progress we made in December. I’m looking at the transactions for the month and I’m still scratching my head. Yes, we received cash gifts for Christmas that we applied toward our snowball. (The Hubs and I did not get ourselves or each other Christmas gifts.) But we also had unexpected expenses that weren’t known at the beginning of the month that pretty much canceled out those credits. So…

I think it’s a cumulative effect of our more intentional spending since we began this journey eight months ago. My, how time flies! Which goes to show, you’re going to pass the time doing something: might as work on getting out of debt while you’re at it!

I also very intentionally brought our checking balance down to zero this month. After we discovered Dave Ramsey and started our snowball last Spring, I attempted to create a zero balance budget each month.

The term “zero-based budgeting” is sometimes used in personal finance to describe the practice of budgeting every dollar of income received, and then adjusting some part of the budget downward for every other part that needs to be adjusted upward. It is more technically correct to refer to this practice as “zero-sum budgeting”.

This sounded simple in theory, in practice, however…

While I always debited transactions that occurred unexpectedly during the month, I did not credit back transactions that I had budgeted for but did not occur until the next month (or at all).

In other words, a little part of me has a hard time letting go of a little financial padding.

I decided to address that fear and let that money go all in one fell swoop! After all — it’s not really my money! It belongs to someone else and will until we are DEBT FREE.

The result? Another $500 or so that I put toward the snowball in December. I really, really like seeing the debt balance go down. Here’s to a fresh start on the balance in 2010!



{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Renee January 5, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Jolyn, I’ve been following your story since you first introduced it, and you guys have done an amazing job. I can’t believe how much you have chipped away in such a short amount of time. We are lucky enough to only have mortgage debt, but we could do a lot better on our emergency fund. Your progress is very inspiring!

[Reply]

jolyn Reply:

Renee,
You are so motivating! I thought I saw you peeking in back there! ;)
Thing is, over the years we went from barely making money and always moving so we never seemed to get ahead. The Hubs’ income steadily went up but then we started having more kids (and we still kept moving) so we were just trying to keep up. Now is the first time I feel very motivated to kick debt once and for all! And to hopefully never borrow money again. That’s the place I ultimately want to be. Thanks for your kind words.

[Reply]

Kelleigh @ Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs January 2, 2010 at 11:59 am

Wonderful news!! I love reading success stories like this!

[Reply]

Cherilyn January 2, 2010 at 10:42 am

You’re amazing! Keep it up!

[Reply]

Mysti January 2, 2010 at 8:01 am

WTG!!! I am continually amazed at the progress everyone makes.

I also can’t let go of the financial padding. We have about $1200 in another account that is “padding” above our emergency fund of $1000…and I can’t bring myself to use it….YET.

Keep up the great work, and I love your new digs!

[Reply]

jolyn Reply:

Mysti, I think us being so close to our first debt snowball goal helped me to psychologically let go. Do you have a debt that $1200 would just completely wipe out? Go for it! It’s not our money anyway! And it’s like paying yourself whatever amount that interest is costing you!

[Reply]

Jerilyn January 1, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Congratulations! You’re doing such a great job.

[Reply]

Carolyn January 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Well done. I love reading your snowball updates and seeing your progress each month. X.

[Reply]

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