We’ve Saved $4K and Paid Off $3K in Three Months

Our Journey to Paying Off $20K in Debt and Getting Our Finances in Order


This is the fifth installment of Krys’ story. We’re following along as she starts budgeting and works to pay off $20,000 of debt. This post was originally written at the end of January in 2020: after Krys’ third month using YNAB. 

See the rest here:

It’s our third month of using YNAB to budget and this was a good month for money. Generally, we treated this month as a No-Spend Month—something I don’t think I’ve ever done before.

Status on Financial Goals

  1. Get off the credit card float. ✅
  2. Start contributing to sinking funds for known expenses. ✅
  3. Start building the $1,000 emergency fund. ✅
  4. Pay off the first credit card.
    Almost done with this one!
  5. Pay off the second credit card (medical debt).
    Paying the minimum on this until the first credit card is paid off. 
  6. Get one month ahead (age our money 30 days).  ✅
    We met this goal this month, and I’ve decided to go for an Age of Money of 60 days this year. While we are simultaneously trying to reduce debt, the 60-day goal may be illogical, but why not at least give it a shot?
  7. Pay off the home equity line of credit (HELOC) that we took on to replace our window.
    This is priority #3 on the debt snowball. 
  8. Pay off the car loan.
    This is priority #4 on the debt snowball. 

Update on Debt

  • November 1, 2019   $19,169.50
  • January 31, 2020          $15,474.48
  • Difference                      -$3,695.02

I’m aiming to pay down $6,750 in 2020 as a realistic goal (not a stretch). I’m still planning to put extra money toward this every chance I get!

I used to harbor such anxiety when it came to money, but that’s all gone now.

What’s Next

I’m trying to build a few new habits: a YNAB budget review, weekly reconciliation of accounts, and biweekly distribution of earned funds. Coupled with weekly menu planning, online grocery shopping (to curb off-the-list purchases), and increased communication between my husband and me about our budget, we are making huge improvements in changing our spending habits.

Age of Money

Age of Money: 34 Days

We met our Age of Money goal! The number increased significantly because I’m making good use of those True Expense categories, filling them up and hanging onto those funds until they’re needed. It feels good to see it climb so quickly.

Summary

I feel like a broken record, but I am SO happy with YNAB. It has literally changed my life. I used to harbor such anxiety when it came to money, but that’s all gone now.

Before we started, we had more debt than we’ve ever had in our life, and no savings to speak of. Now, we have nearly $4,000 in the bank (and growing), $500 for emergency needs (and growing), debt is getting addressed (and shrinking), and I know exactly where my money is being spent.

The best thing about all of this is that it only takes a few minutes a day and a few more on the weekends to keep us on track. It’s SO easy, and I’m SO happy with our progress.


Document your own financial journey over on our YNAB Support Forum in our journals section, just like Krys! You can be as anonymous as you want and you’ll be met with a warm welcome of encouragement from the community there.

Krys is enjoying working from home during the lockdown, because she loves spending time with her husband, daughter, and three pets. She’s been using YNAB since 2019 and has been documenting her journey in paying off almost $20,000 of debt. When she’s not budgeting, she enjoys reading, watching Marvel movies, and learning new languages. She also possesses a fierce love of bacon and sarcasm.