by Sara S
This is my last post for Blogging Away Debt. It’s taken me some time to accept it, but I’ve realized I’m just not comfortable providing more personal information (like detailed budgets and income info) and I know it makes my blog posts suffer. (#borrrring) I believe this community would benefit from following someone who’s more of an open book.
I am very grateful for your support over the past year. Since I started blogging here in November 2019, we’ve dropped our student loans from $295,000 to $273,000. So I’ve blogged away $22,000 of our student loan debt principal!
Writing has always been an outlet for me, but it’s been especially helpful to blog about my financial insecurities, questions, and worries this year. I’ve found that debt payoff is not an easy conversation topic with most crowds—especially family and friends. It’s been great to feel surrounded by people that get it. It’s so nice to have somewhere to be accountable and to share our little victories. Many of you have cheered for me, given me tough love, and educated me. Thank you.
Our goal was to pay off $30,000 of student loan principal this year. 2020 made sure that didn’t happen. However, we did pay off $19,412.21 of principal and $10,854.27 of interest. So surprisingly our overall total payments toward debt did total $30,000.
Becoming a part of the financial blogging world has helped me in so many ways. I’ve learned about good financial practices and things to avoid. I’ve found people who also have triple-digit debt. And I’ve found people that have already paid off debt like that and lived to tell the tale. There’s something about not feeling alone in this battle.
Despite (and because of?) our forced 6-week shutdown of our business and income this year, we put $42,000 of an emergency fund into a HYSA. We sold a home mid-pandemic and bought a new one under weird, stressful circumstances. Blogging here also motivated me to add more lucrative freelance jobs, while still doing office work for our business and becoming a reluctant homeschool parent. We now regularly pay extra to our student loans each month, something I never dreamed possible just a few years ago.
As we rang in the new year 12 months ago, I had no idea what was on the horizon. But even though this year hasn’t gone as planned and has been full of a lot of fear and pain and prayer and sweat and sweatpants, there was still been progress. I’ve gained more confidence in our financial plans, and more importantly I have hope. For years we were only making interest payments on these stupid student loans. I thought we were never going to pay these suckers off! I don’t feel like that anymore.
So while I wish you could have followed me blogging away all my debt, thank you for being here as I blogged away during this eventful, crazy year.
I’ll be checking in regularly to cheer on Hope, Beks, and the others, and I wish you all the best in the new year!