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One Credit Card Down, Three to Go!

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

This is the sixth 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 February 2019: after Krys’ fourth month using YNAB. 

See the rest here:

WHAT A MONTH. There were ups, there were downs, there were zigs and there were zags. I didn’t get a promotion I was hoping for, but I got a bonus exactly big enough to wipe out the remaining amount on one of our credit cards. ONE DOWN, THREE TO GO.

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.  ✅
    DONE! DOOOOONE! It took the whole bonus and even a bit of my cash back reward from this card, but it’s DONE! Yee HAW!
  5. Pay off the second credit card (medical debt).
    Debt snowball moves to this card now. 
  6. Get one month ahead (age our money 30 days).  ✅
  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
  • February 29, 2020                 $14,540.69
  • Difference                              -$4,628.81

I’ve paid down $1,255.15 in debt so far this year and my goal is to pay down $6,750. We’re about 19% there so far, which is farther along than I expected.

What’s Next

I am still paying close attention to our finances and am still the only one in our family doing so, but I keep talking to my husband about how YNAB is different and how I need him to be on board with this. He keeps nodding in agreement, murmuring encouragingly, and then not doing anything differently.

I’m going to start weekly family meetings for us to talk about the budget. I’ve had the meetings on the calendar but haven’t been making my husband or daughter actually sit down to talk. I kept telling myself that I didn’t know enough about how things were going and didn’t want to change things up after we started talking about it. But the real truth is that I am still embarrassed about how much debt we were carrying, and I didn’t want to talk about it.

I’m not over the embarrassment, but I’m also not going to let it stop me from making sure my family is entirely on board with the program. I know that their full participation is going to make a huge difference to our success, especially as our daughter grows more independent and starts spending her own money.

Our first weekly family meeting is tomorrow. Any suggestions for me? I want it to go well.

Krys asked, the community answered!

Budget Meeting Tips 

(Thanks @orchid_device.3!)

  • Make sure everyone is well fed! The hunger/anger issue can lead to some poor discussions.
  • Take notes. This helps me to remember what was decided, but also what was important. If I know what is important to my family, I can make sure to do the right thing.
  • If things get too heated about a certain subject, I call a truce/stop the discussion and add that item to the notes under "Parking Lot". These topics are shelved until the end of the meeting when we can regroup and reconsider all that was discussed prior. If things are still heated, then they will stay on the list until the next meeting.
  • At the end of the meeting, after I've taken my notes, I reread out loud/summarize what we've decided so everyone knows and is on the same page. This may also be from my training for running an efficient meeting. :)

Ok, back to Krys!

Age of Money 

Age of Money: 32 Days

We are looking better than we have in a really, really long time.

Age of Money is still looking good, though it came down a bit. We bought some things to update our laundry room. That used up some categories that hadn't been sitting as long, but we're still over the 30-day mark, which was my goal. We'll start building this back up now.


We are looking better than we have in a really, really long time.

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.

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One Credit Card Down, Three to Go!