Welcome to Refining With Tiffany!
I’ve started this blog to chronicle our journey towards paying off our debt. And to share tips with you on how to take control of your finances and get out from under your debt!
As it stands now (as of October 31, 2017), we currently have $158,314.80 in student loan debt. (That’s down from over $201,000 when we graduated in 2013.)
Here's a current breakdown of our student loans:
Besides our student loans, we have three other debts.
First, we owe $4,478.97 on a 0% credit card that expires in May 2018. We are currently making the monthly minimum payments. And we also put aside extra each month so that we have enough to pay it in full before any interest accrues. To date, we’ve set aside $3,817.62.
Next, we owe $5,644.91 on a 0% loan that we got to replace our heat pump and furnace. The 0% rate expires in 2022. We plan to just make the monthly payments each month until it is paid in full.
Lastly, we have a mortgage of $166,724.98. The interest rate is fixed at 3.75%.
That puts our total debt at $335,163.66. (That's a scary number!) Read our story to get the lowdown on how we ended up with so much debt.
Between DJ and I, we have 5 jobs (6 if you count this blog). But we still get to hang out...I promise!
I am an attorney working in the public service field. DJ is a self-employed attorney. He also coaches high school football and teaches for two different colleges.
Although my income is steady, DJ’s is not. We budget for our joint expenses and my personal expenses with my income. I also put a little extra towards our debt each month from my income.
DJ covers his health insurance, student loans, and other personal expenses with his income. He also contributes to our joint expenses each month, which goes towards self-employment taxes and our debt.
We are following a variation of Dave Ramsey’s Snowball Method. By that, I mean, that we are paying the minimum payments towards each of our loans except our target loan. Once we pay off our target loan, we’ll snowball that payment into the next loan.
But it’s a variation because we’re not paying them off from smallest to largest balance. Instead, we’re targeting DJ’s student loan with AES first because it’s our only private student loan. And when we pay it off, we’ll be able to snowball the $250 payment to the next loan.
This is opposite of our federal student loans, which are being paid via Income-Based Repayment. With those loans, when one loan is fully paid, the monthly payment will just be reallocated among the other loans. We won’t be able to snowball the payment in the traditional sense because we won’t have control over where it goes.
Our current goal is to pay at least $500 each month on AES until it’s paid off. If we meet that goal, we should have it paid off in May 2019.
But, we are going to try to surpass that goal by finding as much extra money to put towards it as we can. My reach goal is to have it paid off by the end of 2018. Which means we’ll need to pay about $683 each month.
As I mentioned earlier, this blog is a place for me to chronicle our journey to becoming debt free. I will share updates on our progress.
I look forward to sharing this journey with you!