No real good reason for why I haven’t posted in over a year, but part of it might be feeling a little embarrassed that I haven’t made much progress in paying down my debt. Simply put, life has gotten in the way and there are other things I’ve prioritized over paying down my student loans — saving for our wedding and honeymoon, putting away money for the move to a new apartment in a few months, spending money on food and drinks to catch up with people I haven’t seen in a while. Maybe I’m just not willing to sacrifice more than I already do to keep expenses down and funnel more money towards debt.
There are two ways to handle the remaining ~$60,000 of my debt:
- Status quo: Continue making the minimum monthly payments until December 2023, at which point I will be 37 years old.
- Accelerated pay off: Make a promise to myself that I will pay off my debt well before the end of the repayment term, and make more than the minimum payment each month. If my goal is to pay off my debt by the time I am 35, that will give me ~4 years to do it, or ~$15,000 per year. I need to crunch the numbers but it might end up being a little less than that as more money is applied to the outstanding principal rather than interest.
Obviously Option 2 is the better choice. Two years of freedom from debt equates to $25,000 in my pocket to do whatever I please! I never really thought about it this way until now, but it is inspiring and might just be the light under my ass I need to get started.
Between now and June 2, 2017, my focus will remain on saving enough money for our wedding and honeymoon so that we don’t add to our debt. I plan to start the accelerated payoff plan starting July 1, 2017. Between now and then I will determine the best method to do this for ME (snowball vs. avalanche) and what I can realistically afford to pay each month without feeling more pinched than I already am.