Last post I mentioned that I would talk another time about benchmarks. Since posting, I’ve talked to a few people who are in debt who said they’ve done the same and found a lot of success in it. It makes sense because depriving yourself completely makes you crash. I’ve done well so far (despite feeling at times that I’m making no progress) and I’m only a few dollars away from my first benchmark and the same is true of a couple others. Amazing what paying an extra $50-100+ on your monthly payments will do. My goal by the end of the year is to make enough extra payments that all my loans say I’m paid up until March.
This morning (since I woke up at 3:50), I counted up my benchmarks to see how many I would hit. It ended up being more than I initially thought and I have 43 benchmarks in place. I created them based on different increments and I plan on chugging through at least 10 this coming year, if not more (freelance and sales please pick up!). They’re all even numbers and the ones I’m doing first are lower simply because its harder to pay in the beginning. I’m due for an interest decrease in the next year of 1-2% on at least one loan and by that time the principal will be lower, meaning it won’t be as trying. Once each loan is paid off I have one big reward for myself (one is going to California) and a big final reward once all my debt is gone; traveling abroad to London!
(Source: Thinkgeek One of the things I could choose for a benchmark!)
I’m not going to post my debt amount because its not something I feel comfortable sharing, I will however list my benchmark rewards below. For some I have ‘something off pinterest wishlist’ for others I have things like baking a cheesecake (really, it costs around $15 in ingredients!) As time goes on and I meet benchmarks, I plan on adding a tab for my benchmarks and what I rewarded myself with. I’m being strict in not letting myself buy new clothes, books etc. unless I use Birthday/Christmas money, its a gift or I hit a benchmark.
Debt talk end! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I’m very excited to spend time with my whole family. To me, Thanksgiving is a day to spend being thankful for those around you. I religionize holidays like Thanksgiving and won’t go online much and put away electronic devices (unless its to send a text message). I’ve been doing a daily thankful journal all month and it’s helped me to see more little things I’m thankful for. I feel very blessed with a wonderful family, amazing friends, good health, a great job and those are just the big things. I hope everyone reading has a safe journey to their location(s) tomorrow and has a blessed day!