A Story About Paying Off Debt and the Obstacles Along the Way

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The Biggest Monster Debt Payment Yet

Yesterday was a big day in $76K Land, and here's why:

The above graph is a Personal Capital-generated visual of our credit card debt (y axis) versus time (x axis). Actually, it's incomplete: it shows our consumer debt load since November 2017. In reality, we started paying off the credit cards last April, back when the total balance was more like $23K.

Here's a more complete (though no less awkward) graph. This one starts in June 2017:

The arrows indicate where we just made a monster debt payment of $3000 (thanks to a big side hustle for which I finally received my check, and yes, we put every single dime of it towards debt), bringing our balance from $14,700 to $11,700! We've made some big payments before - when we paid off our car, for instance, and when we ditched Credit Card #1 - but this is the largest one to date.

Here's where our credit card balances stand now:

CC #2: $1,524
CC #3: $10,218

We should be able to pay off CC #2 within the next few weeks via our normal repayment schedule. As for CC#3, we're waiting on a tax refund that should dispatch a major chunk of it. The goal is to bring our total credit card balance to zero by the end of April. 

Sidenote: I feel compelled to point out that the first phase (i.e., nearly a year) of debt repayment was painfully slow and uneventful. The balance has decreased so incrementally that it's sometimes been hard to celebrate the small victories. Only after we assessed and stabilized our financial situation, established a workable budget, took advantage of some side hustle income, and built up some snowball-y momentum did we start seeing some real progress. It feels amazing.

With our student loans, we still have a long way to go... but the journey seems doable now.


  1. Woo-hoo! Congrats on such big progress. I look forward to your celebration when the credit card debt is gone.

    1. THANK YOUUUUU! That is going to be a big, big day.

  2. Wow! What an awesome feeling that must be! I'm so impressed with the speed of your progress. I've been at this since May of 2016 and am not scheduled to be all paid off for another year plus a few months. I really admire your commitment!

    1. Thank you! I'm kind of in disbelief that we paid off two credit cards in one year. Our progress felt so slow at first.

      A year and a few months will happen before you know it! You're so close!

  3. Congrats! Fantastic progress!