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


Another Debt Bites The Dust

Goodbye, Campground Membership

I'm just popping in to say that much to my surprise, we'll be eliminating one more chunk of debt by the end of the year. 

Fortysomething found out today that he'll receive an unexpected and rather hefty work bonus next week. It's truly a windfall. It's enough to cover the $1766 remaining on the campground membership loan that we acquired during our stint as full-time RVers.

The membership made sense back then: it allowed us to stay at full-service, RV-friendly campgrounds for several weeks at a time at no extra charge. However, we decided to stop RVing approximately two months after we took out the loan. Not a great financial move. We've been paying it off ever since to the tune of $108/month. 

(We still have access to the campgrounds in the membership plan, but they're not particularly close to where we live, so we don't make regular use of them. It's a terrible waste of money.)

I ended up paying off the balance today with my trusty REI credit card, which translates to some additional cash back that we'll receive in the spring with our REI dividend. When the bonus hits the bank account a week from now, I'll pay off the credit card.

I should note that I haven't included the campground membership loan in any of our debt updates (although I've always included the monthly payment in our budget reports). For a long time, I didn't want to acknowledge its existence. How's that for some warped and determined financial psychology?

Updating the Student Loan Repayment Plan

By paying off the campground membership, we'll be able to bring our monthly student loan payment from $400 to $508.

I just did the calculations. At that rate, the student loan will be gone in... drumroll, please...

a little less than eight years.


I mean, I'm pretty sure we can do it faster than that - especially if we apply part of our future yearly bonuses to the balance - but that's the baseline, and it's fine for now.

Better Than Expected

We're almost at the end of 2019, and given that I went from making a salary of $60K back in January to making a current salary of more like $20K, I'm extremely pleased with our progress. No, we don't have enough in retirement. No, I'm not convinced my part-time job is sustainable over the long term.

But somehow, we're actually on track to meet the majority of our financial goals for the year.

I'll take that win.


The payment went through! Take a look at this:

And now that it's paid, I'll admit that the interest rate was pretty high and we probably should have included it in our total debt stats. Oh well.

I'm just glad it's done. It really is a relief, and it'll be nice to have a little more wiggle room when my hours drop again in January. 


  1. Congrats on knocking out that debt, friend!

    I know what you mean about not wanting to include part of your financial history, especially in a public space like this. I try to be transparent but have kept plenty out of the narrative we tell about ourselves on the blog.

    As you know, I keep tempting myself by looking at imported Japanese campers from the nineties and envision us traveling around in the summer months when Baby AF is out of school. It's so cool that you all were full time RVers: what a neat thing to do.

    1. I kind of wish we'd been more into RVing. I mean, we really really liked parts of it: our RV, seeing the country, exploring new places, having unexpected adventures. Also, it can be incredibly affordable. If you have a WFH job (or if you're retired), you're golden. I did not realize until we were out there, however, just how important being in a community (like, in a physical community) is to me.

    2. Also, I will readily admit that we haven't been totally transparent. We made a couple of bad financial choices that I have chosen not to discuss online because I already feel dumb enough. I don't need anyone else telling me I'm an idiot! LOL.

  2. Congratulations! Every step counts, big or small :) And for the record, YOU ARE NOT DUMB!

  3. We did stupid with zeros. I'm sure we are far from the minority. Congrats on getting this loan paid off and for the extra wiggle room it provides.