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I’m on a financial high going into November. It’s my favorite time of year; the weather is crisp, people are happier, and my favorite holiday, Black Friday, is right around the corner. I’m on cloud 9.
And I have one more thing making my money-saving heart flutter (or palpitate, I can’t tell the difference lately.) My student loan is now 4 digits. I’m finally under 10 grand! I didn’t see this day coming anytime in my 20’s and it’s here. You guys, hard work and perseverance pay off! And I’m really excited to have you to share this moment with.
So in November we decided to kick it into HIGH gear to get my student loan completely paid off by the end of the year. This was our original goal but we had a setback in April that made us plan to have it paid off in January. But thanks to a lot of overtime and the fact that I get paid on Wednesdays (and there are 5 in Nov this year!) we decided to get a little crazy.
Also Read: October 2016 Budget
In October you’ll remember we budgeted $3800 for student loan payment and we ended paying $4070 (Again thanks to Travis’ overtime from volunteering to pick up shifts.) I was on a shopping ban which basically meant no impulse buys. I worked from Starbucks once a week because I had a gift card and I bought shampoo and a shirt for Halloween (because these were at Goodwill and look how cute we are!)
We did pretty good sticking to the line items but went over in restaurants this month. Fitting since I just wrote a post about how much you can make by eating out less. But we spent less in gas than we budgeted so it evened out by the end.
Our Real Budget
We used EveryDollar to copy October’s [revised] budget and made a few adjustments. We cut our lifestyle budget almost in half this month and all the extra money we’re making is going to our $5,000 debt payment. Yes, you read right, $5,000.
I’m doing another month of the shopping ban because I used my personal money on some blog related items in September. You have to spend money to make money, especially in a competitive space like the Internet. But so far those investments have been paying off and I’ll definitely tell you about them someday.
I also wanted to point out our “giving” category. I’ve had surprisingly mixed responses to this one. We decided at the beginning of our debt freedom journey on a consistent $500 each month. This was definitely a compromise we had to make early on and once we found a number we were both comfortable with we just stuck with it.
Some very generous people can’t see giving less than 10% even while going into debt and some people won’t give anything while they’re paying off debt.
I give now because my end goal is to be outrageously generous. Giving is a gift not only to those who receive it but to me too! I don’t feel guilty about feeling real good when I give. Ultimately though, it’s whatever helps you sleep at night.
I run half marathons and nowhere along the race do I wish I’d trained less.
Giving now is like my training to give more later. And that’s how I justify spending more right now on giving than on my lifestyle. If you’re interested in this subject I highly recommend Generous Justice by Timothy Keller. A great read on why social justice is important and how you can be generous most effectively.
As always I love to hear your budget struggles and wins from last month and if you’re having trouble sticking to your budget sign up to get my Free Budget Cheat Sheet with 10 hacks to help you stick to your budget!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Using these helps me celebrate the most wonderful time of the year, Black Friday, with more color. Cheers!