This year has been a crazy one for the history books as far as our lives go. There have been many changes for the good, like getting married, and many unexpected events that didn’t turn out the way we expected them to, such as Tori’s second short term disability stint.
Throughout all of these changes and events there has been one constant financially for us. That constant has been our desire to destroy Tori’s student loans as fast as possible. The problem is, we’re just like everyone else and we’re eagerly anticipating the end of being in student loan debt. We’re just sick of paying for it and debt fatigue is slowly starting to set in due to this year’s craziness.
Why Debt Fatigue Has Set In
This has been an incredibly challenging year financially when you consider everything that has happened. Tori started the year on disability from her first foot surgery, went back to work for a short time and then had to go back on disability to fix another foot problem resulting from the first. She’s spent more time on disability at less than full pay than she has spent working.
In between disability stints, we decided to repurpose the money I saved to help pay off Tori’s student loan debt after marriage. We decided we were going to buy a house in town where we wanted to end up for the long-term. This move had another consequence other than having to deal with a house purchase.
We decided to turn our old townhouse into a rental property. It took a lot of our time and sat empty for a few months leaving us with two mortgage payments at the same time. Luckily our townhouse payment was more like a car payment and that’s OK because we don’t currently have any car payments!
As if that all of that wasn’t a big enough challenge, we got married this year! It was an awesome wedding and luckily we had our full wedding budget in cash before the year started. Tori did an awesome job managing our budget and we didn’t overspend for our wedding despite some of the small hiccups.
Oh yeah… with a wedding comes a honeymoon and those aren’t cheap! We recently shared our complete cost report of our 7 day Carnival honeymoon cruise. We had been saving for this too, with a small payment to ourselves out of each paycheck.
With everything that has happened, we’ve still managed to throw all of our extra money at paying down the debt. So far this year we’ve paid down Tori’s student loan balance by $16,937.06.
And just in case you think I’m complaining for everything that has happened this year financially, I’m not. We planned ahead for the expected events and we’re prepared to take care of the unexpected ones. I’m merely documenting what this year has put us through.
What Should We Do Now?
We have three options the way we see things currently. The first is to just make the minimum payments on all of Tori’s loans. While this is an option, we’re not even considering it because of the variable rates on some of these loans. Another reason we’re not really considering this option is because the loans would not be paid off until the middle of 2018. Yuck.
Our second option, as we see it, is to come up with a number we’re comfortable with putting toward the loans every single month and just stick with it. This would accelerate our loan payoff but allow us to save for other goals and spend a bit on ourselves from time to time.
Our final option is to continue on our current path of student loan debt annihilation. We’d take all of our extra money every month and throw it toward the student loans to make them disappear as fast as possible. This will definitely get us to the point of being debt-free (except the mortgages) faster, but it won’t be quite as fun along the way.
Don’t worry though, no matter which path we take we’re still saving plenty for retirement and taking care of anything that requires our immediate attention before we throw the money at the student loans.
So which path would you take given our crazy year so far? Would you reduce our efforts to minimum payments, a constant schedule or total debt annihilation?