December Debt Report

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december debts

What are Debt Reports?

Hello! If you’re new to my blog, I write a detailed report each month of how much debt I’ve been able to pay off. I show you exactly how much each loan balance has gone down and where my total debt stands. I do this to give you a real life example of how you can go about paying off your debts, and show you that it is possible and you’re not alone.

This is all here to help you see my progress, good and bad. There are a lot of generic plans out there that may work, but they never really break down exactly what is being done in real time.

After all of the research I’ve done, I can tell you that I am definitely one of the people who learns by seeing examples, not just by hearing generic directions that then leave you hanging to figure out the rest. So I wanted to give people the option of seeing a genuine example of how a regular 26 year old is getting their act together.  Download my free template to create your own Debt Report. Thanks for showing up here to check out my wins – and losses. Here goes!

Happy New Year!!!

I hope you all had a great holiday season and are as excited as I am to kick off a new year of being closer to being debt-free > (nerd-alert) I started the month of December with $53,042.64 of debt to my name. The Christmas present I wanted to give myself, was for me to be able to put as much as possible towards my loans. I know that’s a really strange thing to want as a gift, but when you’re trying to get out of debt as quickly as I am, it kind of comes with the territory.

I made sure to barely spend any money this month so I could do just that. Except….sometimes…..I get a little overzealous and don’t account for needing to save as much as I should. This is especially an issue for me around the holidays.

I tend to forget some of the people I need to that buy cards and things for (shhh!). This usually leaves me scrambling around on Christmas Eve trying to figure out what to buy and I end up spending more money than I really have to. And this all could be avoided simply…by not doing everything last minute. I’ve gotten a lot better with my procrastination lately, but the holidays always seem to throw me off balance.

So, I put a lot towards my debt during the beginning of the month, and then towards the end I was barely able to pay anything because of my inability to plan ahead for holidays. I was still able to reduce my debt by a pretty decent amount. Here are the numbers:

Student Loan @ 6.5% interest – $5,568.49 (-$672.87)

Student Loan @ 3.0% interest – $37,521.85  (-$88.46)

Car Loan @ 2.99% interest – $2,807.28 (-$185.14)

Sears Loan @ 0% interest – $1,136.75 (-$53.00)

Furniture Loan @ 0% interest – $ 4,876.49 (-$132.31)


At the end of December my total debt was $51,910.86, down a total of $1131.78 from the previous month!

I’m not sure if I made this clear in previous debt reports, but the amount I say my debt has gone down by isn’t actually what I paid. With interest always accruing, that is the amount my balance was down on the last day of the month.

An example of this is my 3% interest student loan. While the debt report shows that my balance dropped by $88.46, I actually paid $219 towards that loan this month. Yes, that means that 60% of that payment went towards interest.

That is not a fun number to look at. But, it is an encouraging number – because the sooner I get everything paid off, the sooner I don’t have to watch that happen anymore. Talk about motivation. After paying that “$1131” my total debt is now down to $51,910.86.

I know $51k of debt sounds like a ton. But when you compare it to where I started just a few months ago, it smells like progress to me. In March of this year when I started Bright Cents, my debt was $62,985 dollars.

In just 9 short months I’ve paid off 2 student loans, a credit card, and have decreased my debt balances by over $11,000. Doesn’t $51k smell like a little progress to you now too?

  Creating a debt report was pivotal in me getting started. Want to make your own debt report? 
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I am Chenell Tull and so far, I've had a pretty rough time with my student loan debt. Recently, I've figured out a more productive "get out of debt" plan and the goal is to pay off over $60k in just 36 months. If you want to learn more, subscribe to the mailing list and get FREE updates on my successes and failures on this journey out of debt. 

  • “In just 9 short months I’ve paid off 2 student loans, a credit card, and have decreased my debt balances by over $11,000.” That’s incredible! We have a lot of undergrad student loan debt, and it’s making it tough for me to decide whether to get an MBA or not. I was against it the past two years but after thinking about it quite a bit I think it could really pay off long term. Decisions decisions…

    • Thank you! Yea that is a tough decision. I guess it just depends on your plans and goals for the future. If you can accomplish your goals without it, maybe it can wait. I’m sure you’ll make the right decision!

  • Shannon

    “down a total of $1131.78 from the previous month”

    Excellent dent on your total debt especially considering the festive time of year! Very inspirational 🙂

    • Thanks, Shannon! It is hard to stay motivated during a month like that but somehow I did it 🙂