February 2015 Debt Report

- - Getting out of debt

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monthly debt report


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. 

You can download my free template to create your own Debt Report. Thanks for showing up here to check out my wins – and losses. Here goes!  

Here are the Numbers:


Student Loan @ 6.5% interest – $4,040.40 (-$333.86)

Student Loan @ 3.0% interest – $37,255.83 (-$148.48)

Car Loan @ 2.99% interest – $2,435.75 (-$186.20)

Sears Loan @ 0% interest – $1,030.75 (-$53.00)

Furniture Loan @ 0% interest – $4,744.18 (-$132.31)

That means that this month I paid off $853.85, which, after following two $1,100 months, isn’t the greatest. But, it means that my debt is now below $50k! ☺ My total debt is now $49,506.91!

Here is my progress since I’ve started the blog:

february debt report

 Yes, that’s $13,478 since I’ve started Bright Cents. I’m extremely happy with that progress!

I also got a promotion/raise that goes into effect my first paycheck in March (woohoo!) so my loan payments should increase once that happens.


ICYMI – In Case You Missed It

In case you’ve missed them, here are the stories I was able to bring all of you phenomenal readers this month:

sense of cents financial adviceSaving money is not the only important factor to getting out of debt. Earning more is a huge part of being able to pay down your loans quicker as well. This was reinforced for me during my interview with Michelle Schroeder, who paid off $38,000 in student loans in just a few months. Her story is very inspiring, and makes you think about what you are doing with all of your spare time today, vs. what you could be doing to earn money on the side and get your loans paid off faster. Those three hours of Netflix you watch each night could be better spent.

Saving a dollar here and there is definitely important in the grand scheme of things, but when you can earn more, you can make a much larger and faster dent in that debt. Of course, when you do earn more, you also have to keep your level of spending around the same. If not, that extra money means almost nothing when it comes to getting out of debt.

In February I also discovered an awesome new tool called Digit. Digit learns your spending habits and then starts saving your money for you…automatically.

digit logoI wrote a full review of it trying to answer any questions you might have, interviewed the founder & CEO, and even created a video so you can see Digit in action before you sign up. After just a few weeks, I have already saved an extra $37 using Digit, and I am one of those people who budgets practically every dollar. Can you imagine how much you can save by signing up?

This month I also broke down my net worth so you can see a real-life example. It’s nothing to want to strive for, as I have a NEGATIVE $19k net worth, but it’s a model you can use to calculate your own net worth. ☺

Have you saved money using Digit, or have you calculated your own net worth this month? I’d love to hear your progress so far. Leave a comment below or send me a message. Hearing about people making progress with their finances it what keeps me going, so please reach out! ☺



Creating a debt report was pivotal for me getting started. That’s why I created a template for you to be able to create your own

>> Download my free template to create 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. 

  • I like the bar graph – keep that thing going in the right direction! I really should track my monthly debt payments, but I’ve only paid the minimum each month since starting my student loans. I can’t believe I’m less than 5 years from having those loans gone!

    • Thanks DC, I’m trying my hardest! 🙂 Do you have a low interest rate on the loans you have left? Is that why you are just paying the minimum? 5 years is definitely close though, that’s exciting!

  • Vic L.

    Hi, I’m new to your site. I like what I see here! It’s always inspiring reading other people’s personal stories vs. just reading CNN Money or something like that.

    Anyways – I use YNAB which to me was a game changer. It automatically tracks your net worth as it updates with your spending. I used to budget with my excel spreadsheets but YNAB automates and streamlines everything for me.

    • Hey Vic, thanks for stopping by! I think personal finance blogs do have a much more, laid back feel to them as opposed to larger publications stories.

      I’ve heard YNAB is great and did get some financial advice from the creator, Jesse Mecham, here: brightcents.com/best-financial-advice-ever-received-roundup

      I am planning on testing it out and will be sure to write a review about my experience to let others decide if it’s right for them. If you think of any other great ideas/topics you’d love to read about, I’d love to hear them! 🙂 Good luck on your own blog, I’m enjoying it so far!

      • Vic L.

        I just read it – good insight!

        Thanks for all your help and advice on my own blog! I hope that I can make good content like yourself! It’s a little difficult for me doing timely posts as I have a newborn so most of my time is dedicated to her. But any chance I get I’ll be writing and should have another post soon!

        I’ll keep in touch with you with any topics. Thanks!

        • It is hard to get posts out on time in the beginning…don’t give up! Try and write two in one day and then you can schedule it later and have some time in between. If you can get ahead of the posting your life will be much less stressful 🙂

          • Vic L.

            Thanks for the tips! I won’t give up! I have quite a bit to discuss in my blogs. I’ll post as often as my child allows!

  • Adi

    Wow, that’s a really big student debt. Is that typical for US university courses? Impressive that you’re paying off a good chunk each month.

    • It can be typical but there are a lot of smart people who don’t take out every last penny they are able to in loans. I think it’s high but there are people with even more student debt than I started with. I made the mistake of just taking it all and having the mindset of “I’ll pay it back later”. Never, ever would I do that again 🙂

  • dedicate

    I’m new to seeing this but congratulations on the progress made so far. It’s good to see people trying to address their debts rather than burying their heads in the sand. As Adi says, it seems like a big student debt to me also (like Adi, I’m also in the UK) but at least you’ve got it under $50k now… onwards and updwards (or rather, downwards!). 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by, Paul! And thanks for the kind words. Yes, it’s a lot, but I’m making progress 🙂

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