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Debt Free Journey Update April 2020

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It’s been 19 months into our debt free journey and we are in still in limbo right now due to this COVID-19 mess. As of April, we have paid off $77,339 worth of debt which is still amazing in itself. Our debt pay off progress remains the same since last month.

When we first started our debt free journey, we had $116,000 worth of debt. We’ve decided to hold off this month on paying anything towards our last two debts: Student Loan & Personal Loan from family.

September of 2018 we had all this debt:

8 Credit Cards
1 Car Loan
2 Medical Loans
2 Student Loans
1 Personal Loan and 1 Personal Loan from family
Total $116,000

April 2020 we have:

1 Student Loan
1 Personal Loan from family
Total $38,661

In 19 months, we’ve come a long way by paying off $77,339 worth of debt so far. With the right strategies in place, getting closer to becoming debt free is actually not as difficult as I’d thought. Find out the 5 tips we used to help knock out the first $50,000 in 10 months below.

Related: How To Get Out Of Debt With These 5 Tips

Tips To Get Out Of Debt

If you also want to be on your way to achieve a debt free life, you must create a plan that will help reach your goal. The most important aspect of getting your finances in order is creating a monthly budget. It helps to outline where you’re spending your money or if there are any areas in your life you need to save for.

1 | Create a monthly budget

Creating a budget will help you take control of your finances and draw out your map to financial success. I use the Zero Based Budget which has been extremely successful in helping us manage our money. If you want to use an app that tracks your spending automatically then use Personal Capital which is also a free app.


Related: How To Budget Your Money For Beginners

2 | Saving During COVID-19

The reason we decided to stop paying down our debt this month is because of COVID-19. This whole situation has hit everyone hard and it’s affecting the economy. These are uncertain times right now, companies are laying people off or even cutting people’s pay. We’ve agreed that it was best to hold off throwing every cent we could come up with at debt until things settle down.

It’s probably best right now to save whatever money you may have coming your way instead of spending it unnecessarily. If you are also paying off debt, it may be best to be conservative with your spending right now.

3 | Look For Savings


A Pharmacist from Walgreens told me about GoodRX. Look up any medication on GoodRX, find a coupon, print it, and bring it in to a pharmacy to get a discount.

A normal medication which was costing over $90 was about $13 with the printed coupon, it’s amazing.

Car Insurance

Our car insurance company automatically refunded back a few dollars most likely due to COVID-19. Did you get any refund check? If not, it doesn’t hurt to call them up and explain your situation if you’re car has not been driven for months now.

School Loan Forbearance

Take advantage of the school loan forbearance being offered due to COVID-19. Most Federal school loans will be in forbearance until the end of September, and they will also not apply any interest.

Amazon Discount

Those that have Amazon Prime knows how fast the Prime delivery usually is. Now with COVID-19, the shipping times have significantly decreased. You can speak with customer service and they may give you some form of credit if you have a legitimate issue. It may be a few bucks, but hey it’s something.

4 | Save on Food Costs

Prior to starting our debt free journey, we used to go to restaurants all weekend and barely cooked much at home. Once we started budgeting, we realized we were spending almost $800-$1,000 a month on food. That included groceries, take out food, and restaurants. You’d be surprised when you track all your transactions and find out how much you’re actually spending.

Ever since we started being mindful of how much we were spending on food, we’ve been trying to find savings in the food category of our budget. 90% of the time we are eating more at home which helps us save tremendously from spending money at restaurants. Plus eating at home is probably a whole lot healthier than buying processed food from fast food places.

If you need some ideas on recipes to cook, check these out:

Air Fryer Recipes Healthy and Low Carb for Dinner

10 Easy Breakfast Ideas

20 Easy Keto Low Carb Recipes for Dinner

Digital Coupons

I have to admit that I’m not an avid coupon collector or anything, it’s just too time consuming. To make things easier I use Ibotta where I can upload my receipt to get cash back on food, pretty simple to use.

Sign up for free at Ibotta and use the code YDIGCFJ to get your $20 welcome bonus

We have been making more of an effort to cook at home. If ordering delivery on occasion, using Rakuten is good for getting cash back on food delivery services like GrubHub or Postmates.

Sign up today with Rakuten to get $10 in a welcome bonus and be on your way to start earning cash back for online purchases. Don’t miss out on FREE MONEY!

To find more saving ideas, check out 95 Best Money Saving Tips to Start Now

5 | Make extra money if you can

With COVID-19 lingering around, it’s probably best to try to make extra side money safely.

  • Put money into a high yield savings account to earn money passively
  • Sell your clothes/furniture/toys/electronics on Ebay, Mercari, Letgo, or Nextdoor
  • Take online surveys for money Get your $10 sign up bonus today with Swagbucks
  • Be a freelancer on Fiverr and sell your skills including being a graphic designer, virtual assistant, photo editing, writing/editing/proofreading content, marketing, programming, SEO optimization, programming, transcription, other social media services
  • Make money losing weight on HealthyWage and other apps like Dietbet and Stickk. People make hundreds to thousands of dollars by challenging themselves to lose weight which creates a financial incentive.

Check out other ways to make extra money every month


6 | Second guess your purchases

Before you buy anything from a $5 to $1,000 item, ask yourself if you really need it. We stopped spending money frivolously just by purchasing things we actually really need rather than want.

7 | Travel For Free

Now that most states are lifting their stay-at-home order, you may be itching to travel or take a trip somewhere. If you must travel, do so cautiously. On the financial aspect of traveling, did you know that you can get free flights, cruises, and excursions?

While we started our debt free journey, we use credit card points to pay for our trips. Learn how below. Ever since COVID-19 hit, we are taking precautions and not deciding to travel for the time being.

So far, we have accumulated over 500,000 credit card points which is an equivalent to around $5,000. We used those points to pay for our Carnival Cruise, Flight for Las Vegas, and so much more. Also, when we search for flights we use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights possible. If you’d like to learn about how we accumulate credit card points to cover our trips (before COVID-19), check out the posts below.

Debt Free Journey – April 2020 Update

Not much has changed since last month. Since we are holding off on paying any debt towards our last two loans, our progress remains the same. So far, we now have a total debt remaining balance of $38,661. We paid off $77,339 so far in 19 months out of $116,000 total debt.

I’m hoping the COVID-19 situation goes away soon so life can go back to normal. There is no interest accumulating for our last two debt items so it’s okay if we take our time to pay those back. COVID-19 is a slight hiccup on our debt free journey but I’ve always looked at this process as a marathon, not a sprint.

Are you ready to start your own debt free journey? Get started by grabbing this free Debt Thermometer and join us in the free 5-Day Debt Free Bootcamp to pay off $500 worth of debt in your first month.

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