If not paying down debt, then what?

I passed a big milestone with my debt last month. I am officially under $30,000 in debt. That’s a huge deal. It is hard to imagine that just 7 short months ago, I was $45,000 in the hole.

Progress. Wow.

Passing such a milestone caused me to reflect on my debt repayment journey. I ran a calculation on my student loans to see where I would be had I only been paying the minimum payment.

Current Debt: $29, 167

Minimum Payment Debt: $43,139

I am $13,972 ahead of schedule. That’s nearly an extra $14,000 that could be in my bank account(s). When talking with Hubs about this crazy number, I asked if he would have done the last 7 months any differently. We both whole heartedly agreed that getting rid of these student loans was the best choice for us. But that got me thinking…..

What else could I have done with that money if I wasn’t going to spend it on servicing my debt?

Likely Options

Max out our Roth IRAs for last year and start tackling this year (boring).

Take an excellent trip for many days abroad (Australia, Europe, Japan, oh my! So many choices!).

Possible Options

New living room set (so boring, but it’s on Hubs’ gripe list).

Upgrade Hubs’ electronics. (long overdue. I’m thankful he’s patient).

Down payment? (if we hadn’t spent it yet, the $14k would be accumulating to buy a house soon).

Probably Not Options

Upgraded car (so shiny and fancy!)

PARTY. (‘eeerrr body in the club gettin’ tipsy).

or…

the only other obvious choice. 🙂

A swimming pool for my money. Just like Scrooge McDuck.

scrooge

Once you were aware of your debt, was paying it your focus?

If I gave you $14,000 and you couldn’t pay off your debt with it, what would you spend it on?

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19 comments

  1. I can’t wait to be rich enough to go swimming in my money 😉 Also, I started singing Tipsy in my head, and now it’s stuck,… so… thanks for that.

    Yeah, it’s crazy the amount of progress you’ve made in just 7 months. Insanity! Can’t wait to see you killing it.

    My wish list has a few things on it. Max out my TFSA and RRSP (that will take awhile, but over a $1000 per month would go a long ways). I’d love a bedroom set because I don’t have one, and am sick of having the bed on the floor (yep, we’re ghetto!). I’ll admit I do want a shiny new car – with dual climate control (my fiance and I have very different body temperature settings)

    1. Proposal: Let’s get out of debt and then we can combine our funds to fill a pool. We’ll fill it in half the time! With yours in CAD and mine in USD, we’ll be able to divide it after our swim 🙂

      Silliness aside, it’s pretty responsible of us that we’d both direct it toward retirement savings. Our future selves will thank us.

      On the floor?? Do you at least have a box spring or is it straight up mattress on the floor? Now I’m worried about you. Perhaps we should bump “bed frame” up the want list. IKEA has bed frames for less than $100.

      1. there’s a boxspring. Our metal bed frame broke when we moved in April 2013… and we never replaced it. I kind of like it close to the ground, but I think I need to get a platform bed or something so that it doesn’t look so lame!

        Also, I live in the middle of freaking nowhere. Ikea doesn’t exist east of Montreal in Canada 🙂 It kind of negates the cheap price if I have to ship it forever!

        PS, I love the money swimming idea. And since Canada has $1 and $2 coins, we won’t have to worry about tearing my money 😛

  2. I often think about what I’d be putting my money towards if I didn’t have debt. Travel would be one big one along with donating to charities and even moving to be closer to friends and family.

  3. LOL. Love it! Adding a McDuck-ian swimming pool to my retirement plans. Complete with jewel incrusted bathing suit, I think.

  4. Oh my God, I spent way too much time thinking about this last year. What would I have done with the $19K I paid to my loans? Well, probably I would have put about 3/4 of it towards retirement and/or emergency savings, actually. The remaining $5000 — lots of new clothes.

    Oh, and I would have bought more cheese. Literal cheese, not slang-for-money cheese.

    However, if you just handed me $19K right now and said go to town, I’d put $10K into maxing out my Roth IRA plus my e-fund. $2000 would go in an interest-bearing savings account earmarked for my travel fund. $2000 would buy new clothes. $2000 would go to charity. I dunno what I’d do with the extra $3000…but I feel pretty sure I’d find some ways to spend it 🙂

    1. Cheese! Are you from Wisconsin? That’s such a specific request. That’s awesome!
      I love how saving for emergencies and retirement is making the list for so many! It’s like we learned our lesson!

      1. Heh, no, not a midwesterner (by birth, anyway). I just really like nice cheese and that stuff is expensive. It’s the only food that I routinely look at and sigh and say “I can’t afford it.” (And I do not have good discipline on stuff like that normally.)

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