The Budget that Paid off $200K in Debt

In my last article, One Pharmacist’s Journey out of $200K in Debt, you read how it took a lot of sacrifice, planning and perseverance to be debt-free. The question I kept getting asked was “How did you do it?”

Well, here it is. Here is what a budget looks like to get out of $200K in debt.

My Financial Situation

Before I begin though, it is important to address my financial situation during this plan to become debt free.

  1. I am employed by a public university and have a forced retirement contribution since I do not contribute to Social Security. Therefore, you will not see a mention of retirement savings below since the budget is a reflection of expenses coming from my take home pay. However, it is important to note that approximately 20% of my income is going to retirement savings between my contributions and my employer’s match.
  2. My wife and I were partners on getting out of debt. I can’t emphasize how important that is to get out of debt. We each had specific buckets we wanted to have more flexibility in spending, but through compromise this budget is reflective of both of our opinions. This budget went through several reiterations as our circumstances changed: take home pay varied, kids were added to the family and our intensity and motivation to get out of debt increased.
  3. We are a one-income family. My wife stays home with our three boys, Samuel (4), Everett (2) and Levi (8 months). I am forever grateful for her ability to be at home with our boys. (Note: if we can be debt-free on one income, you could too!)

Budget Breakdown

So, what was our breakdown of monthly expenses during the time we were focused with the most intensity on getting out of debt?

Read the rest of the article here and let me know what you think.   Don’t forget to submit your financial questions at www.yourfinancialpharmacist.com.  You can also follow me on Twitter (@FinancialRPh) and Facebook (Your Financial Pharmacist).

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