March Debt Snowball Review

Since April is now half over, I though it would be a good time to review our debt snowball for March. In February I set a goal for our family to pay down fifteen hundred dollars in debt. At the time the goal did not seem to be that ambitious. But it proved to be harder to meet than I though it would be.

March Debt Snowball Numbers

Our family began March with $8,706.75 on our last credit card, $10,035.20 on our van and $17,478.89 on a Parent Plus student loan. The grand debt total for the beginning of March was $36,220.84! Boy that is a big number!

By April 1 our debt numbers have changed to $8,211.05 on the visa, $9,565.59 on our van, and $17,289.71 on the Plus loan. The new grand total for our debt is now $35,066.35. Out total debt payoff for March was $1,154.49.

Where did we go wrong?

We fell short of our goal by $345.51. Looking back over what we paid out for bills in March I can see where we went wrong in the debt snowball. I assumed that we would not need to order heating fuel again this winter. However, I was wrong. We still had a significant amount of snow on the ground in March. The winter winds were still very cold, too. We had to order another tank of oil at the beginning of March to get us through the last few weeks of winter. On the upside though, we will be able to put off ordering oil in the fall as we still have almost half of a tank of oil left.

A long cold winter meant that we used a lot of heating fuel.

Even though we did not meet our debt snowball goal for March, we still cut a link off of our debt chain that hangs in the dining room. Paying off over one thousand dollars in debt is still an accomplishment that we should be proud of. And the extra tank of oil we needed was paid for with cash! So we did not accumulate any new debt. That is a huge improvement for us! In our not so distant past we would have not had the cash upfront. We would have had to resort to using the credit card.

Debt Snowball Goal for April

So since we are half way through April, I think I should share April’s debt snowball payoff goal. For April I am going to keep our goal at $1,500. I would love to say our goal is $1,845.51 to make up for March’s short fall but I think that is unrealistic. April will have financial challenges of its own.