An idea I’ve batted about that I’d like to finally try this month is to do a student loan sprint. The goal is pretty simple — pay off as much debt as possible in one month. Because this is the month that I officially am out of the deferment period, I figured that this should be that month.
The execution is where it gets a bit more fun. Since it’s a short-term sprint and not a marathon, I’d like to make it aggressive –perhaps overly so — by doing things that I don’t normally do because I’m afraid they might not be sustainable. Maybe the best way to explain my intent here is that if I do this student loan sprint right, it will hurt a little.
Here’s what I’ll do:
1. Make baseline payments
Since April, I have been paying $1025 with each paycheck, so I’ll do that twice. Projected amount: $2,050
2. Empty the piggy banks!
On the one hand, I mean this literally; I’m going to take the piggy banks that hold my coins and deposit them to be sent toward debt payment. I also mean it figuratively; I’m going to find a way to turn all my cash and cash-like assets into bank deposits so that they can be sent to debt payment. This includes, but is not limited to, those 10 Australian Dollars I have sitting around, that Barnes and Noble gift card I may never use (because I use the library or shop at half.com), and credit card rewards that are just sitting around. Projected amount: $50
3. Sell stuff I don’t use
I’ve got lots of stuff I upgraded from around the house that I haven’t brought myself to throw away, out of fear or laziness. Projected amount: $50
4. Reset food budget every day and send excess to debt
I sucked at sticking to my food budget in June. Maybe the reason I failed was because 30 days is too long to stay on task for something as constant as eating, so I’m going to reset my food budget every day at $10. If I manage to stay below that I’ll send whatever’s left over to debt. If I go over on a day, I’ll shed one tear as I go to bed that night — just one! — but won’t think about it the next day when the budget is reset again. Projected amount: $20
5. Turn impulse buying into impulse debt payments
I really enjoyed doing this in June and found that knowing the money I didn’t spend would go straight to debt made it much easier to avoid those impulse buys that are always in my face. Projected amount: $150
6. Lower my 401(K) contributions
From 11% to 6% . I will not go lower because then I’d miss out on some sweet, sweet company match. Projected amount: $350.
7. Tell people!
This means more than writing a semi-anonymous blog post, but also telling people I see every day who might try to tempt me to do fun, but expensive things in July. Or who might let me know about “hot deals” that I have to jump on. It may have the fun side effect of making my roommates pay me their shares of utilities sooner, so huzzah. Projected amount: $0
Bonus. Hustle a little every day
I’ll search for exciting, new ways to make money on the side. Projected amount: $0 (If I knew what these hustles were, I’d already be doing them)
From this my total projected payment to student loan debt this month would be $2,670, but I’m excited to see how high this can go. Any thoughts?