Money & Frugality

Our Money Makeover Challenge #8 | October 2018 Starter Emergency Fund & Debt Snowball Progress Report + November’s Goals

Five days ago, I found out that I was hired as an aircraft mechanic, and I start my position with orientation on Monday 26th November!

With that being said, I am utterly disappointed and ashamed with October’s progress – or lack thereof – that I have decided that  it’s necessary to restart our Money Makeover with baby step two.

I can see now, a year into our money makeover challenge (it took me long enough, right?!), that it was a mistake to attempt to complete both baby steps one ($1,000 starter emergency fund) and two (debt snowball) simultaneously.  

I know I was concerned with our pre-existing struggle to retain saved money in savings.  But, instead of being responsible adults, we were trying to make excuses for our misbehavior.  I know I was, anyway.

I can see us easily falling into this pit of disgrace from our lack of self-control.  And that’s terrifying.  So, no more excuses.  It’s time to seriously follow this plan that’s been tried-and-true, one step at a time.


Unfortunately, we were unable to accomplish our original emergency fund goal for October – we saved $0.00/$80.00 and actually had to withdraw $150.37 total from it just to keep us afloat as the lack of sufficient overtime hours continues, especially at the beginning of the month.

So, we officially decided to pause, if not completely omit, baby step one until we pay off all of our debt.  We’re just not as “gazelle intense” about this baby step, so it’s been difficult for us to save.

Our starter emergency fund balance is now a measly $75.00.


We were able to pay $355 total toward our debt in October.  However, we added $346.50 total to the Chase credit card: $220 for childcare on the 26th, $86.50 for a new pair of glasses on the 30th, and an additional $40.00 total toward my husband’s hobby on the 31st.

Before I was officially hired, I proceeded to enroll our children at daycare (Anne) and afternoon care (Isla and Tristan) because childcare spots are always at a premium, and I wanted to be prepared just in case I was hired.  However, childcare must be paid by credit card until I earn my first paycheck.

We have no excuses for the remaining incurred purchases on the credit card.

Regardless of the increased debt, we should be debt free by the end of February or the beginning of March 2019 (in three to four months!) if our tax refund and winter work bonus is anything like it was at the beginning of this year.  With the increased income from employment, we might even be able to pay off at least the majority of our debt before then and be able to save most of the tax refund and bonus, fingers crossed.

Debt Snowball Ledger

Ashton’s Chase Credit Card
$1,996 Start amount
$250 + $346.50 (childcare, etc.) Payment amount
$2,092.50 Balance remaining
401(k) loan #2
$5,049.75 Start amount
$105 Payment amount
$4,965.02 Balance remaining
Total Debt as of 11/01/18 $7,057.52


Starter Emergency Fund: Omitted.

Debt Snowball: (a) contribute $145 toward Chase credit card; (b) remain current on the second 401(k) loan, which is automatically deducted from Ashton’s paycheck at $26.25 per week (or $105 total per month).

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