My Debt Marathon

Running the debt race and sharing my journey one payment at a time.

Three Years Later

In August, three years will have passed since buying my domains for My Debt Marathon and for my art education website. I admit, I have fallen off the wagon for these online ventures. I wrote frequently for MDM during the first year, but I have yet to create the website for my art education consulting business goals.  Every day, multiple times a day, I think about my goals of building my websites, and yet I have not taken action. This does not mean that I am not taking action in other parts of my life, for I definitely have. But I also recognize that I have to make these goals happen. It’s what I know I am suppose to do, so I need to just do it!

2014-2015 Accomplishments

  1. Teaching with a team of educators for a project-based learning initiative at my school. We are about to start our second year! This program has the potential to be really groundbreaking for education in the state of New Hampshire. I am very excited to be a part of this program. The teaching methods require me to look at how I teach differently. In many ways, I am reaching my goals, but in many ways, I also have growth to still achieve.
  2. I moved! Last August, Mr. Tech and I took the plunge and moved into a two-bedroom townhouse with a garage! We are still renting, but we feel that this move is putting us closer to the goal of owning our own townhouse in the near future. We are signing a lease shortly to stay here for another year. We hope by next July to purchase a townhouse of our own. Not sure if buying will happen, but we have that as our goal.
  3. And the big one! Mr. Tech and I are getting married!! Woo hoo!! The wedding is 7 weeks away!! I still have a lot to do – phonecalls to make, decorations to create, and vows to write. It’s very overwhelming thinking about what I need to do. And also very exciting!!


Moving Ahead

Financially, we’ve been making progress. I am still in six-figure debt. Each month, I am making my payments. I try hard to make extra money to pay a little extra where I can. I sell books on and I’ve been selling some items on Craigslist and eBay. The other day I organized stuff in the garage and I now have dozens of items to list on eBay.

But the big thing financially is that we have moved, Mr. Tech’s business has grown, and we are getting married! We are paying for it ourselves, so that is a huge deal. I know we could be spending this money on debts, but getting married has been a huge goal for us, and we are finally achieving it!

So I decided to start blogging again because I realize the value writing had for helping me focus, take action, and be held accountable. I liked writing on my blog to help me set daily, weekly, and monthly goals. And I’d like to write on my little blog to help me tackle my current goals. I’ve got a lot going on, and being an anxious person, it’s easy for me to stress about what I need to do, instead of doing it.

I already feel like I accomplished a lot today! And I have my path of what else I need to do, so that way I can clear the energy and focus on the next tasks. So this what I have done and what I still need to do!

Action Steps – DONE!

1. Paid bills.

The only bill that still needs to be paid is Mr. Tech’s work van. This is another change in our financial picture. Mr. Tech got a work van to help him grow in his business, and I got a new leased Volkswagen, but my payment is $150 less than what it was. We also switched our car insurances, so that helped a lot too. I save over $1000 a year on my policy alone!

We also have a credit card bill accruing from our recent vacation to Tennessee. I’ll also be adding to that bill for some wedding purchases that have to be made.


2. Signed up for Yoga!

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I recognize that I have to make some changes to reduce my stress. I used to do yoga a lot and I know how I felt when I practiced yoga, so I decided to try it and see if I like this studio. They have an introductory rate for new students. My first class is tonight!


Action Steps – TO DO!

1. Ride bike to the bank and to a store to check out Vera Bradley backpacks.

For my birthday, my grandmother gave me $100. I decided to use some of that money to pay for the yoga, and the other amount to get a new backpack. My goal is to limit driving in order to save money on gas. I’ll only do car trips that I absolutely have to.  I foresee most of where I want to go is within biking distance from my house. That’s the other nice thing about moving; I’m geographically located where I do most of my shopping. So that works out nicely. I only now need to conquer my fear of riding my bike. It’s a silly thing. It’s more about conquering negative thoughts about not deserving happiness. I just need to do the things that I’ve been thinking about and know that I do deserve happiness.

2. Make Dinner & Go to Yoga!

I already have cooked chicken and salad fixings. It’s time to get back on to my Belly Fat Cure Diet. I was doing well during the months of May and June, but then with my birthday, I stopped tracking my sugar and carbohydrates. Time to get focused. All eyes will be on me very soon. Time to get healthier.

3. Work on Wedding

This is a larger task, of course. I need to make phonecalls about upcoming bridal events, rent a dancing tent, and schedule a photography appointment. Lots to do. So I’ve got to do it!


Till Next Time ~ Rachel

July 16, 2015 Rachel Thoughts

Reaching Goals Spring 2014 Update

Step by Step

The school year is almost at the end! With the extra time I’ll have during the summer, I’ve been evaluating what I want to do and what I hope to accomplish. Getting my websites in order is definitely at the top of my priority list. Hopefully I’ll have new banners very soon! That is the first step on my list of goals.

Financially, money has been moving in the right track. We paid off the Mom student loan of $1442! In March, I paid down that debt to $1,000, then $650! With Mr. Tech’s tax refund, we paid off the rest and got caught up on the rest of our bills. In April, Mr. Tech bought a tv for his business on his Best Buy credit card. He has a 0% promotion rate. Recently, the customer paid for the tv, so we used that money to pay off another credit card. The 0% promotion was ending in August. I’m psyched to have this credit card and a student loan debt paid off! Yay!

I now have a mini-snowball amount of $181.25 to throw at other debts! The one I am now paying off is the Capital One credit card. We did have a zero balance last summer, but after buying our Disney passes on it last July, some expenses for Mr. Tech in the fall, a couple holiday purchases, and website fees for Mr. Tech, we had accrued a $2000 balance. So quickly the debt adds up. Just last week though, I paid that card down to $1500. I’ve already done my projections for June’s snowball, and I think I should be able to pay at least $600. I’m really hoping I sell some more products on E-bay to help bring that balance to zero. With my birthday coming up, I would love my present to be a zero balance again! I will be doing everything I possibly can to have this happen.

In July, we have two vacations planned. My mother’s family has planned a family reunion camping trip. I’m anticipating we’ll need about $1000 for air mattresses, food, camping fees, and activities. We’ve been sleeping on the hard ground for too long; it’s finally time to invest in air mattresses. We’ll be camping for a week, so they are definitely necessary purchases. I’m hoping Costco will have a good deal.

At the end of July, we are also planning a trip to Georgia to visit Mr. Tech’s sister. Rather than going to Niagara Falls and staying with his sister who lives near there, the family has decided to visit Georgia instead. Mr. Tech might not be able to go due to work. We may decide to not go at all because of money. We haven’t decided 100% yet. If we do go, we anticipate about $1500 for this vacation. By driving we will save money, but even still the costs are about $400 per person. If we don’t go, we might still send the kids. Depends on how everything goes.

Future Plans

We are still planning on getting married next summer. Mr. Tech’s uncle actually owns a small golf resort in northern New Hampshire. Initially, many people suggested this resort, but I wasn’t open to the idea. But now I know it’s the perfect place! I’m really excited to visit it and meet the owner in July. We’ve talked on the phone a few times. They don’t usually offer weddings, but she’s willing to make an exception for us and give us an awesome deal!

My teaching position is also secure. Next year, I’ll actually be taking on a leadership role as a technology integrator. I’ll be working with a team of teachers and teaching freshmen students for the entire year! I’m excited to learn more about technology and apply this knowledge to my websites. It feels really nice to not be stressing about my job, to have a sense of security, and to plan and reach my financial goals. Finally!

I still have work to do. But I’m reaching my goals, one by one. Yay!

Till next time,


June 1, 2014 Rachel Thoughts

Over $17,000 of Debt Paid-Off!

keep calm pay off debt

A few months have passed again since I wrote my last blog post. In that time, I have adjusted to my teaching job and completed my first semester of courses. I am currently teaching my courses a second time to a new batch of students, and hence I am finding that I have more time to devote to side hustles and blogging.

Frequently I think about my little blog, and yet many days go by before I finally write some of my thoughts. Although I may not be writing, I am still actively paying off debt and trying to pay off more debt. As my title says, in 2013, Mr. Tech and I paid off over $17,000 of debt!!! As of February 13, we technically paid off $17,493.12, not counting February interest fees and a few debts that still need to be paid this month.

$17,000 is a huge feat. Some people write about how they are now debt free after paying that amount. I am not one of those people. $17,000 is only about 10% of what I actually owe in debt (including Mr. Tech’s school loan and Jeep loan). As of February 13, 2014, we still owe $160,863. YUP —- GULP —- That HUGE number. I can let this number get me down, or I can focus on the positive.  And the positive is… Mr. Tech and I paid off $17,000 of debt!!! Woot woot! Happy Dance! Way to go! I AM making my way to being DEBT FREE, one payment at a time!

And reality… paying off debt HASN’T been easy. This past year has been an emotional ride, as I searched for a teaching job, ended my last position, and began my new position. This fall I spent a lot of time prepping for school and grading. I’m still menu planning every week, eating healthier, and shopping with coupons. The deals haven’t been as good lately, but I did recently score 20 bags of Birds Eye vegetables for free! The holiday season was very nice. My sister-in-law and her family came to visit. I was able to buy gifts for everyone for about $600 and we enjoyed quality time with family. In the summer, we did go on a family vacation to Walt Disney World. We were able to do the trip frugally by driving and staying at a condo with family. For a family of four, we spent about $2500, and visited three theme parks. This June, we plan to visit Niagara Falls. We’ll save money by staying with Mr. Tech’s sister in Toronto. We also have a week-long camping trip planned in July. I am excited for these vacations. They will be nice reprieves after a stressful year of teaching.

Otherwise, my life is quite boring. Rather than going out and spending money, my boyfriend and I spend a lot of time at home. On the weekends, when we have my stepsons, they play MineCraft. I enjoy planning my grocery trips and going to the various stores for the deals. I’ve also started going to the gym about three times a week and I still tutor about 6 to 10 hours a week. Rather than cable, we have Netflix and Hulu Plus, so we have enjoyed many hours watching series of shows. We are currently watching Season 2 of House of Cards and Season 9 of Bones. We like our tv :-)

This past weekend, I also finally listed items on E-bay and I have two bidders so far!! If these sell at their current bid price, I’ll make about $55 after fees. I think I’ll have another sale too, perhaps a best offer sale, for about $100. Mr. Tech has a lot more electronic equipment that is leftover from jobs, so I am hoping to make a few thousand from E-bay in the next few months.  

With this money from E-bay, my tax return, and extra payments, I should be able to pay off a student loan debt that I have had for 12 years now!  It should already be paid off by now, but for XYZ reasons, it is still a debt that I owe. When I started this blog in October of 2011, I owed about $2700 on this loan. As of January of 2013, the debt sat at $2200. Today it is currently at $1442! I hope in the next few weeks to get it down to $800, and then by April, I hope to pay it off completely. Then, I can start attacking the credit card debt. Although the interest rate is lower on the student loan than the credit cards, I feel more guilt over the student loan debt, since I have had it for so long and it is co-signed with my mother. Paying off that debt will feel so good!

My hope is that financially things go well this spring and summer. Mr. Tech’s business is growing and he’ll be making some decent money this spring. I hope by August that we will be able to pay off two credit cards and put a deposit on a reception venue for our wedding. We set a date for July 25, 2015. We’ve been engaged for six years, and I think we are finally ready financially. Our families are willing to help some, and this will be a better time for them too.

But for now, we’ll take our debts one day at a time. I like dreaming about our wedding, but I know this can’t happen until the Mom student loan and the credit cards are paid off. Even after that, we’ll still be $150,000 in debt. Oh, I’ve got some work to do.

Till next time,


February 18, 2014 Rachel Thoughts