May Debt Goal Update: Auto Loan (I’m Debt Free!)

Auto loan update

I thought this day would never get here, but with a lot of hard work and discipline – I DID IT!!! This is my final auto loan debt update. I paid off all my debt!

Previous Balance – $2,069.59

My total debt when I started was almost $14,000 but in November 2011, I started documenting my progress and kicked it up another notch. Since then, I’ve paid off a total of $8,359.77 (including interest) on my car loan.

I'm debt free!


Progress and Payments

This month was really tough, and at one point I almost thought I wouldn’t make my (self-imposed) debt-free deadline. But after working my butt off, while scrimping and saving, I was able to make it.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Semi-monthly double payments – $630
  • Freelance income – $942
  • Income from blogging and selling stuff – $501.98

Extra income total – $1,443.98

Total extra payments – $2,073.98

It’s Been a Long Journey

My journey towards becoming debt-free actually started in September 2009 when I was in a major car crash that totaled my car. I had no savings, was several thousand dollars in credit card debt and was in a home I couldn’t afford.

After my near death auto accident forced me to buy another car (with a car payment), I realized how unprepared I was financially and decided to do something about it.

I sold the house, moved to a new city, built up a mini-emergency fund and started making extra payments on my credit card and auto loan debt.

I wasn’t as committed as I should of been, but in March 2011 I got even more serious. And since then it’s been an uphill downhill climb. Debt Graph

New Loan Balance – $0.00

Getting out of debt SUCKS! It’s painful to send all of your hard earned money to the bank every month and basically have nothing to show for it. I’m so happy to be debt-free but I also never want to go through this process again.

It still hasn’t completely hit me that I no longer have to pay any debt payments. What in the world will I do now?!

Auto loan account balance

On May 29, 2012, I — Carrie Smith — am officially DEBT FREE!!!

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About Carrie

Carrie Smith is the owner and editor of Careful Cents. She helps serious solopreneurs and full-time freelancers earn more money in less time, through systems and financial organization. She's been featured in The Huffington Post, Glamour Magazine, Kiplinger Finance and several other business websites. In May 2013 she quit her full-time accounting job to pursue entrepreneurship and blogging. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram @carefulcents.


  1. Congratulations! This is excellent news. What a great way to end the month. I’m two months behind you. Wait until you get the title in the mail, that’s a fun day!

  2. Woo hoo!  Sending you a major high five, that is great news!  You are such an inspiration!

  3. Woohoo! Congratulations on a job well done. :)

  4. Congrats, that is awesome – can’t wait to be in your shoes! Thanks for being a great inspiration and motivator!

    • Thank YOU for being here to encourage and support me! I definitely couldn’t have done it without this wonderful community of readers.


  6. Shannon_ReadyForZero says:

    Congratulations on being debt free!  What an amazing accomplishment!

  7. That is sooo very exciting Carrie! Congratulations! What will you do with all that extra money each month now that you don’t have debt to pay off??

  8. Congratulations Carrie!!! That’s awesome!! You are very inspiring!! Wow!

  9. Yay! Congrats!!! 

  10. congrats! Let the summer of saving and investing begin! 

  11. Congratulations! That is so incredibly awesome and an inspiration to all of us. Thanks for sharing. :)

  12. Congrats Carrie – feels good huh? Wow – you kicked it if you were 14k in Nov. :)

  13. Congrats on kicking that debt’s ass Carrie!  Paying off $14k in a little over a year is awesome.  Now is the time to break out the credit card and party it up!  I kid…I’m sure you’ll do what you can do avoid debt for a while after making it through this.

  14. Congrats on getting out of debt!  Way to go quickly paying off the car loan!

  15. That is awesome!  Congrats :)

  16. Deborah @ImpulseSave says:

    Yay! Yay! That’s so amazing! What a great feeling! Now you can put that money towards something fun! Or save it for something big! Or just do whatever YOU want :)

  17. Congratulations! Welcome to the no car payment club. :)
    Be sure to take some time to savor this victory, it was well earned!

  18. You rock Girl! Your hard work and diligence have paid huge dividends! Next month you can increase your Target budget without having to worry.

  19. Congratulations, Carrie. I’m so proud of you and excited for your future! This day for you was a turning point in my life. Don’t lose your momentum. Keep putting that money away, only in savings and eventually investments and you won’t believe how fast it will build up!

    • Thanks Kraig! It’s very tempting to take a break and to start spending money again, but I’m holding strong. I plan to keep saving and working towards maxing out my Roth IRA.

  20. So awesome that you got it knocked out! Congratulations!!!

    It’s fun to watch the personal journeys throughout the PF bloggers community. 

  21. Paying off $14,000 in a little over a year? That’s amazing. Congratulations!

  22. You are a superstar! You should be so proud of all your hard work, and think of all the fun things you can save or buy now that you’re debt free. Congrats!

  23. Hooray!  A huge congratulations to you!

  24. Check out how steep the slope got when you reached a point you thought it was within your grasp. Awesome job.

  25. Wow that’s amazing! I hope to be in your shoes in a few years, totally debt free! (It’ll be my car that gets paid off last too of all my debts). I hope you have some kind of big celebration planned!

    • I do have a few little celebrations planned, mostly things I’ve been denying myself of for the past year. Lol. Like going shopping and eating out. 

  26. I just read this now, and I’m so excited for you. Great job, Carrie! Let us know what your next goal will be!

  27. Congratulations Carrie! I can’t wait until I can feel what it’s like to be in your shoes.

  28. Congrats, Carrie! This is so awesome!

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