July 2017 Army Updates – The Great War of Debt

 Army Statistics by Year (if recruiting goes well):

Last month I posted to officially declare war on debt. Although the battles began discreetly in January, it was time to publically announce the commitment to destroy the greedy barbarians. Before getting into July updates, let me share the three-year plan to rid ourselves of these bloody fools.

3 Year Loan Pool / Investment Plan

YearCumulative Student Loan PoolCumulative Student Loan PaymentsCar Loan PoolCumulative Car Loan PaymentsAnnual IRAAnnual 401(k)

I will be around 3K short at the end of 2019 for my student loan pool, meaning that in the next 3 years side hustles / arresting expenses will be required to hit the goal. Have a suggestion? Would love to hear it!

Army Updates for July 2017

In my original post, I stated that I’d be sharing spreadsheets with my plan. It was decided to use graphs and tables instead as they are more visually appealing! If you are in need of a loan amortization spreadsheet or of help to create a debt free/investing plan – contact us!

  • Bad Guys:

    Student Loans of the East
    • Army Size: 31.5K
    • Growth Rate: Avg of 5.5%
    • Weakness: Although large in numbers, the army lacks trained fighters. Each month they lose 294 men
    Auto Loan of the West
    • Army Size: 9.1K
    • Growth Rate: 5.5%
    • Weakness: Sickness infects the army to reduce its size by 117 each month

    Good Guys:

    Loan Pool Savings of the North
    • Army Size: 7.4K
    • Growth Rate: 1.0%
    • Weakness: Early career salary means an average of only 375 greenbacks soldiers graduate to fight each month

Side Hustle Income Update for July 2017

July didn’t bring in any new side income opportunities. The blog has been keeping me pretty busy along with working 60+ hours a week. I’d love to turn in some of the writing into free-lance work, or potentially monetize our blog in the future. I’m not in a rush to do either, although writing has become a new hobby I truly enjoy.

Lessons from July 2017 Update

This year I received my first bonus as a full-time employee, my biggest lesson from it: use it for both your financial goals and to reward yourself for hard work. For me, I bought some new furniture for my space (used of course)! I’m pretty excited about it since it had been so long since doing so. It wasn’t much – only 10% of the bonus.

For me, I bought some new furniture for my space (used of course)! I’m pretty excited about it since it had been so long since doing so. It wasn’t much – only 10% of the bonus. The rest? Loan pooling it up!! I was able to add ~$700 to the savings account that brings me closer and closer to the goal!

Overall July was a great month. I had no idea 401(k) money was taken from bonus checks, so that will give me a boost for the year on completing the 18K contribution goal. I was able to add a small deposit to my IRA as well. I’m currently ahead of schedule for my debt free journey and on track to max retirement accounts for the year. It’s a great example of why tracking is so important. THE FEELING IS AMAZING. Seeing a goal, planning for the goal, and executing on a goal – few things in life match the blood boiling feeling of seeing sacrifices pay off. Join me in hitting our goals this year!!

July Update - Baby screaming with text "Let's hit our goals!"

Concluding Thoughts

The battle of July was won by the good guys in terms of numbers. The good guys grew, the bad guys shrunk. If the good guy’s strategy continues, the barbarians have no chance in the long run! The army of the north is sure to win the war!

Please share any tips or suggestions for me or any updates on your own war. Thank you for reading!

10 Replies to “July 2017 Army Updates – The Great War of Debt”

  1. Dear Duke,

    I’ve been looking into credit card cashback, bank account and brokerage signup programs lately. I’m not going to make a move (if I do at all) until January 2018 but there is definitely some cash to be made. I’m in Canada but the offers in the USA are even better (assuming you have a good credit score). I read a post recently where a blogger (almost, he made a spending error, oops!) travel hacked his family of 4 to Hawaii for 7 days. FREE!

    I’ve been able to make some extra money with surveys (for a minimal amount of time) as well as purchasing gift cards online (at a discount) for stores that I shop at anyways.

    Looks like you have a good plan in place. All the best with meeting your goals.

    Besos Sarah.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      What are the reasons behind waiting? The USA has had some awesome deals and each year for the past 2, I’ve probably made around ~1K per year from credit card sign up bonuses.

      One of the apartments I lived in allowed credit card payments for rent, so it was quite easy to hit their requirements. I also was told to check the fine print, as you can receive those same bonuses for the same card 1x per X years sometimes.

      What are some survey sites you use? Would you mind sharing how much you make and how taxes work for these?

      Thank you for such a thoughtful comment and suggestion!

      1. Dear Master Duke,

        1. I’m waiting because;

        A) I’m not convinced that my current credit card isn’t offering me the best cashback based on our purchases. While I have an excellent credit score, I don’t want more than two hits a year,
        B) It’s associated with a company (Canadian Tire) that I also hold shares in so I figure, why not pay myself twice,
        C) I like to support Canadian (although, all the credit cards I’m looking at are owned by Canadian Companies and/or Banks)
        D) While I could juggle 10 different credit cards for 28 different expenses, my husband can not. I’ve just added a second credit card (we already had it but weren’t using it, they changed their cashback percentages so I’m going to give it a try) and he’s not happy about it.
        E) Most of our major expenses are due in March and April so for those that do require/limit spending for a particular time frame, I want to make sure that I maximize my spending.

        2. That is sweet about paying your rent with a credit card! Many of our expenses will allow us to charge to our credit card but unfortunately, they charge an extra 2%. Doesn’t make sense when we’re only getting .08-1% back 🙁

        3. Surveys. I’m Canadian and really like the site “Asking Canadians”. I’ve been getting at least one survey a week and it pays $1-$2.5 each. I take it as a dollar for dollar discount on my CAA (your AAA) annual membership. I’ve only been doing it for a few months but applied over $20 (plus tax savings of 13%!). Not a lot of money but honestly, it’s a few questions here and there.

        4. As for paying taxes, um.

        Besos Sarah.

        1. Thank you for explaining and also helping me better understand you’re talking more about the cash back bonuses throughout the year on a credit card!

          I’m in total agreeance with you on D – so much work for little reward and also see why you would not want more than 2 hits a year on your CC. As far as the rent being paid on CC, they did make me pay like $20 more, but I opened a credit card that let me get $600 in points from spending 4K in 4 months or something like that, in other words totally worth it! :D.

          It’s really awesome that you are supporting businesesses in Canada – very patriotic and commendable! Have you ever looked into signing bonuses for cards there?

          Typically my strategy has been – find a card with an awesome sign up bonus (like 50K points if you spend X in 3 months), with its fee waived. They also sometimes come with things like $150 credit towards travel purchases (like bags or food etc), and points per purchase. What ends up happening is you get points for the money spent to hit the bonus in addition to the 50K bonus points for spending the required amount. I’ve received upwards of 56K points from 1 card that then pays for 2 flights.

          I do this and use that card for the year (sometimes opening a second one if it makes sense and there’s a good bonus), then cancel it when the annual fee comes. I haven’t noticed a huge hit on my credit since doing this, although I’m new and it has been continually going up since I’ve increased my credit + utilized only 1 or 2 % of it.

          This has been a great discussion though – it makes me want to create a spreadsheet to track how much I’ve actually made from doing this.

          1. Dear Master Duke,

            2. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve said “I want to be American”, I’d be rich (and I wouldn’t even necessarily need to move 😉 ). I say that because you guys have AMAZING credit card offers that we don’t. The best one right now (not based on income — that I can’t meet), offers $50 if I sign up for the credit card AND open up a bank account (and leave a balance in there). From a “make money” point of view, I’d be up $50 because my chequing bank account is currently paying 0% interest but the hassle of having multiple accounts and that it’s an online only bank (and I don’t do much online shopping or bill payments) just isn’t worth it to me. And so I continue to create spreadsheets proving that continuing on with our current credit card system might not be making the most money but it’s saving our sanity.

            While I’ve been hesitant to sign up for programs (credit card or otherwise) that charge a membership fee, I would have definitely signed up for the rental payment deal you got. I need to take my blinders off when it comes to programs like this because once the math is done, it might be a money making option for me, credit score hit or not.

            And, I’m not sure that it matters about my credit score anyways given that I never plan or having a mortgage, purchasing a new car, or borrowing money for anything else. Besides, I have a $25,000 LOC that was set up a long time ago when my credit was worse.

            Have fun creating your spreadsheet. I have a spreadsheet for everything 🙂

            Besos Sarah.

          2. Lol! That is too funny. I was under the impression Canadians felt the opposite!

            #2 makes sense. I never knew that we were fortunate to have credit card offers like we do – something new to add towards my gratitude list.

            My credit score has ultimately increased throughout the last 2-3 years even with the hits, although I don’t have a mortgage yet :). I’d say your situation would determine this based on what hits you’ve had each year. Creditkarma.com is how I track this though.

            Thank you very much – sincerely have enjoyed this convo !

  2. Lol you analogies are crazy – yay good guys! Congrats on your June growth!

    Blogging is a hard side hustle, it can easily be full-time work. Plus it takes too long and there’s no money (if not money spent!) I think it should be another version of Stockholm syndrome 😉

    For some reason after I read this post I got a huge craving for McDonald fries..is that normal for your readers?!

    1. Thank’s Lily!! Do you consider your blog a side hustle or more for fun?

      Stockholm syndrome in that you spend a lot of time and love doing it, but it doesn’t provide income in most cases?

      I think your just hungry 🙂 LOL now I want some fries!

  3. DD –

    Keep recording what is happening, keep doing more of what works and see what’s going on that’s not working. Nice job, as well, allocating most of your bonus towards these goals. I look forward to the bad “men” begin to crumble, each and every month. Build that army and defeat the enemy. HERE WE GO!!!


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