Because I can never remember numbers, I tend to forget if I've made actual progress paying down a debt--specifically student loans, or saving. To be fair, the student loan thing really does seem like treading water since I make a payment and the amount starts creeping back up right away, but to make myself feel a little better, I started taking screenshots at the beginning of each month to remind myself that the big number is getting every so slightly smaller.
The first screenshot I took, in March, showed a balance of $100,132. Ugh. Awful, scary number--I hate you! The most recent screenshot that I took, June 8, shows a balance of $99,601. Yes, I just made a payment, so that number is creeping back up, but I have not gone back over the $100,000 mark since February!
This is all thanks to my new repayment strategy of aggressively throwing money at my biggest, highest interest loan, (dratted Loan E) and I'm so happy that it's actually working! Now all I have to do is keep up the pace, without going nuts and stopping saving, and I should be able to make even faster progress. It's so tempting to take every bit of extra money and try to bring these loans down even faster, but that's just foolish. My goal is to just reduce the amount so that when they're forgiven in 8.5 years, I don't get stuck with a massive income tax bill. The amount that I owe is not mathematically possible to pay off in 25 years--unless I win the lottery or something, so I need to remind myself not to throw away my future in the form of not saving for retirement or possible home-ownership.
Yay for screenshots!