My Humble Update

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
My Humble Update
Tue, 01-07-2014 - 4:09pm

So here is my very humble update to end the year/start the new year:


When we started this journey 2.25 years ago, we had $57,153.80 in consumer debt (not counting the mortgage).

Today we have $5,672.70 left to pay off.

That means we've paid off $51,481.10 in 27 months.

In addition to this:

We have saved an additional approximately $20,000 in E/F and retirement (when we started we had NO E/F and had suspended our contribution to retirement).

AND . . . we've cashed flowed a pretty crazy life this last year (the first year in our journey we were much more "nose to the grindstone" mindset) which includes:

- a decent sized sailboat/storage/slip fees/yacht club membership

- $13,000 in painting and landscaping 

- sailing lessons

- two vacations

- a wall oven

- an attempt to help out a friend with her lifestyle and  financial goals (mainly related to her breaking up with her s/0 and us letting her stay in our empty home - which bit us in the butt, still I feel good that we put in a good faith effort to try to help her (to the tune of over $2,500)).

- a new lifestyle in a new community (we moved in Aug to live closer to where my Dh works).  We are renting a flat (a crummy, cold, but pretty flat) AND still carrying a mortgage since we've had some trouble selling our home (just had a deal fall through - oh well...)  I've started working a part time job (which I love) to make up the shortfall.  But we have been living awefully "high on the hog"  (though that's pretty relative) since we've moved here.  This community is soosososo much more fun.  I love it here.  But we need to still honker down and stay on track.

We have done this with an income of 89,000 to 112,000 annually (I think it's important to fess up to this detail . .. 'cause it's all relative) 


I have to admit that I haven't been as good this year as I should have been . . .BUT . ..  paying down debt has been completely LIBERATING to me . ..  I'm hoping Dh will get a bonus to pay off the remaining debt, or that the amount of money I have set aside for taxes will be more than I needed to set aside.  If not, we'll just keep chipping away.  We are so close to being debt free except for the mortgage.  I need to make saving for a new (used) car my next priority.  I'm hoping that putting in the groundwork for sailing will pay off (socially and timewise) for us this next year.  Honestly, all I want to do is sit on my completely paid for sailboat every single spare moment of our lives (and btw, we've met some FABULOUS people who are into sailing, so the social aspect seems to come completely free of charge . . . you bring a bottle of gin . ..  I'll have the mix on hand . . . sort of people.)

Dh is happier.  I am happier.  We are less poor.  All is well.


Honestly, even 12 months ago, I wouldn't have thought the changes we've made would be possible.  

But it really is about being accountable to your money.  I'm not working fulltime, so I can't spend money like I am.  I should probably have better and more clothes (especially given the social group I'm hanging out with)  . ..but . .. honestly . .. I just dont' have a lot of money. . . and my clothes are fine . . .they are clean and well cared for.   People I'm working with give me a bit of a bad time about not being a member of a local gym (they are VERY big on joining gyms here - lol).  But I've been walking on the frozen beach everyday.  I LOVE it.  And it costs me nothing.

People (even my family) are giviing me a bad time about the way I'm living in my broken down flat.  But it's what I need to do to keep making progress.  Like Dave Rasmsey says, "I'm living like no one else, so someday I can live like no one else".

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 01-07-2014 - 5:20pm

This is a GREAT update.  WOW!  You have come so far!

Congratulations on making lifestyle choices that fit you, and not others' idea of how you should live.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Tue, 01-07-2014 - 8:01pm
Great job! Doesn't it feel great when you live in a great community that you love! I am in the same spot! Great job keeping things in perspective. Remember what your ultimate goals are and keep plugging away!

Bex -

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Tue, 01-07-2014 - 10:58pm

That is a great update! Congrats to you!!!! Being happy and healthy is ultimately more important. You are obviously on the right track and doing what is right for you and DH.

I agree that fessing up to the details of things is important. When we came here we only made $60-70K/yr in the 2nd most expensive city in Canada. On top of that, we had FT daycare & school to pay for. We have been accelerating our pension amounts bc DH has never even had a pension and we are 40!

Our biggest goal has been to increase our salaries to $80-100K in the last 18 months. That is huge for such a short time and he is guaranteed to increase another $5K in Feb/Mar when he finishes some training. My situation is completely murky right now.

There are 2 sides to the coin - earning and spending. We have been working very, very hard to increase one side and have managed to reduce spending as well.



iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 9:26am

Bumbling--Such a great update!!! You guys have done so much!! You were helping DD with her student loan in all of this too were you not? So awesome!! You will feel so liberated after that last piddly 5gs is gone. Then you will real choices!

Dee--My husband maxed out his pension contribution as he will be 42 and has never had the option before and we are feeling awfully behind here. I will be 40 in a month!! Yikes! I have been contributing to retirement  but only for a couple years and not much while paying down the debt. It sure cuts into the pay check doesn't it!! but it is sooo needed. That is what we tell ourselves, and when the employer matches, it is crazy not to! So good for you! You guys will get there! Hope the sweaters are keeping you warm!

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 1:35pm
Welcome back and what a great update!! You have made so much progress and you can tell just by your post how happy you guys are, that is so important on this journey!! Keep it up!!
Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 1:37pm

stormydancer wrote:
<p>On top of that, we had FT daycare &amp; school to pay for. We have been accelerating our pension amounts bc DH has never even had a pension and we are 40!</p><p>Our biggest goal has been to increase our salaries to $80-100K in the last 18 months. </p><p>Peace,</p><p>Dee</p>

That is such a good point, there are days I look at our budget and think, goodness, we make SO much money, why are we just barely getting by sometimes, but we have a 4 and 6 year old, so the last 6 years we have had 1 or 2 daycare payments that eat up so much income!!  Not that i want to rush the kids into being older, but I can not wait until we are down to just after school care payments!!

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 01-09-2014 - 4:44pm

Great update!  

I sometimes have visions of my dream home and property, my dream car, etc. etc. but what we have works.  It allows us to do other things (i.e. your sailing).   What fun is it being strapped with payments if you can't do what you love?  

I am all for being comfortable in a home that we love, and a car we like, but where does it really end?   

Ultimately it is about living within our means because yes, it is all relative.  :)