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".