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I like money!
Okay, phew I said it.
Sometimes it feels wrong to admit that, but it’s true, I want financial freedom.
To me financial freedom is never caring when payday is because you have enough money in your accounts to cover your bills, it’s having no debt, it’s saving money to go on family vacations, it’s the ability to give to causes and people that we care about.
I would love to someday be that person who has money and gives generously everywhere. I’d love to give anonymously to families in need locally. I don’t want recognition for my giving, but I want to see that the money I am giving is directly impacting people. These goals are what keep me on track financially.
We’ve had a budget since the day we were married and boy, has that budget changed over the years.
Now, it’s true we could have been better with our budget back in the law school days, but we chose to take some student loan money for living expenses and today we are now paying for that.
I’m happy to report though that since we tightened up our budget we have paid and saved
$65,000 for the following:
- Car loan
- Student loans
- Disney vacation (cash flowed – no money borrowed)
- Complete kitchen remodel (cash flowed – no money borrowed)
- New garage roof (cash flowed – no money borrowed)
- Closing costs for a home refinance
Granted we could be farther along the school loan if we hadn’t had that family trip to Disney or remodeled our kitchen. However we decided it was important to our family at the time— the kitchen to me and the vacation to Brian. I think being motivated for that vacation and kitchen and paying cash for them showed us we could tighten our budget further and save faster. So in that way they were helpful to our debt snowball.
We still have $48,600 left to pay off for Brian’s law school, but we are working very hard to get that done.
Our goal is to be debt-free by July 2018, though I’d like to push faster and do it by the end of 2017.
Since the state of Illinois has yet to pass a budget it means both Brian’s and my employers are facing some serious hardships. My employer has already done significant layoffs and we may be facing more in the future. Because of these uncertain times we have chosen to take the responsible approach and pause our “debt snowball” to beef up our emergency fund from a $1,000 to $18,000. If you’re a Dave Ramsey fan you may recognize his plan.
In the meantime we are slowly saving our money and if things look better at our employers we’ll have a big amount of money to quickly throw at that pesky student loan.
While I would love to have this student loan gone tomorrow, I know that the journey to paying it off is just as important as it being paid off.
Most people won’t agree with me on this next point. In fact Brian thinks I’m quite crazy.
If we were to win some sort of jackpot I would actually be a little disappointed.
I want the satisfaction of paying every last penny of this student loan off ourselves.
I don’t want to pay it off in what I would consider the easy way. So Brian has agreed to keep all jackpots, while I continue paying on the loan, what a very selfless husband I have! Now, this doesn’t stop me every year from entering the Dave Ramsey Christmas giveaways he does, because I can’t exactly not even try for the money.
Join us on our journey as we work towards financial freedom.
We are looking forward to our debt free scream in 2018 (or sooner). Share in the comments below about your debt free journey.
Be sure to check out follow alone every month as we update the progress on our debt snowball journey.