Happy new year! I hope your Christmas and New Year’s Eve was as enjoyable as mine was.
In addition to the holidays, we paid off $3,414.21 in December!
This month’s amount consisted solely of principal payments made with my husband’s paychecks, and the standard payment was made with my income. I hate it when he has to work overtime, but I sure do love the extra money we get to throw at our mortgage!
Now that Christmas is over, I feel much more focused and motivated. Isn’t it crazy how one day can cause a month-or longer- of anxiety and feeling overwhelmed? We do not even purchase gifts for very many people, and it still makes us anxious.
When Ron and I made our first budget together in May of 2016, we set a dollar amount that we were willing to spend for Christmas, divided it by eight, and saved that amount each month. We set a limit of $50 each to purchase presents for each other, $600 for our daughter, and $20 for each of our nieces and names that were drawn on Thanksgiving.
It worked out well, but seeing photos on Facebook of tips of trees emerging through the top of multi-colored bags and boxes is enough to make anyone insecure about how many presents they bought their child for Christmas.
We held strong though, and I think our five-year-old will one day have a much less materialistic mindset than the rest of our society.
As for New Year’s Eve, we stuck with our simple tradition of going to my cousins’ house, cooking dinner and playing games until the ball drops.
I hope that instead of making a New Year’s resolution, you have made clear, written, attainable goals with a PATH OF ACHIEVEMENT.
It is not enough for me to say that my husband and I have made it our financial goal to pay off the house by the end of this year instead of our original goal of September 2018. It is necessary that we have a WHY, and more importantly, a HOW for this goal in order for it to have the slightest chance of being achieved.
[Edit: We’re 100% debt free! Check out my very last mortgage post here.]
WHY have we changed our goal? That’s an easy one. After all, why wouldn’t we want it paid off sooner?! During this four-month journey, we have found that we are paying off much more per month than our original goal of $2,400 per month. We are ready to be done with this goal so that we can move on to fun goals – first, buying my husband his choice of truck with CASH, and second, buying myself a Mustang with CASH.
After that, back to wealth-building goals of investing in rental homes, you guessed it, with CASH.
Cash, cash, cash! No more debt EVER! What an alien concept! When we mention buying cars and investing in real estate soon, they laugh saying, “I thought the whole point of y’all paying off the house was to be debt-free!” Our society simply does not comprehend delaying gratification and saving money for a large purchase.
And HOW will we attain our improved goal? By means of another goal – earning $20,000 in my new business. Which presents a-whole-nother question of HOW, but for this blog, I won’t go into the fine details of that.
Speaking of goals, I am continuing my goal of reading at least one book per month. I am getting toward the end of How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. This book, in addition to How to Win Friends and Influence People, is a must read!
Our monthly snapshot is below. Keep in mind that we are not actively contributing to our Roth IRAs until our house is paid off, and we are only contributing enough to our 401Ks to earn our company matches – 5% for my husband and 4% for me.
I cannot wait to do all I can do this year. I hope the same for you, and I hope that WHEN you fail along your journey of whatever you define success to be, you get right back up and keep going.
As always, a few things to think about:
Are you now dealing with the consequences of overspending for Christmas?
A week after Christmas, are you thinking about the gifts you received, and are you thinking about the amounts that your loved ones spent on them? On the flip side, do you believe that the people for whom you purchased gifts are thinking about the gifts you purchased or how much you spent on them?
Are you thinking of ways to improve yourself this year? If so, are you forming these thoughts into plans?
Happy New Year! Come back next month to check in along My Quest for (Financial) Freedom!