Wow, month eight is upon us already! I believe having this goal, looking forward to paying off debt every couple of weeks and tracking our progress is making the months go by even faster.
My husband didn’t have as much opportunity for overtime this past month, but since it was one of those magical months with an “extra” paycheck, I think we still did really good.
This bring us to a grand total of $31,597.35 since we started paying off our house in September. Only $45,538.37 to go until we are 100% DEBT FREE!
Before I get into the details, I’m very happy and honored to say that I recently did an interview with the amazing Kim Galeta and was featured on her website. Click the picture below to check out the interview in another tab. If you’re on Instagram, be sure to follow her @kim_galeta!
So, if you read my latest journal post, Instant Gratification…of Goal Milestones, you are aware that we didn’t hit the 50% mark ($45,000) like I had hoped to by the end of March. You’ll also know that my husband “won this battle”, but it’s actually okay. With the weather warming up and our landscaping done, I am glad we will be able to get the living room done so we can start “entertaining” again, as they say on HGTV.
March was the closest we’ve come to zero by the end of our zero-based budget. We usually have a couple hundred or so left over at the end of the month that we leave in our checking account (we like to have around $1000 in our checking as padding for peace of mind). This time, we only had about $60 left over. We had budgeted only four paychecks over the course of five weeks so that we could use my “extra” paycheck to help finish the living room, so I guess this isn’t too bad.
For the first time, we absolutely blew our “Clothing” category, which we usually never even budget for since we have plenty of clothes. We budgeted $130 for March so that my detective husband who is finally coming back off the road (yay!) could buy shirts and ties. We went over by about $30 on that, plus I bought new black heels for a formal event that we were given free tickets to attend. The only heels I had were at least five years old and were absolutely ragged. By the way, if you’re tall like me, let’s take a second just to appreciate that I found heels that weren’t 5 inches high!
Alright, so enough about March. Let’s talk about April, a very important month for Ron and me.
April 16 is our one year anniversary!
It’s hard to believe that one year ago, I was a ball of anxious energy, planning our wedding and dealing with inner demons – the fear of being a bad wife and the determination not to follow my family’s depressing habit of having at least three marriages. Not the to mention becoming a stepmother and inheriting an insta-family!
I never dreamed that one year later, we would be full steam ahead on a debt-free journey that would set us up for the rest of our lives. We will have our house paid off before our second anniversary! Our marriage will never be plagued by financial burdens. There will be disagreements obviously, but there will be no reason to ever argue over finances.
As you can guess, the question everyone has been asking is, “What are y’all doing for your anniversary?” It was expected that we would go on vacation, perhaps to relax on the beach or at least go back to Savannah where we were wed.
We’re not doing any of these things. We had planned on not going anywhere at all so that we could throw more at the mortgage. Totally worth it in our opinion, considering we’ll have a lifetime of vacations together, especially after we are completely free of debt and our incomes are ours to do with as we please. Things work out in funny ways though, and Ron was told last week that he will need to attend a conference in Knoxville, and he has been booked a two night stay in a hotel by Market Square the week before our anniversary. So excited! We are going to put some extra money in our “Entertainment” category this month and take advantage of this stay-cation to celebrate.
This past month, I have been reading Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber, which argues that debt, not barter, is the oldest form of trade. Do I recommend? Yes, but only if you have the ability to really concentrate when reading, because this is not a light read. I feel like I’m reading a textbook.
My work days are filled with podcasts, and below are the ones I listened to in March. The real estate podcasts have been my main focus, since after we update our cars once our house is paid off, this will be our new venture.
Keep learning and stay focused, guys! I know the weather is warming up and the days are getting longer, but do not lose sight of your plans and goals. Keep your budget realistic by increasing your entertainment category, and scroll really, really fast when you come across your friends’ vacation pictures. Spring and summer are temptresses; don’t let them derail your dreams!
See you next month for another update along my Quest for (Financial) Freedom!
P.S. My “Live Like No One Else” wristbands really help you stay on track! Get one now for only $4.00 plus FREE shipping by clicking the photo below!