Hey guys! So it has been awhile since I’ve touched topics other than fitness and healthy eating. I did recently pick back up CrossFit, but that will be a discussion for another day 🙂
Today I just wanted to give a quick update on some of our financial goals and write out our goals for the next 10-12 months. This will help me look back on days I’m ready to run off and buy a new wardrobe or spend $100 dinner and refocus our spending and remember our goals. It actually kept me from walking up to the coffee shop before sitting down to write this.
We hit a HUGE milestone today: $15,000 put towards Keaton’s tuition and our debt snowball!
Oh. My. Gosh. I could not have even fathomed this number being within reach a year ago, or even 6 months ago when I first shared about Our Dave Ramsey Adventure.
Honestly, moving to Kansas City made it that much harder. We increased our rent, and our social life also blew up thanks to being closer to friends and family again. At first, it was really tough to keep our budget in check, especially when it came to drinks with friends or eating at restaurants we haven’t had regular access to for 2 years. We went back and forth on what to try to shoot for with our financial goals, and increased our entertainment budget slightly. We decided to focus on our first goal, and go from there once we hit it in January:
Pay Keaton’s last semester of graduate school in cash.
Now, we had already planned on putting a portion of cash towards tuition, but ultimately decided that paying cash and avoiding additional debt made more sense, then we can focus on paying down the debt we already have (my student loans, and his loans from previous semesters). We are so, so close to hitting this goal, and if everything works out should have the money we need by January.
After that our goals will be as follows:
- Pay off my student loans (Goal timeframe: Next October)
- Pay off Keaton’s student loans (Goal timeframe: October 2018)
- AKA debt free before age 27, with 3 bachelors degrees and a doctorate!
- Fit in some trips between now and then 🙂
We plan to tackle this Dave-Ramsey-style: Smallest loan first. I know it seems silly to the math brains out there not to go by interest rates, BUT when we are talking about less than 2 years of interest, if we can stay motivated by seeing the zeros slowly start to appear by all of our loan balances (I get excited every time we drop below the ___thousand line, like 3002 to 2990 or something) then I think in the long run, interest won’t matter. If you need more explanation on the math behind this, check out this explanation.
Considering we have come this far on one income, I can’t wait to see our numbers drop when Keaton starts working full-time next summer! We have both been working a few shifts waiting tables and bartending, and just that little bit helps so much, so having 2 full incomes may help us push up those goal dates.
Another huge priority for us is enjoying life along the way. Yes, being debt free is the goal, but it’s not our only goal. We are young, and want to take opportunities to travel, spend time with friends and family, and reward ourselves now and again. On top of all of this, we also relocated, purchased some furniture for our new place, took a vacation to the Dominican Republic, a trip to St. Louis to see Blink-182, and have done lots of other fun things in between. In the next two years we’d like to take a 3-4 week trip to the UK, possibly attend a World Cup, and definitely see more of the US. Keaton got a scratch-off map for his anniversary present, so we’ve got work to do!
We just make sure to spend money on things that matter to us, and avoid extra purchases that don’t truly make us happy long-term. I’m also still sticking to our $75 grocery budget. We have lots of discussion before making any purchases, and sometimes we have to wait a little while to save the money for items (our “bookshelf” in our new place was just a stack of books for almost two months while we saved for actual furniture). Achieving any goal takes patience, and this one is definitely the most long-term goal we’ve ever worked towards, but I know it will be so worth it in the end!