Well, I have been much overdue on a an update on our Dave Ramsey Adventure. After accomplishing more than we could have imagined last year, I think I delayed on updating due to a slower rate of progress this year. We set out to pay of my loans by the end of this year, but I think we will likely fall short.
This year, we have had a lot of financial changes. We moved to a much more expensive city, we both had to commute to work instead of Keaton walking, and between the two of us we have been in 5 weddings this spring. Keaton also graduated, which is such a huge step forward, but graduation, licensing, and testing for boards all came with some hefty fees. In addition, I took a pay cut at the end of last year in order to gain some very valuable experience for my travel nurse resume. I have also tried my hardest to pick up overtime, but as a traveler I get canceled first if there is someone who gets to stay home (never thought I’d complain about having to “only” work my 40 hours, but there ya go).
We have talked a LOT about finances, future plans, and additional goals. We set a goal for loan repayment prior to knowing the depth of other financial obligations that would happen this year, and knowing this has made us very okay with the slowing of our debt snowball progress (for now). Unfortunately, even if you would like to just throw every single penny at debt, you still have to keep the rest of your life up and running in the meantime, and sometimes there isn’t much left to chip away with.
Despite not moving forward quite as fast as we would like, we have still made progress. We opted to put about 2/3 of our tax return towards paying off my private loan, so I am only left with government loans. We have also still consistently thrown “something” extra towards my remaining loans each month, no matter how small. Our two paid-off cars are still keeping us going sans car payment, and we are building our emergency fund so when we have to pay some up-front costs to begin travel nursing and travel physical therapy, we won’t have to worry about needing credit cards or going further into debt.
This time in our lives has been great because so many positive things have happened. We have celebrated some of our best friends and closest family members getting married, caught up with friends we hadn’t seen in years, taken time to spend with people in Kansas City that we won’t get to see on a regular basis in the future. We took time away as a couple to really relax and recharge after three years of Keaton being constantly stressed by school. All of the memories created this spring are wonderful, and I know once we hit the road traveling full-time in August we can really pick up the pace on paying down our debt again. While seeing those numbers go down is a thrill, it is also important to realize that there are times in your life you can’t re-live, and moments you cannot get back. Money and being debt-free isn’t always the number one priority.
So, despite not hitting all of our financial goals as planned, I am happy with where life is and where we are going. In terms of personal growth, growth in our marriage, and depth of relationships, this spring has been fantastic. In terms of our debt snowball, we have been on a slight detour, but we will get straightened out before too long. Priorities shift, but long-term goals don’t have to change, they may just be adjusted 😉
I cannot wait to see the progress we make this fall, and share it all with you guys. Stay tuned, and let me know if you have any questions or success stories of your own.
Some of my favorite tools to keep us on track:
- Total Money Makeover
- If you choose one tool, this needs to be it. Worksheets, instructions, step by steps. Everything you need to get started.
- Financial Peace University
- The whole dang thing.
- The Financial Peace Planner
- The original.
If you haven’t noticed, I also added an awesome progress bar to the right-hand side of the page! I found this little widget on another blog and thought it was a really neat way to share our progress.
Also, if you like this post, make sure to check out my Budgeting tab.
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