I’m back! Life Updates

~Progress, not perfection

Hello! It has been almost two years since my last post!!! 😁 What’s been going on?!?  How are we doing financially? Did we move? What are our new goals? Let’s catch up!

My husband and I are in our mid 30’s and I use this as my safe place to keep myself motivated and on track. Since my last post we have moved back into town. We chose not to move to another metropolitan area as we didn’t feel like the job markets are as good as were we live and the move didn’t feel “right”. We purchased a home with a 20 year mortgage and that is our only debt.

The things that are going well:

A) One year of expenses saved in our emergency fund

B) Contributing 12% to 401k (both myself and hubby)

C) 20 year mortgage $178,149 remaining at 4.125%- starting mortgage $192,500 (Sept 2018)

Things that have changed:

A) Hubby recently (this month) decided to transition his side hustle to a full time job.   In addition he has started a new part time job that provides benefits (health insurance, 401k, etc) so we won’t have the added expense of adding him to my benefit plans. Benefits start after 6 months so we will be holding off on contributing to his retirement until then.

B) We will be living on less income. End of story. Just kidding, it’s true but we will make it work! 🙂

I will create a separate post on updated goals as with life this is a work in progress  and if I don’t submit this post I’m afraid I might change my mind in posting since it has been such a long time!

Thanks for reading this if you did 🙂 The goal post will be up soon!

~Rachel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goals!!! And other financial updates…

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Trust the wait. 

Embrace the uncertainty. 

Enjoy the beauty of becoming. 

When nothing is certain, anything is possible.

~Unknown

Yep, I skipped June’s update but I’m back to keep myself held accountable. June ended up being a month where I wasn’t so rigid on the budget & it showed. Since paying off our vehicle loan in March 2017 & increasing our 401k contributions to 12% I felt a little lost. Not gonna lie we enjoyed the money we spent in June. We went on a day trip up north & went out to a nice restaurant for my husband’s birthday along w/another meal just because. It was enjoyable & eating out is something we don’t do all that often so it felt special.

However, it feels like we’re in a financial slump. We haven’t fallen behind but in June we weren’t really getting ahead much either. We loosely stayed within budget but had only $200 to add to savings (A normal month would be more like $700-900). The lesson learned is that we always need goals to make progress in life, no matter how small.

The hard part that both my husband & I struggle with is if we should move, where & when. We currently live in a spacious updated 1903 two-story home that we both love. We like the community that we live in but the one downside is the commute. I drive 60 miles a day (35 mins each way excluding winter) & husband’s commute is a little less (25 mins each way). We live in North Dakota where the winters can be treacherous driving (land is very flat so blizzard like conditions are not uncommon). We would rather not move closer to town because we would lose the serenity of why we live where we live, if that makes sense. So our plan would be to move to another metropolitan (medium size Upper Midwest city) which would require us to start over in a new city. We are both excited & beyond scared to make the leap. Which leads me back to needing goals to make progress in life. I’ve had my heart set on paying off our mortgage by 40 (we are 34 & 33) but if we don’t intend to stay in our home long term should we continue to aggressively pay it down? Or is there another place to put it? Our background: we are debt free (excluding our mortgage) with 6+ months of an emergency fund saved. If we continued to stay in our home we have a desire to purchase land where we would build a bare bones cabin for summer camping. I need to state that we both feel blessed to have this problem-to not know what to do with our additional discretionary money. We’ve worked extremely hard in the past ten years purchasing our first home & renovating it, getting married, traveling & paying off 70k of student loans. This was no easy task but we are grateful for our health & the opportunities that allowed us to work hard to get where we are today.

What advice would you give? We’d love any insight that you may have 😊

~Rachel

March Financial Update

We have some exciting news to share!

WE ARE DEBT FREE (excluding our home)!

We paid off the vehicle loan a couple weeks ago & couldn’t feel more blessed & relieved.

1) Pay off vehicle loan by August 2017

DONE ✅

2) Change husband’s 401k contributions from 8% to 10%. Mine is currently at 10%.

-Working on it!

3) Then slowly increase both of our 401k contributions to 13%.

-Plan: over next couple months increase both contributions to 13% (hopefully we meet this goal by the end of May). We have changed our original goal from 15% to 13% because we are looking to funnel more money into paying off the mortgage faster. We are giving ourselves permission to change our minds in the future if this isn’t working.

4) Start paying down our mortgage faster so that we can be totally DEBT FREE! Currently we purchased a home Sept 2015 on a 15 year mortgage so we have approx. 13 1/2 years left!

~Rachel

Feb 2017 Financial Update

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~Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self~

The month started out well with no non-necessity spending until around the 15th of the month. Then we traveled to Minneapolis for a doctors appointment & along came with was one night in a hotel, meals out & one trip to a home store. We were thoughtful of our purchases & considering didn’t spend a ton. We had a good time though & made it into a little winter getaway 🙂 I’m learning to balance saving & enjoying life too!

1) Pay off vehicle loan by August 2017.

Balance of loan Oct 2016 $4860
Feb 1,2017 $3150

March 1, 2017 $2340

Husband “found” $400 this month…he intended to deposit a couple checks a while back & found it in between his car seats. Happy Day it was! 🙂

I am SO excited to share that we will crush the original goal of August 2017!!! New planned payoff will be at the end of March! Waiting for our tax refund & looking forward to being debt free excluding mortgage.

Steps 2-4 will be completed after the vehicle loan is paid off.

2) Change husband’s 401k contributions from 8% to 10%. Mine is currently at 10%.

3) Then slowly increase both of our 401k contributions to 15%.

4) Start paying down our mortgage faster so that we can be totally DEBT FREE! Currently we purchased a home Sept 2015 on a 15 year mortgage so we have approx. 13 1/2 years left!

~Rachel

No Spend Challenge!!!

We completed our first ever No Spend month in January. What an experience!

Things I learned:

  • Eating out during the week for lunch adds up! Normally I would grab something out about 1-2 times a week. So I was spending $20/week or $80/month on lunch!!! Before the challenge I didn’t think of my lunch habit as a big deal at all. Good news is that it has been 6 weeks & I haven’t had lunch out yet this year!
  • It helps to reset your spending. Spending money on my health is a priority which meant that I was spending upwards of $100/mo on supplements prescribed my naturopathic doctor. To be honest I’m not sure that they were improving my life. With the No Spend month I started using up my supplements & once one ran out I decided if it was something that I could tell was impacting the way I felt. So far I’ve only added one supplement & found an inexpensive drug store version of another.
  • I thought my husband was the person who spent the most discretionary money 🤔 It was shocking to find that he wasn’t…I was! By nature I’m the saver. He’s the spender but now I realized that that isn’t always the case. He had a much easier time not spending during Jan. Most of the purchases he makes are for projects around the house & with the challenge he worked on using things he already had at home to do.
  • Little purchases do indeed add up! $5 here & $10 there over the course of a month matters.
  • Eating through your pantry & freezer feels really good! Less clutter & more chances the food will not go bad because we found food we had no idea existed in the feeezer.
  • Challenges like this can be fun! We were more creative & thought of it as a game that we could no doubt win 😊

We we were able to save $250 in January due to the No Spend Challenge!!! So excited to make an additional payment on our vehicle 🚘 loan!!! 

So far Feb. unintentionally has been a No Spend month as well. We’ve only purchased necessary items but if we purchase the occasional item we aren’t going to beat ourselves up over it.

Goal: Striving for intentional purchases with life balance. 

Have you completed a No Spend challenge? What did you learn? Did anything surprise you? Would love to hear about your experiences 😊

~Rachel

Jan 2017 Financial Update

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~If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done~

Unfortunately this last month I was diagnosed with a health condition so there were several copays & one medical bill that was due that derailed the month a little.  Good news is that I’m doing just fine & we were able to fit the unexpected expenses into the budget without going over 🙂 Since insurance can take some time to process there will be more bills to come. However, we are taking it month by month.

Side note: Our family has been using EveryDollar for 6 + months to budget & I am enjoying the ease of keeping up with inputting receipts, income, etc. In the past I would use a spreadsheet but it got to be too time consuming to do it daily. Now I use the app on my phone whenever I make a purchase. I’m sure there are other apps that work just as well, it’s just what I use (husband still has me enter his receipts) 😉🤔

January we took part in our first No Spend Challenge month. Thank goodness for that! I will put up a separate blog post about the challenge & share what we learned.

1) Pay off vehicle loan by August 2017. We just recently started attacking this debt.

  • Balance of loan Oct 2016 $4860
  • Feb 1,2017 $3150
  • We were able to make an additional $250 payment due to the No Spend Challenge!

Steps 2-4 will be completed after the vehicle loan is paid off. 

2) Change husband’s 401k contributions from 8% to 10%. Mine is currently at 10%.

3) Then slowly increase both of our 401k contributions to 15%.

4) Start paying down our mortgage faster so that we can be totally DEBT FREE! Currently we purchased a home Sept 2015 on a 15 year mortgage so we have approx. 13 1/2 years left!

~Rachel~

Mortgage Free at 40

imageWelcome to my first post!

I’m so excited you are visiting 😄My husband & I are 33 years old with no kids.

We have been followers of both Suze Orman in the past & more recently Dave Ramsey. The reason for the blog is to help keep ourselves accountable.

1) Pay off vehicle loan by August 2017. We will be DEBT FREE!!!!

2) Change husband’s 401k contributions from 8% to 10%. Mine is currently at 10%.

3) Then slowly increase both of our 401k contributions to 15%.

4) Start paying down our mortgage faster so that we can be totally DEBT FREE! Currently we purchased a home Sept 2015 on a 15 year mortgage so we have approx. 13 1/2 years left!

I will be updating the blog with our progress so come along for the ride!