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