So here we are. At the beginning of our journey towards becoming debt free.
Well, not exactly at the beginning, since we paid off our small amount of credit card debt a couple of years ago. Debt we had accrued in college, planning our wedding, and on our honeymoon. It was a decent amount, but nothing that we couldn't get rid of quickly. So we committed to paying it off and living in a more frugal way. Back then, we wanted to be everything-but-student-loans debt free.
That was okay for awhile. It felt good to only spend money that we made, never using a card besides our debit card and living at, even below, our means.
We knew we were making good (for the most part) choices.
But we were still frustrated. Frustrated that so much of monthly income was going towards student loan debt. Frustrated that our savings wasn't growing as fast as wanted. Frustrated that our typically minimum payments weren't going to go away for 18 more years. Frustrated thinking about how distant the day would be that we could actually start saving for our boys' college funds. Frustrated that at some point, we would be paying a mortgage and old student loans without financial freedom being anywhere close to feasible.
We decided that we want those student loans gone. We want that relentless, annoying, life-sucking monkey off of our back. It's holding us back from so much, and hanging over our heads like a perpetual raincloud. We are sick and tired of feeling like we aren't getting anywhere, financially.
So now, we are aiming for completely debt free.
Aiming for the day that we make that final payment, and realize that we are completely, totally, utterly, out of debt. As in, all of our money is our own. And it will be wonderful.
But it is going to be a lot of work. I mean, a lot. Like, only shop at thrift stores, the dollar store, Aldi. Never step foot inside a restaurant, movie theater, salon or cupcake shop (Don't fret, I have a voucher for Phoebe's cupcakes for a day when I am feeling really discouraged!). If you are planning a visit, I apologize in advance for the lack of options available to us to pass the time. Don't say you haven't been warned.
It's going to be intense. And it is still going to take a few years (our goal is no more than five years, three would be awesome!). There will be days, weeks, months, that I feel discouraged. Where I want to give up. But I won't. And once it's over, man, that is going to be amazing. And so worth it. I just know it.
I am writing here to document our journey, to encourage myself, and to hopefully be able to look back and see how far we have come.
So, for the sake of full disclosure, on New Years Eve, we used our small amount of savings, minus an emergency fund for those unexpected expenses, to make the first step towards our financial freedom. Honestly, it was hard to see the money we had worked so hard to save for two years, barely make a dent in our debt. It seems like an uphill battle, and it left me discouraged at only Day One. But, we are committed for exactly that reason, that feeling, that discouragement. The sooner we take control, the sooner it will be gone.
It's just the beginning, but we are so ready. I guess you could call it a resolution of sorts.