I saw a quote on Instagram this morning about how you don’t pay for things with money, you pay for them with hours of your life. Whoa, what a way to think about purchases.
I’m sitting during my lunch thinking about how many weeks at work of my life my truck purchase was. The answer is way more than I am comfortable with for sure. Then I’m thinking through how many weeks of my life are going to be spent before it’s finally paid off. I love my truck, but I don’t think this is a mistake I will ever repeat. I intend to drive this truck until it falls apart and then my next truck will be paid for in cash and absolutely used.
We are seven years away from our FIRE goal and it just feels like the progress we are making is so slow. The truck feels like a logjam holding back our progress. I’ve been ignoring this debt because of the low interest rate and the fact that we had two important home repairs to make (windows and garage roof), but now that those are done, I WANT IT GONE.
Our current plan is to bank as much cash as we can between now and the end of the year. In the New Year, once we have an idea what we will owe in taxes, we pay it off in full. Worst case scenario, April 2019, no more truck payment.
Then, December 2021, no more house payment.
Then, December 2025, FIRE.
Because I want my hours more than I want more things.
1. Reduce food waste! Last week I was halfway through cooking shrimp when a horse emergency meant it ended up in the trash, as I rushed off to the barn. Horse is ok now, but I wasted like $4-$5 of shrimp. Ugh. I am newly resolved to stick to a meal plan, use food from the garden AND eat up all the leftovers this month.
2. Less splurges on food. July always seems to equal grilling steaks and fancy IPAs in our house. I’m going to try to keep our protein inexpensive and lean, and keep the alcohol purchases cheap to non-existent.
3. Fix our clothes line! I’ve been using our dryer too much, partially because our clothes line outside broke and we haven’t gotten around to fixing it. So that is happening for sure.
4. Stay active on my PoniesandFIRE Instagram account. This doesn’t save us any money, but it definitely is helping me stay motivated.
5. Sell something on FB marketplace. I haven’t listed anything lately and have tons to declutter still!
New month/new goals!
We have a family vacation planned in the first week of December and my big goal this month is to pay that off in full. We have not been on a family vacation that wasn’t for a wedding or to visit family EVER, so even though I feel a little guilty about it, it is time.
After this vacation, we don’t intend to take another big vacation until our house is paid off in FULL.
I am also hoping to squeeze another $200 from the budget to send to PoniesandFIREjr’s 529 account. That would move us into four figures in that account. We don’t plan to go crazy on the 529, at least until we have all our debt gone, but I also don’t want to completely neglect it while we have time on our side.
We spent some time on the 4th driving around some smaller lake homes. There is one for sale currently that, if we sold our home and bought that, would halve our mortgage. It’s on the lake we like, which is a five minute commute for me. It’s only 680 square feet however, which sounds a little insane for 3 people, 2 dogs and a cat to live in. There is some decent outdoor space and we could probably add on a garage and laundry room, but obviously that costs money and would counteract the savings.
I’m really torn on what we should do. I love our house, but it’s huge. I want to downsize and save money and accelerate our journey to FI, but there are so many positives to our home too. Where we are now, we have apple trees, room to garden, room to have chickens. I could add blueberry bushes and a full orchard, if we wanted.
It also is another wrench in the plans that the 58 acres that butts up to our land that I absolutely LOVE and dream of owning, the owners are now putting it up for sale. WHAT DO WE DO?!?!?
If we stay and buy the land, we are 10 years away from FIRE. If we downsize, we could probably do it in 5. Still having a huge mental struggle on what to do…