Our truck loan is driving me crazy. Despite not owing a payment this month, because they applied previous extra principal payments as regular payments, when I went to our credit union to pay a principal payment, they took the interest out of it. Ugh. I wanted it to be at a nice even number, but I failed on that. This is serving as extra incentive to GET IT GONE.
When the truck is paid off, we will have an extra $551 in our budget. I think with focus, this could be done by February 2019, as we have some extra money coming in over the next few months (holiday bonuses and such).
We also want to buy land in cash this spring, but we currently only have about $6,000 in savings. Our plan is to pay cash for land, pay cash for a used RV and live that way for 6-8 months, while selling our house and using the equity to build a smaller new home. We need like $50-60K in cash to make this all happen.
We can save $2,000 to $3,000 per month with our normal budget (outside the 15% going to retirement). With the best case scenario, at that rate, it will take us 18 months to hit our goal and start moving forward. We want to start this in April 2019, which leaves us 6 months. While we both are expecting small raises in January, neither will be nearly enough to hit a savings rate of $9,000 per month.
How to come up with $26,000 extra in six months:
1. Mr. PoniesandFIRE takes the road pool job first quarter - $1000/month for $6,000 over six months
2. Sell my horse trailer (replace after resettled) - $7,500
3. Sell Mr. PoniesandFIRE’s motorcycle (replace after resettled) - $6,000
4. Sell excess household good and furniture - $1,000
5. Cut DishTV - $75/month or $450
6. Reduce our 401k contributions (I HATE THIS IDEA) - $250/month for $1,500 over six months
7. Commission from horse sale expected in March - $2,500
All of this gets us close, but still a little short. It may be a creative next six months for our family…
If you’ve followed me on Instagram or read along with this blog the last six months, you’re probably well versed with our back and forth sell the house versus stay battle. We literally go back and forth on this constantly.
I’ve been feeling disconnected lately. Disconnected from my family and struggling to keep up the pace with my side business. Mr. PoniesandFIRE is feeling the same. A few nights ago, we really talked about what we wanted and why we were struggling to get there. It all came back to the house.
It’s too much house. There is too much to heat. Too much to clean. Too many unfinished projects. Too many empty rooms. We are still leaving the option open to adjust our plans as always, but here is our new game plan to get ourselves to a new normal by this time next year.
1. Pay off our truck. This debt over our head is slowing down progress and we want to be done with it by February 2019. It’s tight, but not impossible.
2. Hoard cash like crazy in order to purchase land in cash by spring/summer 2019.
3. Buy a fifth wheel camper to move into for short term and sell our current home.
4. Use the equity from our home sale to build a small home/cabin in cash.
5. Have a paid for home that is just right for us by the end of 2019 on land we love.
6. Slow down and enjoy our lives together more.
I am looking forward to the challenge of getting this done. I am loving the idea of living briefly in an RV and the forced minimalism and closeness for our family. It’s like a crazy adventure I cannot wait to take and it’s giving me new purpose and invigorated me.
We already have our eye on a piece of land that fits our needs (school district, closeness to my work, amount of acres). It already has electric and septic, so those are two hurdles done. The cost is $60k, so that’s quite a chunk to save up for, but if it sells before we get the funds together, there will be another piece of land that will come our way. We are trying to have our ducks in a row before we jump into something.
Every year it seems like I dread this time of year. I hate being cold. I hate buying propane and wood pellets. I hate how early it gets dark. I hate the thought of coming snow. I dream of spring.
This year, for the first time, I actually am feeling some joy heading into this time of year. Our wood pellets and propane are already purchased and paid for with cash and while I still hate being cold, I am looking forward to cozy nights at home in front of our pellet stove. I’m looking forward to apple pies, crock pot meals and all the upcoming holidays. I’m looking forward to our paid for in cash vacation.
I still don’t want the cold and snow, but I will try to embrace the positives of the seasons. I assume this is some version of maturity finally hitting me?
It’s a little bit how I am starting to feel about our debt free journey. When we started paying things off, I just wanted to be on the next step. I wanted to be totally debt free and have the freedom that comes with owing no one. I wanted the options that that promised our family. But here we are in 2018 with around $150k in debt between our truck and house and even if we are as intense as possible and chase every raise, bonus, side hustle money and I sell every extra item in our house on Poshmark, we are still looking at a few years to hit freedom.
I desperately want the debt freedom. I want our monthly budget to be small enough that we can live off of one of our salaries. I’m starting to get that I can want that and fervently work for that, while still enjoying the NOW. I can enjoy where we are in the journey, I can take pauses, I can breathe.
Life is a journey, not a destination. I get it, it sounds corny, but I’ve always understood that. It turns out though, that understanding is not the same as embracing. I’ve been hitting this debt journey will blinders on and felt like a failure every month that went by where I didn’t exceed the previous month’s progress.
So, here is my promise to myself for the rest of 2018. I will embrace where we are NOW. I will still look to the future and work to get there, but I will not sacrifice the enjoyment of now. Life isn’t going to happen when we are debt free. Life is happening now.