Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 181 - Mid-Year Review

April 12, 2011

Day 181 - Mid-Year Review
Image: scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I'm taking a page out of my 12 Steps to Debt Freedom and writing about Step 12: Celebrate Your Victories today.  We are almost exactly halfway through the 365 days to pay off $60,000 - and I'm happy to report we are ahead of the game!  Over the past six months we have cut our budget, vowed to make money on the side and cut our budget even more.  We have lived on one paycheck and even gotten to the point where people we know comment "You don't go out much, do you?".  No, we don't and thanks for rubbing it in!  My parents did not pay for my education and buy my first house so why don't you stick it where.......but I digress.  As Dave Ramsey would say, we are weird.  But right now it feels good to be weird.  Here is a recap on our goals and progress:

Goal #1: Pay off $60,000 in 365 days.  To date, we have paid off $31,746 in 181 days.  That is about $175 a day - over $5,000 a month.  That's about 70% of our "take home" pay (the amount actually deposited in our accounts on payday).  Sounds rather impossible when I look at the numbers, but see goal #2 to understand how we were able to do this.

Goal #2: We need to bring in $10,000 each of additional income this year.  Based on the numbers we calculated at the beginning of this ordeal challenge, we realized there was no way to pay off $60,000 just using our current income.  In order to meet our goal, we would need to bring in about $20,000 of additional income beyond our monthly paycheck.  This is one goal I wasn't sure we could reach, but I'm happy to report that we have accomplished this goal after only six months!  Thanks to some well-timed bonuses, second jobs and just plain hard work.  I am particularly proud of this because this is an area where we could have easily slacked and used as an excuse when we didn't get to $60k.  But we have sacrificed and it is paying off.

Goal #3: Create a bi-monthly budget and stick to it.  It's definitely difficult to stick to a budget at first, especially when you are used to just buying whatever you want when you feel like it.  But you know how they say it takes at least 30 days to create a new habit - maybe more like 90 in our case but we finally figured it out.  There are some months I wonder what the heck we were spending our money on before because we actually have a good amount left over in the bank account now.  I've gone from trying to make a paycheck last until the end of the pay period to trying to figure out if there is anything we need to buy with the extra money we have. It feels so great.  I actually look forward to paying our bills and updating our budget.  Like I said before, we're weird.

So what did we do this past weekend?  We went out to eat Thursday night, Friday night, and Sunday morning and went clubbing with our friends until the wee hours Saturday night (yes, we actually do like to go out).  We celebrated.  And it was the best $120 bucks we have spent in a long time.  Now back on the wagon so we can finish strong (and dare I say exceed our $60,000 goal?).

Stay tuned,

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