Last weekend Chris started reading the Mr. Money Mustache blog after I casually mentioned it and now he is OBSESSED with taking our debt reduction further. The writer of the blog retired at age 30 after paying off all debt (including a mortgage) and now he and his family are able to live (frugally) off of their investments. Reading about another couple that became debt-free and who have similar life values to us is so inspiring!
We did three things last weekend that took very little time but have big impact:
+ Made another $5,000 payment on my student loans. Together with the extra $5,000 payment we made in December, this brings my student loan total to $29,900 and our total student loan bill to $95,400. This $5,000 came from our tax return (which we already had in our bank account because Chris loves to do our taxes so early). Our return was much larger than previous years thanks to our new dependent. We had already set the $5,000 aside into our savings accounts but decided to throw it at debt instead. Felt so good!
+ Switched our car and home insurance to Progressive from State Farm. Remember when I wanted to do this forever ago? We fiiiinally followed through and just like that we're saving $90 per month. We have also committed to shopping insurance providers every couple of years so that we don't fall into the insurance over-spending trap again.
+ Investigated alternative cell phone plans. We currently pay $147 per month for both of our cell phones. Plans through Spot Mobile and Air Voice are significantly cheaper although will require us to watch our data usage. We both see this as a positive though, just one more reason to spend less time on our phones. We are currently under contract with AT&T so we're weighing our options while we ponder paying the fee to break our contract.
A few years ago our student loan debt and mortgage felt so big that it seemed pointless to put small amounts of extra money towards paying them down. They still feel very big but as we make little changes we are seeing that they add up and we're feeling more empowered toward achieving our ideal life, which includes being debt-free.