debt reduction

#thebackseatboys This weekend we celebrated one year of being a one car family! I can't believe it's been a year already. I'm happy to report that being a one car family, even in the suburbs of a sprawling metro area, is going really well and we have no plans to change our situation. When we sold Chris's truck and made our 2008 Prius our only car we were determined to try our best but were open to buying another car if needed. At the time we only had one child (and one car seat) to fit in the car. One... Read more →

Inspired to push ourselves a little further in our quest to become debt free, we've revisited our budget again to make some changes. This really highlights the fact that a budget is a living document. Starting on March 1 we implemented our new budget, which we affectionately refer to as our "Austerity Budget". (This is just a family joke, we are fully aware that our budget still affords many, many luxuries and is actually far from austere.) Highlights of our latest household budget include: + Overall streamlined accounting by combining our bank accounts. + Chris put his gym membership on... Read more →

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.... Read more →

Since my last budget update we decided to focus on debt reduction, we refinanced our mortgage, and we paid off two loans. All of it required sitting down with the Team Wharton budget again (you know we love it!) and I've been wanting to share it with you. Below is our current "debt reduction" budget: Download this budget in an Excel file here: Download Budget_14January A few changes to note: + My paycheck went up a tiiiiiny bit because I changed dental plans. + Our mortgage is down $40 due to our refinance. + My $88/month student loan payment and... Read more →

Chris and I recently reexamined our budget and decided to make eliminating debt a priority. After we refinanced our mortgage, our debts, associated monthly payments and interest rates looked like this: At the beginning of January 2014 they look like this: I realize that paying off two of our loans with the lowest interest rates is not what a financial planner would tell us to do. They would tell us to focus on paying off the higher interest rate loans first. I do understand the reasoning behind that approach but by paying off those two loans we were able to... Read more →

Playing catch up a bit after a busy and festive Christmas week. I've been wanting to share details about the refinancing of our mortgage, et voila! The day before Thanksgiving, Chris stopped in to a local credit union to get details about the possibility of refinancing our mortgage. It's something we've been wanting to do for a while. Within an hour, Chris was sending me excited text messages about our options. At that point we had started leaning towards staying in our house, as opposed to doing something radical, but hadn't made up our minds. As we weighed all the... Read more →

After a lot of thought we decided to...stay in our house! Not only are we staying, we're staying because we refinanced! (Also: how many people do you know that put an exclamation point after the word "refinanced"? Aren't you glad we're friends?) Thank you so much for your thoughtful feedback on my post considering our options. You guys rock! You brought up some important points and alternative situations we hadn't considered and gave us a lot to mull over. While we decided not to do anything radical (at least right now!), for a while I seriously thought we would either... Read more →

Now that we've identified our ideal life, Chris and I have been thinking a lot about our finances and how we can shift money allocations to achieve that life. Your feedback on our budget also gave us a lot to consider - thank you so much! That's why I love sharing our finances. A few of you commented that you don't have a huge "emergency savings" because you know that if something significant happened you can use money from other budget allocations, such as travel, entertainment, and savings, to get by. We realized that this is also the case for... Read more →