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It’s about time I start bundling up as I write the November Debt Payoff Report. The snow’s flown a few times, and I’m freezing in Western Colorado. 🙂 For most of the locals around here, we look forward to the next season in the current season. Not too many weeks ago I was thrilled to hunker down, sipping some coffee while reading a book. Now that it’s here, it’s time to think warm spring thoughts.
November was a great month for paying off debt. We set our goal to pay off $30,000 this year and this was the month we reached it. Now
What happened in November
- Current balance: $64,697
- 23 months along
- Total paid off: $65,377
- 50% complete
- We’ve shortened our loan by 19 years, 0 months
- We’ve saved $65,293 in interest
This was a very exciting month for us because we hit the half way point of our journey. I’m encouraged that each month will get slightly easier as we pay down our loan. It used to be we paid over $400 in interest each month. This month we paid $203, which is really exciting.
While it wasn’t long ago we were starting this journey, it sometimes feels like we have a whole ‘nother mountain to climb with the last half of the mortgage. We don’t devote much time to celebrate what we’ve already done before I’m thinking about the next milestone. To fix this we’re planning to celebrate our big achievement in December.
Nick wants a smart watch and Santa just might bring it to him. I realize this goes counter to everything a Mustachian ultra frugalist would do, but it’s what is working for us. I don’t think it’s wrong to celebrate major milestones with some meaningful reward. Nick is a runner so he will use the watch every time he runs. It might come in very useful after his drama-filled run a few months ago.
That said, I’m struggling to find something I want to buy. I’ve toned down every nerve in my recovering consumerist personality and don’t feel like I need anything, truly. Nick asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I’ve had a very challenging time coming up with a legitimate want or need. Quite to the contrary I’d prefer to skip the Christmas buying season and go on a trip elsewhere to save us from the season’s stress.
This is a different universe from where I started. Before we budgeted I thought I needed nice items with name brands to achieve the status and acceptance I wanted. I thought things would bring me happiness. When we started budgeting I learned to save for what I wanted and, in turn, started wanting less.
When I started reading more about ultra frugal people I noticed many of them were happy with minimal items. They didn’t run to the store every time they “needed” something. This has given me immeasurable peace when I walk through stores now. It’s true that probably 99% of the stuff offered for sale is not a need.
It’s marketing that tells us it’s a need and blurs the lines for the consumer.
Around the Personal Finance Innerwebs
Paula Pant makes a good point about life after you reach financial independence. The same can be said for paying off debt. If you think being debt will make you happy, think again. There’s gotta be something bigger than that to keep you motivated as you’re trudging through paying off debt (or reaching FI).
Financial independence isn't the end goal, it's the starting point. Once you reach FI, the real work begins: finding out how to live each day in a meaningful way.
— Paula Pant (@AffordAnything) October 3, 2018
Nick Loper appeared on ChooseFI Radio to talk about getting a side hustle. If you want more of a side hustle than working overtime at your job, then this episode might be for you.
Nick Loper, founder of Side Hustle Nation, talks about the benefits of developing a side hustle, and methods to actually develop a good side hustle idea.
— ChooseFI (@ChooseFi) November 15, 2018
Goals for December
My goals for December are to cash flow our medical bills that are rolling in from when Nick broke his ankle. Our internet service increased by 20% so I’ll be calling and ask to switch providers unless they can offer me a better deal. This should save about $15 a month.
We won’t be paying much to debt in December since we’re paying for 100% of Christmas with cash we earn this month. I’m not setting a goal for it other than to do the best we can to have a good holiday within our budget.
Previous Debt Payoff Reports
- April 2018 Debt Payoff Report – $2,908
- May 2018 Debt Payoff Report – $3,506
- June 2018 Debt Payoff Report – $1,824
- July 2018 Debt Payoff Report – $1,944
- August 2018 Debt Payoff Report – $2,779
- October 2018 Debt Payoff Report – $2,487