This will be the first of my monthly personal finance updates. I decided to do this as a way for me to keep track of our progress and to allow others to see the progress we make and how we do it in hopes to motivate and educate others on their own personal financial journeys. I'm also betting this will help motivate me more to make a big impact from month to month.
If you have been following my blog, you probably already know that my husband was unemployed for over a year, which has prevented us from being able to make much progress. However, he just started a new job about a month ago and we are hoping we will be back on track to paying down our debt in the next month or two. Even with him being unemployed, we were actually able to pay down $2,000 in debt in the last year. I know this isn't much, but considering we were not at all prepared for his job loss and we still managed to pay some debt and not take on new debt is a win in my book. Our future goals include (in this order):
- Get completely caught up on our monthly bills (currently only behind on our electric bill).
- Build our buffer back up in our budget. If you're not familiar with this, see my post here.
- Start saving for necessary emergency funds (car repairs, emergency fund, etc.)
- Pay down our debt.
- Increase 401k contributions and look into other investment options.
- Retire early, buy an RV and travel the country. Our goal for this is 3 years from now, but I realize this is probably unrealistic unless we fall into a lot of money between now and then.
One thing I can't decide on is whether to buy a house at some point. I know from lots of research that we could buy a house or condo and our monthly payments including tax, insurance, and hoa fees would be less than we pay in rent. But I also know that our ultimate goal is to sell most of our belongings and live in an RV travelling the country. With our current credit rating, we wouldn't be able to qualify for a mortgage now, so we can't buy a house anytime soon. I'm thinking when we get to the point where we are credit worthy, I will then look at our overall finances and figured out how far we are from our retirement goal. If it's still several years out, then we could go ahead and buy a house because we will have enough time to build up equity in it before selling.
So here is where we stand as of today, our starting point (it's not pretty):
Right now, we're just working towards a $0 net worth and that's just sad. By the way, this was taken right from from my YNAB
budgeting software. You can learn more about it here