You got it! We sat down and ran our numbers. We will be completely debt free, including both mortgages (we also have a rental house) in 2021!
So, we won’t be 30 years old or anything, but we’ll still be relishing in the joy of being debt free at a significantly younger age than most people. The idea alone is so rewarding that nothing will knock us off this road to early retirement!
Sunday Morning Decision
Our Sunday morning routine is to go enjoy some coffee and little sweet treats at one of our local, quaint coffee shops. It’s a splurge that we have been trying to curb lately because, let’s face it, it just isn’t necessary. But we so enjoy it that when we do still end up there we try to eat a hearty breakfast at home and try to just keep it to coffee and tea. Today (Sunday) we went and had quite a few major life events to discuss. One of which was our upcoming nuptials, of course. The other was our financial future and joint goals.
The Road Less Traveled
Current Debt Load
Compared to most grown adults (I say that because I guess I actually am a grown adult now…where did the time go?!), our debt isn’t way out of whack. Our debts (3) are listed below:
Housing: $294k (This includes our primary home and rental property)
Student Loan: $8k
As I mentioned in earlier posts, I have a real love affair with real estate. I can easily be pulled into the bigger is always better and newer is always nicer line of thinking. Fortunately, I also have the ability to “engage brain”, sometimes. Our family does actually need more space, especially with our two dogs and two cats taking up prime real estate within our small 1300SF home. I believe we have firmly decided to only pay to refinish our basement to give us the additional square footage we need for our family to be happy. This will allow us to have 2 family rooms, 4 bedrooms (2 master suites), 3 full baths, and much more. Total square footage will end up being around 2100SF. Last time I checked, that is plenty of living space for a family of 4 (assuming we have a second baby :).
The idea of just finishing our basement will not only give us the space we need for minimal cost, it will also prevent us from paying unnecessary expenses related to “upsizing” and “downsizing”, which often takes place as couples adjust their living situation to accommodate child-rearing and empty nest syndrome. Yep…just think of the savings over a lifetime! I have discovered that thinking long-term is a key ingredient to early retirement.
Zoom Zoom Zoom
The next item on the chopping block towards financial freedom is being a two-car family. Like most Americans, we currently have two vehicles in our garage. One we own free and clear. The second, albeit small, still has a monthly payment attached to it. Since Mr. Money Monster works mostly from the comfort of our own reasonably-sized home, we are seriously considering selling the car with the payment to free up more of our precious income to pay off our debts. This single decision would yield us approximately $300/month, including the payment and insurance. A tidy sum that could help us reach our goals.
A few months ago we started to really examine the expenses in our lives. The expenses that keep us working day in and day out to maintain an inflated lifestyle that middle class American consumerism sold to us. Unfortunately, we bought it hook, line, and sinker…like most people across the country. Turns out, we couldn’t be happier to have that extra $100 we were spending on cable each month, go towards our financial freedom. I’m fairly certain Mini Monster will appreciate it, too. Instead of being plopped in front of the boob tube this weekend (BTW…she doesn’t even know we got rid of cable) asking for unnecessary toys being advertised through annoying commercials, she was out in the yard playing, throwing the ball and running around with our two dogs. This is a much better use of her time. She is not only getting exercise and enjoying the outdoors, but she’s also using her imagination and not relying on a box with pretty colors for entertainment. Of course, she still watches TV here and there. She enjoys certain cartoon shows in the early morning or late evenings. Go, Diego, Go! These shows we stream through Netflix or Amazon Prime. Cutting cable is so easy and such a quick win that I highly recommend it to anyone interested in financial freedom through intelligent design ;).
What other quick wins are out there? Don’t be stingy, I know you guys have some tips!
The Finish Line
Our finish line might need to be adjusted if we decide to go for Mini Monster #2. However, that would be a welcomed addition to our abundant lifestyle…even if it means we hit financial freedom 1 or 2 years later.