Last year was full of expenses, but also a lot of income. Mike and I bought a lot of new stuff for our apartment to make it feel more homey. I think that’s part of making more money. I don’t think we’ve suffered from lifestyle inflation. We still make most of our meals at home and rarely eat out. We buy groceries once a week and hardly go shopping.
Overall, I think we do well. However, I want to push ourselves a lot harder in 2017 to live frugally and stop excess spending.
Last year, we paid off $15,423 in debt.
It doesn’t seem like a lot, and it’s really not. We spent a lot of money in 2016 on trying to make our apartment feel more like a home. Here are just a few of the things we bought – a mattress for our guest room, a new TV, a dining room table, a tv stand, two new area rugs, and a few new Christmas decorations. I would say that all equaled out to about $2000.
I know that is a lot of money. $2000 could have been used to pay off one of my student loans or bolster our savings. We also blew a lot of cash on eating out and vacationing with family. This all may seem like a waste to some people, but to us, it was necessary.
Before we moved to Colorado, we were broke. When we were both working sub-par jobs in Missouri, we never had money to go out or vacation with family. We didn’t have money for nice things like area rugs or a dining room table. When we moved into our new apartment, we decided we would spend some money to make us feel more at home in our space and make it somewhere our family and friends would want to stay.
Even after spending $2000, it’s still not perfect. We’re going to buy a house within the next two months, so I know the urge to purchase more stuff will be strong. But, 2017 will be the year we really kick our debt’s butt.
The house we buy will lessen our monthly housing payment, so as long as nothing major goes wrong, we can use that extra money to pay more on our debts. We also have enough key furniture pieces for our home that we shouldn’t NEED to buy anything. Everything we might purchase for our home would be purely WANTS.
Our current debt sits at $68,125.
According to my debt pay-off planner app, Mike and I have the ability to pay off the Discover card, Mike’s truck loan, and my two smallest student loans by the end of 2017. That would make 4 less payments to deal with in 2018 (a very busy and vital year to my career). It would free up more than $500 a month to add to our debt pay-off or add to savings.
When I see these numbers, it excites me. I know we can accomplish these goals if we simply put our minds to it. Those are my biggest financial goals for the new year. We’ve come a long way with our debt, but we have a long way to go.
Cheers to 2017!