The other day someone told me my hair looked nice. I immediately replied, “Oh no, it’s so gross I haven’t gotten it cut in like a year.” Same thing happened again when someone thanked me for turning around some numbers really fast, “I mean that’s my job, isn’t it?” Why do we do that? Why do we try to diminish a compliment or praise instead of just saying thank you or you’re welcome?
With that in mind, I avoided starting the blog posts I had in mind where I was going to scrutinize some of my recent spending and continue some more lofty goal setting and instead decided I should take a moment to celebrate some serious wins we have had this year.
Our primary focus continues to be conquering this loan. A year ago our balance was $145K and today we are sitting at $116K. This feels GREAT. We lost some momentum over the summer when we were incurring a lot of moving expenses, but now that we are settled and have much lower housing costs we are picking up steam. Which leads me to…
The below chart shows the breakdown of our spending from September to November since we moved into this new house. What I’m OBSESSED with is that 28% of our spending is going to our student loan and that only 13% is our housing cost. Technically this is us repaying a personal loan that we took out to renovate the family home, but we treat this as our “rent.” Outside of debt repayment our biggest spending has been on childcare which is something that’s pretty hard to trim down. I’m really proud of us that we are living into the plan that was set up to get aggressive with our loan while we have low housing costs. I can’t wait to see how much more we can do with this in the new year since all that spending that happened on our move will be done. I should also call out that we are tracking our expenses in YNAB and it’s been a total game changer to be so intimately aware of every financial transaction we make and to have a budget that I’m constantly tweaking to reflect day to day reality.
My husband and I both got solid pay increases over the summer which is also helping us more confidently attack debt. We are also using that extra income to build up a bigger emergency fund since ours is pretty small and it just doesn’t feel comfortable for us now that we have a child. We were following the Dave Ramsey rule of $1,000 basic emergency fund, but now we are trying to build it up to $5,000 for more peace of mind.
I know there is still much work ahead, but it feels great to have some of these milestones under our belt. Looking forward to seeing what 2019 has in store.