I’m either frantically packing, canceling our electricity or in-flight today. I won’t be able to moderate comments – hopefully back online next week.
At the end of February our non-mortgage debt was down to $21,392 from $81,607 a year previous. I’ve written a lot about how we killed over $60,000 in debt so quickly. It was hard work + luck. We cut our monthly bills by over $1000, we sold our car, we sold clutter, we sold some investments and we got a small inheritance. We cut our casual spending and we stopped buying things we didn’t really need. There was always room for improvement so in March I gave myself a challenge. With some public accountability and all the encouragement and suggestions from you, it went quite well.
Confession: our April and May finances have been a mess.
The expenses involved with moving overseas, preparing our home to be a rental and being overly busy with getting it all done has killed my budget. I’m down to tracking just our costs associated with home repair, transportation and profit from selling our stuff. There’s been a few too many Thai takeout nights and lunches on the go. We’re taking every chance we can to see family and that’s involved a few restaurant meals and more car rentals/ ZipCar use than usual.
And I’m okay with this.
We’re still eating at home mostly, walking for errands when possible and I’m trying to get as many home repair projects done myself as I can.
Our finances right now very much mirror my nutrition in the last two months. Not great but doing the best I can. Much like my budget tracking, I haven’t stepped on the scale in two months. I’ve been lucky to get to Crossfit twice a week and one run in (usually it’s three runs). There’s been a steady supply of chocolate in our cupboards. I’d guess I’m up 4-5 pounds.
And I’m okay with this.
It’s not often that you move out of the country. Sometimes you have to make concessions that you can’t “do it all” and still get enough sleep. I’ve been sacrificing runs to visit Home Depot for window latch screws. I figure it’s splitting the difference as I get a 40 minute round trip walk in.
- Costs associated with renting our home out: $1921.88*Includes new washer dryer, plumbing maintance and repair, blind repair, and general parts for small home repair.
- Profit from selling our belongings: $3644
Good news: we found what we think are great renters. A school is renting and furnishing it for visiting faculty. We met some of the faculty. Nice quiet older men. I am doubtful they will throw any raging parties.
After that ramble you may wonder why my debt ticker reads that we paid off $7674 since February and our non-mortgage debt is now down to $13718. Chris and I made the decision that with the move overseas we wanted a fresh start and simpler finances. If we were trying to pay off $21,000+ in debt in Canadian dollars while living in the UK and earning pounds sterling, it was going to get complicated. We’d be losing money on exchange rates and wire transfer fees.
We decided to cash out retirement savings to reduce our debt and to assist with the costs of our move. We’re still not sure where the dust will settle on all of this once we move and pay our start-up costs on the other side. We’re hopeful that a good chunk of our remaining debt will be gone and we will pay the last of it off before the end of 2011.
I’m tired of debt. I’m tired of paying it off and I’m tired of talking about our debt pay down strategies with Chris. I want to start saving. I want that debt ticker to be a savings ticker. Patience has never been my strong suit.
Anyone else working on debt? Victories or set-backs to report? Strategies that are working for you?
Like what you read here at The Minimalist Mom? Sign up by RSS or Email to get posts delivered to you. You can also find The Minimalist Mom on Facebook (I’ve deleted my personal account but have a page for this blog). Comments are always read, appreciated and responded to – even if we don’t agree on the subject at hand.