February was an interesting month for us.
We paid off the beau’s car!
When we started this journey back in September, we owed $10,106.53 on the beau’s car. He bought it (a 2014 Prius) on February 18, 2017 which means we’ve paid it off four years ahead of schedule AND within a year of the purchase date! Boom pow!
We started tackling student loan 2 of 6!
From here on out, it’s allllllll student loans. We’re now tackling subsidized Stafford Loan 1-01. The beau originally took out this loan back in August 2007 and its original balance at 5.8% was $8,500. When we started this journey back in September, the balance was $10,218.42 and if we stayed on Navient’s track, our anticipated payoff date would be 12/25/2031. My personal payoff goal for this loan is June 2018… that’s a 13.5 year difference in case you didn’t do the math. After all we’ve dumped on it this month, the remaining balance is $8,232.72!
We took a holiday / honeymoon in Mexico!
This trip was booked back in July prior to the start of all of this and frankly I don’t care if it was booked two weeks prior, we were going! It was paid entirely by cash, thanks to the generosity of friends and family who gifted us cash as a wedding gift. Seriously, THANK YOU friends and family! xoxo While planning this trip our intentions weren’t to be frugal, we just don’t prefer extravagant accommodations. No resort for us, or even a hotel; we hit up Airbnb which allowed us to book an entire house in a pretty remote area of Mexico inaccessible by road. It was lovely to say the least.
Returning home from the trip, we had about a thousand leftover and my first initial thought was to dump this toward debt. After all, Dave Ramsey says no holidays during the first four baby steps. In one ear and out the other, we both agreed to continue to keep this cash in a separate savings account and we’ll use it as needed for little mini getaways i.e. long weekends camping in the Adirondacks, a trip to NYC to see the Mets play, a weekend in NH with friends, and possibly an autumn trip to Montreal. I think our friends and family would agree with this decision too.
While in Mexico, we celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary!
Time really has flown by! It’s so cliché to say, but I can’t believe it has already been one year. On our actual anniversary, we traveled from Yelapa back to Puerto Vallarta, ate lunch at a wonderful brewery we stumbled upon, enjoyed a delicious taco dinner, and then walked the boardwalk along the ocean and caught the sunset… and drank more beer at that delicious brewery! It was relaxing, it was fun and it was an anniversary I won’t forget! I love the idea of spending our anniversary each year on holiday buuuuuuuuut with annual reporting in the library community, that won’t be possible. We’ll see what we come up with next year.
And because we were in Mexico for nine days, we saved money on both our groceries and eating out/alcohol envelopes! $229 to be exact! Hopefully we’ll see a savings on our utilities bill too next month! Our meal plan wasn’t very adventurous, a rotation of regular meals we enjoy, switching after two weeks.
I earned residual income while in Mexico.
More on this to come in a future post regarding MLM companies and how it’s working for me and has been over a period of time (I’m not talking legging fads), I earned an income while on vacation doing nothing. Was it as much as it has been in previous months while working toward earning that income? No. But it was income that I appreciate and value and not only did I deposit a portion of it toward debt, but I also invested some back into my friends and family who support me on this journey of abundance. I don’t share Young Living just because there’s the potential to earn cash, I share because I’ve been a fan of their products for a number of years (10+ years) and I know many people can benefit from them as well. Earning a paycheck is a wonderful thank you bonus for making a referral (because let’s be honest, we share our opinions about everything)!
I paid a hefty parking fine.
Long story short I got a ticket back in October for talking on my phone while driving… even though I wasn’t holding my phone. That’s a five point violation on your record FYI. Luckily, it was reduced to just a parking violation with a $225 fine. FINE BY ME! I’d gladly pay that over receiving that many points. Don’t worry, I’m no longer speaking on loudspeaker, I got a Bluetooth device for Christmas from Santa.
We still had fun.
Despite being on a budget, we both had some fun outside of the house this month. Oftentimes I think people assume because you’re on a budget, you don’t get to engage in other activities: not true! You get to decide how much money you spend on fun! The two of us are very content being homebodies, which is great because you save money however I know not everyone is like us. We might spend more cash on groceries because we like cooking at home, while you may add more to your eating out envelope because that’s what you prefer. Budget = options.
This month we participated in Nine Pin’s 26er challenge, sampling ciders #3 and #4. On Valentine’s Day we joined a friend at Rare Form for a chocolate and beer sampling. I had a date night out with an old colleague and friend, enjoying a sushi dinner and cashing in a gift certificate at the Latham Paint and Sip location. The beau had a bro night out with his old biz partner in Albany, checking out an art show and sippin’ on beers. We even had dinner out twice this month, once after our trip because the fridge was empty. We did all of this on a reduced envelope this month, normally $195, set at $100.
Other random facts about February.
We cash flowed an inspection, oil change, tire rotation and registration for the beau’s car. I re-upped my subscription with AAA, as I do not pay for those services via our car insurance. AAA is an expense you use once, see how convenient it is and keep in fear of needing again. Ha! I’m determined to take advantage of their discounts this year! I also renewed hosting for this blog, but for only a month. Dun dun dun. Oh! A little home improvement: we bought a doorknob. And a hot water bottle because hello, it’s cold in Upstate NY and this is my $17 solution for not turning up the heat. And relieving cramps.
Numbers wise, we paid off 4.25% of debt this month, totaling 25.09%! One fourth of the way done! Our balance is now $66,730.17 having paid off $22,345.28 since September. This system works, no need to try and reinvent the wheel or my other favorite motto: keep it simple stupid. According to these stats, we should be debt free by September 2019; two years after starting this debt free journey. It’s hard not to get consumed by that date and what’s “expected” of us each month to reach that goal, but on the other hand, it is motivating. I want to earn more money. I want to spend less. I want to live a life saving and spending my income in a way that makes me happy… not giving it to Sallie Mae. I’m constantly fiddling with spreadsheets to figure out how to move that date forward… and it is creeping up. Slowly but surely.
How was February for you? Did you hit any financial milestones?