Holy smokes! This past year has FLOWN by! Flown by. I remember starting this process and thinking 12-16 months seemed so far into the future, but here we are. Twelve months later and a shit ton of debt behind us. We’re doing it! I knew we could but I didn’t expect these kinds of monthly numbers.
$70,531.27 paid off in one year. Just twelve months! That’s an average of $5,878 paid toward debt per month; talk about hustling!
In August alone, we paid off $5,175.16 or 21.82% of our remaining debt. That means we only have $18,544.18 remaining! Another milestone: less than $20k to go! (Isn’t it sad that $20k of debt doesn’t seem like a lot?!) The student loan that we are snowballing right now started off at $16,656.09 last September and is now only $1,520.67. Blows.my.mind! These last two student loans seemed so daunting a year ago, being the largest, but I can now picture them gone and friends, the end is near.
But Murphy did pay a visit to us this month, which reminded us that big expenses can creep up at any moment.
Our 27″ iMac shit the bed. Like, can never be used ever, ever again. As of recently, we’ve been using this computer to stream shows/movies. But more importantly, this is how the beau has been freelancing/side hustling. Ugh. I still have my old mac laptop from college, so we are going to push it to see how long we can hold off from purchasing another desktop computer and in the meantime, back up all of our work and photographs.
Also, my iPhone 5S went crazy. No more texting, receiving texts, photographs, using the alarm/clock app or any app for that matter. I’ve been wanting the iPhone SE for a while now, especially for taking photographs while hiking, but am holding out until Apple releases their newest phone… which will drop the price of the SE. Hopefully this purchase will happen in September, as I also need a phone to navigate my upcoming trail race. You better believe I’ll be paying cash; no leasing cell phones in our household.
And in true transparency I have to admit that we did not stick 100% to our budget in August. Here are the items we purchased with cash that weren’t originally budgeted for:
- mouse traps (I caught three – remind me again why we have a house cat? Especially when said mice are eating the cat’s food!)
- a CL50 hiking map
- epsom salts
- hair product for the beau
- renewed my ARE membership
- fire tower patch / registration
- towing fee / uber charge
Yeah, the beau’s car got towed. That “oh we’ll go out for just one beer downtown because I deserve it after a long hike” turned into quite the expensive beer. P.s… we had two. ($200+ night FYI)
Here’s a quick recap of the budget lines that didn’t end up as planned, the good and the bad:
- Our cell phone bill was even cheaper than last month! I have no clue why and even called, but gave up when the representative gave me a nasty tone. I figured I shouldn’t argue over an unexpected discount. Honey my friends! A $12.39 savings (total bill was only $73.23)
- Gas: even though I’ve upped this line from $120 to $160, I still went over by $36. Once again I blame hiking and know this will decrease once training for my race is over (so, so soon!).
- Essential oils: I budget $300 each month and in August I only spent $114. I’m being very conscientious of our oil use and basically only ordering supplements from now until the end of the year. More on that via Instagram. $186 savings!
- Eating out / alcohol: we only ate out together once this month with friends but did consume a lot of alcohol, including the Nine Pin 26er challenge, cider at Indian Ladder Farms after one of my weekly ARE STRS runs, the expensive beer night out mentioned above, a beer and dinner out in Tupper Lake after hiking the Saranac 6, I had a reasonable dinner out with a friend visiting from Delaware, a backyard fire with friends, and a night out at the Schagheticoke Fair. $99.73 over to be exact, and worth every penny. ($195 originally budgeted)
Speaking of the fair, we both love this one! This was our third year going and I love more that it’s becoming an annual tradition. We decided to go on opening night because it was only a $1 to get in, all of the rides were just one ticket ($1), and each food vendor had a $1 menu. Hot diggity dog! I like wandering through the barns to see all the animals, especially the chickens, checking out the exhibits and of course, seeing all the lights once the sun goes down. The rides creep me out and yes, I get more nauseous the older I get, but I love going on the ride that blasts the music and spins so fast you smush the rider you’re with. Oh and the giant slide where you sit on a sack… but they didn’t have that one this year.
Other free/cheap entertainment throughout the month: we got 4 free tickets to see the Philadelphia Orchestra perform the soundtrack to the Red Violin at SPAC from my place of employment (this is how I also saw the Cuban & NYC ballet this summer with my mom), we got 2 free tickets to a Tri-City Valley Cats game – a box, free bevvies and food, fireworks and this is where I found the diamond! from the beau’s place of employment and we also took a couple short hikes together locally to do some mushroom foraging.
Grocery-wise, we did great this month! We even had $6 leftover in our food envelope ($294 to start). With the Denison CSA and our garden, we’ve been overloaded with veggies and just pairing them with rice and pasta… both very budget-friendly carbs. And despite the heavy portions, my waistline doesn’t seem to mind – it’s even happier eating in season – as I’ve managed to lose 3 pounds. Not that that was my goal, I’ve just noticed by the way my pants feel. Riding this veggie high into September!
Feeling powered by plants: I ran only 62.2 miles this month. I also hiked 34.2 miles! Total: 96.4 miles. Admittedly I’m kind of over this training cycle and slogging out long miles. I’ve never looked forward to training for a 10k so much before in my life, ha! Two more weeks until my 50k – and typical taper feelings alllllll the way. Right now I’m just hoping it’s not a 90* day with full humidity – I’m ready for the autumn-like (cooler) temps!
My second FPU class begins tonight (!) with 5 more people looking to change their future. I couldn’t be more excited for them and what I’m about to witness over the next 9 weeks.
Oh! And with the new month, we’ll also be participating in the 30-day minimalism game. I didn’t think we had a lot of stuff but then I took a look into one of our closets, extra bedroom and unused office… all filled with stuff! We either need to find a home for them (put art up on the walls, etc) or toss it! We shall see how far we make it; less is definitely more.