14 May 2013

Summer Slimdown Part I

A few weeks ago, I mentioned in a recent post that we were cutting back on both calories and spending in our house. Katie commented that they were doing the same and Mr. Perk was referring to it as the Summer Slimdown. I love giving things a title {makes it feel more official and, dare I say, fun?} so I'm stealing theirs! The cutting back on calories is pretty self-explanatory {not-so-subtle plug to come follow me on My Fitness Pal at username GessHoo07!}, but I thought I would share a little more on our budget reduction.


Debt is something we've really struggled with from early on in our relationship.  M came into our marriage with no car payment and next-to-nothing credit card debt, but a ton of student loans.  I was the opposite; I came in with a car that was half paid for, student loans that were half paid for, and quite a bit of credit card debt.  It's something that's constantly hanging over our heads.

Up until recently, I've kind of kidded ourselves into thinking we were relatively financially sound.  We make more than enough to pay our bills, we have some emergency savings, and we have quite a bit squirreled away in our retirement accounts.  But it always came back to the debt.  Inspired by the Em is for Marvelous posts on money, I sat down and took a brutal look at our finances and came up with a strategy and timeline for paying off our debt.  Paying off all of our credit card debt was one of my 101 in 1,001 goals, but honestly?  Kind of a wimpy goal.  Now the goal is ALL debt. The cars {we ended up buying one for M in October so now it's 2 car payments}, the credit cards, the student loans.  Every last bit GONE by the time I turn 30, or hopefully sooner.


On our timeline, we should have 3 of the 5 credit cards paid off by September and my car paid off by October.  The next hurdle are the remaining 2 credit cards, which carry most of our credit card debt. The plan is to have one paid off by the end of the calendar year and the other one paid off by March 2014.  Then we'll tackle my student loans, M's car, and finally his student loans.  Once all those are paid off, we plan to build up 3 months of equivalent of our salaries in savings and save for a down payment on a house.  Within 5 years, we want to be able to purchase a house on a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and have no other debt.

For those of you paying attention, this kind of loosely follows Dave Ramsey's plan.  We're not actually enrolling in any of the classes because A) I feel like I can get enough of the information online to figure out a plan for us and B) I don't need any preaching alongside of our debt diet.

Still with me? I know many people's eyes roll to the back of their heads when anyone starts number crunching, but I absolutely LOVE this stuff. Comes with the territory when both of your parents are accountants.

Talking about our goals is really fun and exciting.  You may daydream of tropical vacations and handbags, but I daydream of being totally debt-free with bank accounts busting at the seams from lots of savings.  {OK, I dream about the handbags and vacations too.}  The hard part is actually changing our spending patterns and habits and putting plan into action.  To be continued tomorrow...

7 comments:

Samma said...

Being debt free would make a tropical vacation far more enjoyable in my opinion! That is an awesome goal. I can't wait to hear more about how you are implementing it.

Lobster Meets Peach said...

I personally have found that once you have no more credit-card debit it is easy to save for nice handbags and vacations. Best part is that they now come without the guilt! Good luck with your goals!!!

KatiePerk said...

Hooray for you! It seems like you have quite the outline! Impressive!! I look forward to reading about your systems. Mr.Perk will be thrilled he got a shout out! :)

MCW said...

Have is the worst feeling! It felt amazing when I paid all of mine off. You two will do it! Good luck!

xx BHB said...

All I get from tropical vacations are awkward sunburns and bloating from all the Caribbean beer. I'm totally with you. A HUGE part of "wedding planning" has actually been "financial/future planning" for us -- what are our goals and what financial decisions will we make once we're officially married? We don't always see eye to eye on stuff but I always walk away feeling so much better when we get into the nitty gritty and work together for our future.

Baltimore Prep said...

Good for you guys. It will be so worth it and satisfying to be able to pay off that debt! Best of luck!

Meghan Silva said...

I think being debt free is something we all struggle with , this post was such an amazing read.

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