Remember that lightbulb moment that I told you about? It seriously changed the way we thought about money. Since the beginning of our marriage we had kept a careful budget and tracked expenses.
Now, instead of simply keeping things even-keeled we had a new goal: to get completely out of debt. Yes, even getting rid of something as commonplace as a mortgage.
One Shorter, Laser-Focused Goal Plan
Our primary goal is to pay off our mortgage. We’re accomplishing this through the following plan:
- paying down the mortgage principle each month
- putting an additional amount down each year
- throwing a chunk of our savings at the mortgage when the balance is small enough to squash (in the realm of $20k-$50k)
- being mortgage-free by Dec. 31st, 2018. Won’t that be a fun New Year’s party?!
Long-Term Goals Plan
After paying off the house we intend to do the following:
- save a greater percentage for retirement
- continue saving for our children’s futures
- give like crazy
- save towards family travel
We’re thankful to have a large family, but traveling can get expensive. We’d like to do a series of U.S. tours as the kids grow older.
We live in Alaska so we need to fly to a starting destination. Flying is necessary unless we do the 3-5 day drive it takes to get to the “lower 48”.
The benefit of this distance is that we also have access to Europe (over the ice cap) via an 8 hour direct flight. We can get to Eastern Asia relatively quickly too. These are all tempting options that we dream about when envisioning our post-mortgage life.
I input all of our purchases into our money management software as they occur. At the end of the month my husband and I meet and discuss that month’s budget successes and failures. We take note of any adjustments and input the numbers into our net worth spreadsheet.
Twice a year we powwow to adjust budget amounts, take a look at our portfolio, and talk about financial goals. I love those sessions! It’s extremely refreshing and encouraging to take a good look in the mirror and plan for the future.
The One Step for Your Financial Plan
If you feel like you’re not making forward progress on your own financial journey, I’d encourage you to do this one simple thing this week: Sit down with your spouse (if applicable) and decide where you want to be in 5 years. What is one specific thing that you can do to get there? If you aren’t already budgeting, then building a budget is an ideal first step.
I’d love to hear your action step! Will you be working to pay off your mortgage, just like we are? Are you trying to get out from under school loans, or will you be focusing on building a budget?
Feel free to share your story below, I’d love to hear from you!
What are your financial goals? What tools are you using to get there?