So I’m sure you are wondering how we plan to get out of debt and still continue to live a normal life. Well first off let me warn you, we are NOT normal. I have never wanted to be normal. Being different was my thing (ask anyone who knew my 11-year old, multicolor headband crocheting, self). Being different was cool. Umm yeah, we are very very insanely “cool”.
STEP #1 – REDUCE SPENDING
In this step we will eliminate wasteful spending and become better stewards of the money we have. We started this step back in 2009 when we nearly lost our home. Our funds were extremely tight as it was and then my husband got an unexpected reduction in pay it pushed us over the edge. At this point we decided to stop using credit cards to stay afloat. Anything we could cut, we did. Losing the house just wasn’t an option for us neither was adding to our debt.
If all our debt was gone right now we would need roughly $1k/month to live, including food. The lower we can get this number the easier it will be to live without a guaranteed monthly income.
STEP #2 – INCREASE INCOME
I am a stay at home mom to three kids. I am also homeschooling my oldest. So this part will be tricky for me. I can’t realistically pull in a full time income but, I can come up with a few different income streams. My goal is to make a fairly steady $1000/month from home by January 2015. Add that to my husband working towards doubling his salary and we might just have a chance to make this happen.
STEP #3 – ELIMINATE DEBT
In this step we plan to attack our debt head on. We owe just about $16k in credit card debt (accumulated before 2009). We are planning to knock that out in less than a year. Then we will move on to our $20k equity loan. After that we will start paying down the mortgage on our home. We are still undecided as to if we will stay here long enough to pay it off or if we will sell it to buy our forever home. Either way, the goal is to not have a mortgage or any other debt by 2020.
STEP #4 – SAVE, SAVE, SAVE
This step will seem so much simpler when all the debt is gone. We want to save up enough money to cover our basic living expenses for 2-5 years. We would like our income streams to sustain us when my husband is no longer working but we don’t want to be stupidly optimistic that every month will work out perfectly. Having a fairly large savings (that will more than likely be invested in mutual funds) is our backup plan. If however the savings is ever low enough that it alone will not sustain us for two years, someone will have to start looking for a “real” job. That will also be our motivation to not touch the savings.
So that is a rough overview of our plan. There is so much more to it and I will go into more detail as this blog progresses. Be forewarned, I LOVE cooking and am VERY crafty. So there will be no shortage of pictures and posts about those two topics.
You can always amend a big plan, but you can never expand a little one. I don’t believe in little plans. I believe in plans big enough to meet a situation which we can’t possibly foresee now.
Harry S. Truman