One of my favourite activities to do when a new year arrives is to have a look at my (now our) financial situation and see what we accomplished and how far we've come. It also allows us to see whether we're on track, whether our goals have changed, and what we'd like to do in the coming year.
This year presented serious changes with regards to our finances. For starters, my my husband adopted a clear, focused budget, and we've learned how to communicate ("speak money") with each other.
We also started a very aggressive debt repayment program, featuring the snowball effect which means when one Beast gets slain, we take that money and throw it towards defeating the next.
Perhaps one of our most significant accomplishments, though, is our savings. I've never had savings before because all my money would go into paying off debt. My husband's money similarly came in and went back out again without sticking around for any amount of time. Since combining our finances we've started an Emergency Fund and a Travel Fund. This has been important for many reasons, not the least of which is the feeling of freedom it's given us. We don't feel too pinched to go on a getaway, and we're not going to panic if we're suddenly in need of funds for an emergency (likely a vet visit or a car breakdown).
Okay, so let's have an actual look at the numbers, because they show better than anything just how much the two of us have accomplished this year! Actually, it's been less than a year...we only combined finances in 2012May!
Let's start with our debt load from last month:
My National Student Loan was $22,655.31
My BC Student Loan (hate this one!) was $6112.22
The evil credit card was $4297.95
Finally, my husband's student loan was $2040.76
....which brought last month's debt total to $35,106.24.
Here's what we have this month:
My National Student Loan needs a diet at $22,446.28
My BC Student Loan has expanded to $6142.83
The credit card is in steady decline at $3060
Finally, my husband's student loan was $1934
Today, at this very moment, this one right now, our new debt total is $33,583.11.
Okay, but wait.
We first combined our finances in 2012 May. At that point, our combined debt total was $45,597.80. Yeowch! I remember how much that total hurt the both of us.
But, you know what that means, don't you?
We have successfully paid off $12,014.69 in PRINCIPLE DEBT over the last seven months! And that doesn't even include how much we paid in interest (let's not look at how much we paid in interest. Interest payments make me cry...that's just money thrown away)!
$12,014.69 in principle debt. Paid. Gone. Beast destroyed!
I'm really proud of how well we've done in seven months! And we're on track to be out of debt by 2014 December!
By this time next year I want us to owe half the amount we owe now, around $17,000.
I think we can do it!
Squirrel and Nest offers one-on-one and small group financial counseling services that aim to give individuals the knowledge and independence they need to get their financial lives in great shape.