We’re Debt Free! (Technically)
We're DEBT FREE!!!
Pen and Paper Celebration
Looking at our savings we have enough to pay off the last student, BUT…. we'd barely have any savings left.
While it would be fantastic to cross off this item, the right decision for us is to hold off on sending that huge payment in.
Sounds crazy, but it's the best decision for us.
Marriage > Money
One of the core reasons and ideas behind my personal finance site is helping couples build up their marriage and net worth. Putting marriage ahead in the mission statement was intentional.
There are plenty of wonderful personal finance sites and podcasts, but I wanted to get into that intersection of taking care of your marriage and money, which sometimes mean making choices that are the most financially efficient.
And this is one of those situations, at least for us.
There are two things that are holding us back from sending in that last payment – peace of mind for my husband and our house plans.
Financial Cushion for the Family
Right now if we paid of that student loan, we'd basically drain all of our savings.
That's a deal breaker for my husband and I understand. He's worried about something coming up.
With an older house, that's a possibility. While I think we can manage I also respect that he needs to be able to sleep soundly and if that means delaying the last payment, then so be it.
Besides having a buffer for emergencies we also have some home project we'd like to tackle sooner rather than later.
- Get the backyard fence up. Mainly safety issue for our little ones, one of which is a curious toddler. They love to explore and we would feel much better with getting a fence installed.
- Do some roof maintenance. Thankfully it's relatively light work, but we still need to install a chimney cover which will cost some money.
- Fix the faucets. It's an older home and in good shape, but some of our facets need to be cared for. Our backyard faucet will need a professional to look at it – when it is turned on, it leaks into the wall. Haven't used it so minimal drips, but water leaks are not good for a house.
- Keep up our little garden and prepare the yard for bigger garden. We have a vegetable garden up along with some herbs sprinkled around the yard.
To stay on our target we'll have get better with finding deals and tapping into our network. We had some great success getting the word out and friends have donated garden tools that they no longer need.
We've also been hunting around the local Restore and Craigslist. While we haven' found all of our supplies through them, it's nice to offset some expenses.
Any tips on how we can keep expenses low on our projects are greatly appreciated!
Thoughts on Balancing Marriage and Money
We're not completely abandoning the debt free plan, we're just going to make sure both of us are ready and comfortable.
That means we're simplifying out finances so we can send extra payments towards the student loans while still having a reserve.
I'd love to hear from other couples – how do you two manage your finances? What happens when you two feel strongly and differently about some thing? How do you compromise?
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Glad to hear you hit “technically debt free”! Does this mean you might accelerate your debt payments a bit? Or still keep going on the normal plan? My wife and I think a lot alike so we are normally on the same page when it comes to money issues. When we do have differences, we normally talk it out and come up with a decent compromise that works for both of us
We’re going to ramp up payments with the student loan. Thinking of doing a summer of savings challenge again this year to push ourselves with getting rid of the debt. I like the idea of being debt free (with some savings) come this fall.
Glad you two have a system of working things out!