Like I mentioned last week, the husband and I accumulated debt when we were first married and it took almost three years to completely pay it off. Once that was finished, we were left with the not-terrible-but-still-challenging task of deciding what to do with the money we had previously been shoveling towards debt.
This was when Mr Money Mustache really helped. See, paying debt turned into a kind of game. Little by little, we could see all the credit card balances and loan balances shrink and the feeling excited my little nerd heart. Less excitement came from watching my savings account gain an abysmal <1% interest. What I needed was a why. Why did the idea of no debt leave with me with such a freeing feeling? Why couldn’t I capture that through saving?
Around this time, the idea of FU money started circulating online. I realized walking away, or at least the freedom to walk away from a career or vocation was just the attraction I needed to keep from reverting back to our spendy ways. MMM brought the philosophy and energy that I needed to hear.
We started saving towards a down payment on a house. Once we submitted our first mortgage payment, we made sure we had 20% down. Now we’re in a kind of long range forecast. This is the point in the finance articles and blog posts where it gets a little vague. Everyone has different versions of their own personal FU scenario.
If our calculations are aligned with MMM, it should take the husband and I 15 years to become financial independent. We’re hoping to do it in 10 with the house paid off in 6. We’re making every effort to keep our expenses steady each year and not increase with our incomes. We don’t monitor our expenses as meticulously as in the pants-on-fire days of debt, but we make sure our spending categories on Mint and Personal Capital keep to the average.
Since I feel so “in it”, it can be difficult to see the horizon. To remember the why. But so many times I look around at my life and feel this surge of contentment. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but I can be happy right now.