Note: This post was written in November of 2015. It’s an important part of our story, so we’re including it here although some circumstances have changed.
Today, I owe nothing on my student loans–hallelujah! Thirteen and a half years since college graduation, four years since completing my masters, and 35 grand gone.
It was a bit of a thrill as I logged onto my loan account this morning to see…paid in full. Balance zero. Oh, how beautiful!
Happy Thanksgiving to us! Not only are we thankful these loans are no longer over our heads, we also thank God that we’ve “awakened” in terms of our finances before it’s too late to fix things.
We’ve made plenty of errors in financial judgment, individually and together. Do we wish we had discovered and heeded the advice of Dave Ramsey, Mr. Money Mustache, and Eat the Financial Elephant years ago? Absolutely! But here we are, ages 35 and 40, and we still have time to make huge strides. Look at all we’ve been able to do in just a few short months (we first read MMM in July). Once we get his student loans taken care of (which we expect to do by summer 2016), we’ll free up soooo much cash each month. All of that surplus will go directly into savings or investments (yeah)!
We’re anticipating that next year (academic year, since we’re in education), we’ll be able to bank half our income.* Yeah, that’s right. HALF. None of this wimpy 10-20% that’s advised by so many so-called financial “experts”. We’re changing the default and pressing the reset button. That’s how we’re going to make up for so many of the mistakes of the past and start finally catching up to where we ought to be.
So today, I want to pause and express how grateful I am. I know I’m so fortunate to have a decent job and income, a husband who shares the same values and goals, two amazing little boys, and a realistic hope of gaining financial independence much sooner than I ever dreamed possible.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
*The saving of half our income was when I planned to continue teaching indefinitely. Since I will now be staying at home, we’ll be living solely on Mr. COD’s income. We still expect to be able to save close to 28% of that income, partly because we’ll no longer have childcare expenses. Yay!