Greetings, friends!! It's been quite a while since we've stopped by LFF but it's because we have been BUSY! After being stuck on Baby Step #2 for soooooo long, it's amazing how fast we've been able to accelerate through the next few steps. We are really beginning to see the impact of the sacrifices we've made in the past couple of years. Let's catch you all up, shall we?
We saved up 3-6 months living expenses to check off Baby Step #3. This honestly didn't take much time at all. Now that we weren't making mega-payments on our loans, we had plenty of extra cash to put away into a savings account we won't touch. It was hard at first to see that chunk of money sitting in our bank without being able to "use" it, but it's ultimately there for any large emergencies like home/auto repairs, the loss of a job, unexpected medical bills, etc. It's comforting to know that we have real cash to use if/when we needed it, not a credit card!
We upped our 401k contributions. Everyone has different opinions on this, but here is ours. While working on our student loan payoff, we stopped contributing to our 401ks for a short time. Sure, it felt like we were missing out on "free money" from our company match, but we had a plan. The day after we made that last student loan payment? We started putting in 15% of our paychecks to our 401k to complete Baby Step #4. Um, that's a lot!!! We knew we'd have the freedom to save/invest more now that our debt was gone, so we didn't waste any time getting started.
We almost refinanced our house, but ultimately decided it wasn't the right path for us. Due to the type of mortgage we have, the amount of time left on our mortgage and the short amount of time we hope/plan to stay in this home, it didn't make that much sense to go through the entire refinancing process. Instead? We're going to work on making extra payments toward the principle each month. Although there are 26 years left on our loan- we hope to have our home paid off in 5 years or less. It's a huge goal, but we aren't planning to live "broke" like we did with our student loans. While we aren't going to be quite as aggressive, it's our main focus nonetheless.
And finally- we've been reading up on additional sources of income and how we can keep on moving forward in life. There are tons of options out there to made side income and it's just a matter of finding what works for us. For instance, my friends over at The Penny Hoarder just shared a great article about house sitting jobs and it's officially on our list of must-check-out now- there's never too many side gigs a person can have! We've also been keeping up with our Swagbucks and you should too. It's FREE money and if you've got a little time each day, you can rack 'em up too. If you want some tips and tricks on how we earn the most SB we can each day, let me know!
When you are in the right place financially, you can pursue anything you want- there is no burden of debt, there is nothing stopping you, the world is truly YOURS! Perkins is busy looking into the world of health/fitness possibilities... He wants to exercise his brain AND his muscles ;) Sallie, on the other hand, is elbows deep doing her research in the world of freelance writing.
So now that you know what we've been up to- let's hear from you! What steps have you taken in 2015 to get your finances in line? Where are you at in the process? We're all on the journey together, no matter what stage you're at! Financial freedom is real and attainable! :) We believe in you!!!