Debt has been on my mind a lot recently. Even more so now that we own a house and I am watching a monthly mortgage payment fly away at the beginning of every month. I became so frustrated with the monthly outflows, that I finally vented and challenged myself to start paying down debt as soon as possible. While I had already established my plan to pay down our student debt in 6 quarters at the time of the frustration, I knew that I wanted to continue to pay down our student loans as fast as possible. But of course, things change over time and our situation has changed FOR THE BETTER! It is now time to take a hard look at our student loans pay down plan and make a few adjustments based on our changing situation.
Lanny and I are constantly writing about our pursuit of financial freedom. We invest every dollar and spend every extra minute we can side-hustling to allow us to break the shackles of the 9-5 (or in our case 7 – 6) jobs to pursue our dreams and focus on what makes us happiest in life. The dividend and side hustle income will allow us to cover our regular living expenses, take the pressures of working to cover these expenses, and unlock those shackles that are holding us back. That’s how you take back the control of your life. Today, I’m going to take a deep dive into one of the largest areas of my personal balance sheet. No, I’m not focusing on the assets for once. Rather, I am going to pull back the layers of our debt and discuss my plan for
reducing my outstanding obligations taking back control of my personal balance sheet.
Final dividend income totals have been tallied. Final purchases were made (or not made). Now that the ball dropped and the calendar turned, the book on 2016 is finally closed. A few weeks ago, I published my 2017 investing and life goals so I can hit the ground running in 2017. However, I can’t ignore the fact that I had 2016 goals to complete. I performed quarterly updates to monitor my progress; so for one final time, I will publish my 2016 goals review. Let’s see if I was able to meet my goals in 2016!
With 2016 coming to a close and New Years rapidly approaching, we are running out of time to publish our 2017 goals so that we can hit the ground running on January 1st and sprint towards the finish line. If you haven’t noticed, the two of us have spent a lot of time thinking about taking the right approach to the goal setting process. We are not aiming to cross a low bar here on this website. Instead, we have taken months to find purpose driven goals that are challenging and are going to push us. Will it be comfortable achieving all of these goals…no! But is that really the point of the goal setting process? We want to sweat, we want to force ourselves to scrape every dollar together….we want to feel the burn. Man, I’m starting to sound like Lanny here. After a month of brainstorming, number crunching, and debates, here they are, my five 2017 goals!
Each day I watch the stock market in awe. At 4 PM EST, I read a headline like “Stock Market Sets New Record” and when I log online in the morning I am reading an article about how the market is up in the pre-market once again. By the end of the day, it is like de ja vu and I start the process all over again. This market makes finding stocks the meet our stock screener difficult, how could it not? Well, I have been thinking a lot about where I want to allocate my capital recently and what I want my next move to be. After doing some research on various blogs, including some articles written by my fellow Diplomat, I find myself considering the option that the title of the article outlines. Is now the time to accelerate the payments on my student loans?
Student Loans….a topic that almost everyone can relate to and almost every person in the personal finance community curse. We’ve all read the reports and the numbers are staggering: total student loans are over $1 trillion dollars here in the US and the average graduate is leaving school with an average of $37,712 (Source: Student Loan Hero). My goal today is to discuss my family’s student loan situation, some of the tough discussions we had before incurring the student loans, and then to cap it off, my plan to pay off our debt as early as possible.