When We're Debt Free

Monday, August 28, 2017

One of the things that has really been motivating me in our debt free journey is thinking of what we'll be able to do once we aren't giving our money to lenders every month.  I listen to people doing their debt free screams talk about how they now can do things they never imagined and I can't wait to be at that point.  I can't imagine not having to scramble to find a job next time we move, but we're sure working hard to make that our reality!


There have been several volunteer positions that I applied for and "interviewed" for but they always conflicted with my work schedule.  Work at a job I really didn't like that did add any value to my life other than monetary.   I wanted to volunteer at the SPCA up here in New York but I work way too much and I can't just leave Bolt for 15 hours a day while Josh is gone.   The one that killed me the most was having to turn down an opportunity to volunteer at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.   I ended up starting my old job back in MD right around when I was supposed to do orientation to volunteer.  I just couldn't work out my schedule.  It killed me to not be able to do something I really wanted to do, in order to make money to pay lenders.


This has to be the most obvious one on the list. The first thing we're going to do when we get out of debt (besides get our emergency fund together) is save for an epic trip!  I want to be able to travel and not be stressing about money the whole time I'm planning the trip.  I want the entire trip to be paid for before we go.  I want to really enjoy each experience and not have to say no to things we really want to do just because we don't have the money.  Top on my list are a trip to the UK and Ireland or an Alaskan Cruise - where we end up moving next will determine where we travel to.


 There are so many organizations I want to donate to! Beagle Freedom Project is a big one.  To be honest, pretty much any organization that helps animals is something I want to donate to, haha!  Once we have no payments, we'll be able to allocate a percentage of our monthly budget towards donating to a worthy cause.

Taking Time to Find a Job

When we moved to Fort Drum I NEEDED to find a job, so I took the first one that was offered to me.  Don't get me wrong, most days I enjoy working at Fridays and I love my coworkers, but it's definitely not where I wanted to be working at 28 years old.  When we move, I want to be able to take the time to find a job that I enjoy and hopefully one that utilizes my degree.  As The Minimalists say, I want to find a job that adds value to my life, not a job I hate that pays good money so that I can pay lenders.


I really want to go back to school, like, yesterday.  After taking a few Law classes while getting my Criminal Justice degree I decided I really wanted to go into that field.  I don't want the cost or the time it takes to go to law school, so I'm going to go for a Paralegal degree.   Josh and I decided to get out of debt before I pursue a degree.  The MyCAA program will cover a good bit but we will have to cash flow some of it.  I think this is the one thing I'm most excited about, besides travel, of course.

Building Retirement

Along with Dave Ramsey's podcast, I have been listening to Chris Hogans Retire Inspired podcast.  I really can't wait to start investing in our future.  Now that I really understand the areas of investing that I want to get into, I am excited rather than nervous!  It makes me so happy to hear about people who make the same amount of money as us who have worked hard through the years and are now really enjoying their retirement!

101 in 1001: August Update

Monday, August 14, 2017

It's crazy how much can change in such a short time.  When I originally made this list, I had very little interest in our financial fitness.   Now, becoming debt free before we PCS in 2019 is our main focus in life.  I am working non-stop to make extra money, and Josh is going to be gone way more than we originally thought while we're at Fort Drum. That's OK though because we don't particularly like it here, so this is the perfect place to be hermits and focus on working our butts off.  With that being said, there are now a lot of things on this list that I don't expect to accomplish.  There are a few things that we know for sure are not happening and those are listed below.  The others I'll keep on the list and see what happens.


Visit Ottawa: I visited on June 16th when my friend Heather came to visit.  I loved it and can't wait to go back!  It's always the places you have low expectations for that you end up loving the most!

In Progress:

Put together a financial plan and stick to it: I'm counting this as halfway done.  We have a plan, we do our monthly budgets, now we just have to stick to the plan and the budgets until we get our debts paid off.

Pay off one Student Loan: More on this one in my next financial update (coming Sept 4th), but I we are now chipping away at student loan 1 of 3.  I'm hoping to have this one paid off by time Josh gets home, or at least by the end of the year.

Do the declutter challenge: As I mentioned in my last update, I'm not exactly doing this challenge but I am still actively decluttering my house.  I've successfully downsize my closet (majorly) and I've been working on my DVD's, which has been easier than I thought.  I am currently playing the 30 Day Minimalism Game which has really helped me to stay on track with decluttering!

Inventory all of our belongings:  I am doing this as I declutter.  Once I declutter a certain area or category, I take inventory of what we have.  This is mostly for PCS purposes.  If they lose an entire box of DVD's, I want to know exactly what is missing.   This will be something I go back and do every few months due to adding and subtracting stuff from our lives.

Visit at least 10 vineyards in New York: White Heather was up we visited a place called Busted Grapes.  I'm not doing a post on it because I didn't take any photos, but it's worth visiting because the wine is delicious!   We also visited the tasting room of Otter Creek Winery in Alex Bay, but I'm not counting that yet because I want to go to the actual vineyard.   I am currently at 4/10.

Not Happening

Visit at least one new country:  We were thinking of taking a cruise to Cuba when Josh gets home from deployment, but we've made the decision to put all of the extra money towards our debts.  Getting out of debt is our number one priority right now.  Vacations paid for in cash with no stress will come after we're debt free. 

Go on another cruise, Go back to Arizona, Visit 5 new States: See above.

1000 Islands Tour

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Heather's second (and last) day in New York, was all about the St. Lawrence River.  A company called Uncle Sam's Boat Tours, located in Alexandria Bay, offers a "Two Nation Tour" of the St. Lawrence river.  You don't need a passport for this tour because even though it goes into Canada, you never get off the boat in Canada.

This two hour tour took us through the best areas of the Thousand Islands.   A guide narrates most of the tour and points out all of the historic areas and beautiful homes along the way.   A few of the highlights of the tour are millionaires row, smugglers cove, Canadian palisades and of course, Boldt Castle.   At the end of the tour, you are given the opportunity to get off the boat at Boldt Castle and take a tour of the castle.  Since Heather had never been, we opted to do this.  Once we were done, all we had to do was hop on another Uncle Sam's boat and head back to Alex Bay.

We both really enjoyed this tour and I can't wait to do it again when my Mom comes to visit at the end of the month!

Book Reviews: July

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I have finally started reading again.  I managed to get these books for free from BookBub and they were both very easy reads, which was just what I needed.   I even managed to cross off another state for my 50 States Challenge. (linking up here)

 I have mixed feelings on this book.  On one hand it was cute and light and just what I needed to get back into the groove of reading.  However, the main character sort of ruined it for me. I mean, we can all be a little self-deprecating and clueless but this girl was just a bit too much for me.  I also felt like there wasn't much chemistry between the two main characters.  This book was just OK.  I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it, but I also wouldn't say not to read it.

I gave this book a 2/5 on my GoodReads.

I feel like this book had so much potential that it didn't quite live up to, but I also think it's got something to do with the target age group.   I feel like she could have gone way deeper into the issues being dealt with in this book and I also feel like the characters were a bit flat.  It was entertaining though and I really did like a few of the characters.  I think had this been aimed more towards adults, it could have been a bit better.

I gave this book a 3/5 on my Goodreads
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