At the end of this post, I list out all of the ways how we were able to accomplish these financial goals with such low incomes, in such a short amount of time. I suggest reading that list for ideas that you may be able to apply to your finances.
Now that we are half way through the year, and I started my monthly financial updates May of 2020; let’s examine where we were financially July 1st of 2020, July 1st, 2021, & July 1st, 2022 to see if we are actually making any progress. Spoiler alert: we are.
Flash back to July 1st, 2020. Although it’s summer, pools are closed & events are canceled. A new virus called “Covid-19” is out and about & most of us are stuck at home, we are only 3 months in and assume it will be over soon, hmmm…
Our finances were:
- Total invested: $18,326
- Total in savings: $11,028
- Total debt: -$149,879
Then 2021 came, and was much the same as 2020:
- Total invested: $39,942
- Total in savings: $10,768
- Total debt: -$133,257
To be honest, I think the pandemic helped us save a lot of money, pause and do a lot of reflection. We could no longer eat out as much, didn’t need to drive as much, couldn’t travel, etc.
And then most recently: July 1st, 2022:
- Total invested: $52,521
- Total in savings: $3,662
- Total debt: -$117,614
And this is with our investments going down drastically over the last 6 months! At their peak, they were at around $62,000. I took out $12,000 this year from savings to invest, that’s what caused our savings to go down the most.
Overall, our investments grew from $18,326 to $52,521. Our savings went from $11,028 down to $3,662. And our debt went down from almost $150,000 to $117,614! In two years.
32,265 – 7,366 + 34,195 = $59,094 in positive change! That’s $29,547/year going towards investing, saving, & paying off debt 🙂 Basically we live off of one of our incomes & use the other person’s income to accomplish our financial goals, it’s a team effort.
I’m so excited to see where we will be 5, 10, 20 years from now!!! The financial growth will be amazing! The sacrifices & discipline have been worth it 100%.
The sacrifices & changes we made (and you can too):
- We are very mindful with our purchases and buy very little that is not an actual need. We constantly walk away from things we want and put them back on the shelf. (Other than eating out, we do pick up orders for food all the time) I really minimized my skin & hair care routine, and my wardrobe, and stopped buying items in these areas. THIS IS THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF FINANCIALLY (and mentally tbh), TRY YOUR BEST NOT TO FALL FOR MARKETING & BUYING THINGS YOU DON’T NEED. They will not provide true joy & fulfillment in life, even though you may believe they do because of marketing and the dopamine hit we get after we buy something new, but that feeling fades & the money is gone.
- We paused all travel, mostly thanks to Covid.
- The second best thing we did, or it may even be tied for first, for what gave us a major financial boost was: We went down to one car. The older & cheaper of the two cars we had is the one we kept. It’s a 2013 used Honda Civic. This means sometimes I need to get up early to drive Brandon into work so I can have the car later, but honestly it hasn’t been a hassle like we thought it would be. I have a whole blog post about how we sold the other car, for how much, & why. People don’t think about how much a car actually costs, it’s more than the monthly payment, it’s insurance, gas, maintenance, tabs, etc. too.
- We also buy almost everything that is not a need, second-hand or borrow it from someone.
- Found ways to make our home far more energy efficient.
- Refinanced our mortgage in September of 2020 to a 15 year loan with 3.125% interest.
- Switched insurance providers for our car & home to get a far better deal.
- Called and lowered our internet speed to save about $20/month and haven’t noticed a difference.
I hope this post helps you jump start your journey to financial independence, or fuel the fire (no pun intended) more, if you’re already well on your way.
Thank you for reading! 💚
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