It took a lot of badgering to get Her to buy my idea about starting a personal finance blog that deals with money and relationships. Her finally bought it, and on the first day of 2006, we wrote our first post. Ironically, the current majority of posts on this blog are written by Her.
Back then, we were merely beginners in the game of personal finance. We erroneously included our non-wealth building life insurance as a part of our net worth, putting our net worth in the positive. When we realized the error, we truly realized how much work we have to do, not to mention how much we are in the negative.
Since then, about seven months have passed. We’ve been steadily making our way into the positive net worth, but more importantly, we’re steadily getting out of debt. It is easy to see that from the numbers, though. Here’s a smattering of things we have also improved upon since we’ve started this blog:
– The interest on my credit card debt now ranges from 0% (until April 2007, and will be paid off in September 2006) to 2.99%; a far cry from the 12.99% to 20.99% that I had. For all of our credit card debt, we’re paying 5% interest or below.
– Her dropped the interest rates on her variable interest rate student loans by a few percentage points.
– We’ve maximized the use of coupons.
– We haven’t accrued any new debt. Anything that we put on a zero balance credit card is paid off ASAP, and only put on that credit card to reap the rewards. We’re still committed to not going into more debt for the wedding.
– We have both received raises. (hmm, I realized that our income isn’t up on the site anymore…we’ll have to look into changing that)
– We’ve planned to get out of all credit card debt by the time we get married.
– I sold my car a few months before I started this blog. Now we only have one car that we seldom drive, saving us tons of money of insurance, maintenance, gas, and other automobile related expenses.
– Most importantly, we’ve been able to manage our debt so that it is not a barrier to the things we like to do everyday. This past weekend we’ve enjoyed the first of three summer music festivals, Intonation Music Fest. We’re headed to Cirque Shanghai, Ravinia twice, and other Chicago Festivals this summer. By squeezing our budget on most days, we’ve figured out how to enjoy life and pay off debt. We’re only in our 20′s once, so we figure we’ll enjoy it while we’re living in a big city such as Chicago and can physically and mentally tackle everything. We figure that we’ll be out of debt by the time we have kids, and then we’ll have no time for all of the things that we’re doing today.
We’ve been at this for seven months, and we’re exited to see our progress. We can’t wait to see what’s coming up.