As 2015 draws to a close, most of us find ourselves doing two things: 1) Reflecting on the events of the year that’s coming to a close, and 2) Making plans for the upcoming New Year. Well, for the TOL household, 2015 has been a great year for us. Among our 2015 events:
- Mrs. TOL turned 30 and we had a great night of celebrating in Atlanta with friends and family;
- We started our New Life fund in February and started receiving dividend income;
- Got married and honeymooned in the Dominican Republic in June (our first time ever flying to another country!);
- Paid off all student loans in both of our names ($0.00 in student loan debt, yay!);
- Paid off several high-interest rate credit cards, including cards related to our wedding rings;
- Took a 5-day cruise to the Bahamas (Mr. TOL’s first time on a cruise ship);
- Saw Stevie Wonder live in concert; and
- Traveled to Washington D.C. and saw the White House;
Truly, we were blessed in 2015 with many memories. Now it’s time to change that “5” to a “6” and start a new year of memories.
Along with a new year comes a new set of goals. We really desire to push ourselves in 2016 and take our lives to new and uncharted territories. Though we paid off a ton of debt in 2015, we still have a goal in place to continue to push, and push even harder in 2016. As it currently stands, outside of our mortgage, we still have $36K in outstanding consumer debt from credit cards and auto loans, as seen in the numbers shown below.
One of our main goals, among others, for 2016 is to pay off all of our consumer debts, which includes every single dollar of debt not tied to the mortgage on our home. We believe that on the road to financial independence, debt is like a road block forcing you to take a different and much longer route home. Without debt, it’s like you have a much shorter commute to your final destination because you are traveling a road free and clear of obstruction.
To achieve our goal, we will strive to put $3,000 a month extra on our debts, on top of the regular monthly payments we are already making. This will put a tight squeeze on our monthly budgeted expenses, but we also know that this is temporary, and should become easier to accomplish as debts are eliminated. As for our New Life fund, we will continue to apply new capital for purchases whenever we can, but don’t expect to do a lot with it until our debts are cleared.
We’ve taken several steps in 2015 to put us in a winning position to accomplish this goal in 2016. We eliminated unnecessary expenses such as cable, combined our health insurance into one family policy (previously, we each had a policy at our respective jobs), cut down on the car insurance by raising our deductible, and paid off all student loans and as much credit card debt as we could so that we don’t have to worry about those payment being carried forward into the next year.
NET WORTH GOAL:
Another goal for 2016 is to increase our New Worth to $140,000. Our current New Worth is approximately $86,000. To achieve this tall task, we will need to eliminate debt, as mentioned above, and will need a little help from what we are hoping to be a “bull” market. I think this is achievable, as long as we keep our expenses down.
We look forward to the challenge ahead in 2016, but even more than the challenge, we look forward to completing it and becoming consumer debt-free. We look forward to the day we have no more consumer debt payments and can go full steam ahead building up our portfolio! Wish us luck!
What are your goals for 2016?