A Story About Paying Off Debt and the Obstacles Along the Way

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Tentative Goals for 2018

As we hurtle into December, I find myself in that familiar end-of-year reflection headspace. I've been thinking a lot about our 2017 financial accomplishments and what we hope to accomplish in 2018.

Truth to tell, we went into 2017 with zero financial goals. Not a single one. Nevertheless, we found ourselves making progress, especially after we finally took a good hard look at our >$76K in debt in April and made the decision to dig ourselves out. And all in all, we've made some major progress:
  • Both Fortysomething and I found stable jobs with benefits in a town notorious for few job opportunities (I credit this to a combination of persistence and blatant luck). I'm beyond grateful that this happened.
  • We created a budget, and we've been fairly devoted to sticking to it.
  • We paid off one of our credit cards as well as our car loan.
  • By the end of December, we'll have reduced our debt by more than $8000.

We're going into the new year with a few big, specific goals:
  • Pay off our credit cards by May 2018. This is way ahead of the payoff schedule we developed a couple of months ago, but between side hustles and a tax refund (fingers crossed), we should be able to make it happen. 
  • Become homeowners by the end of the summer. I know there are pros and cons to home ownership. We totally get that it's expensive and that 10 different things are bound to break within a month of us moving in. Nevertheless, we feel it's worth it for us, especially given that a) rents here are exorbitant, b) we don't plan on leaving this town, like, ever, and c) living in an apartment complex is driving me insane. I'll write a longer post about this in the next few months.
  • For me, I want to find a job that better aligns with my education, experience, and interests. Yeah, I know I said that I was going to let this one go, but as it turns out, I really need to find something else. Working on it!
  • Put at least $600 a month into savings (not including retirement savings - we'll be doing that, too). Debt payoff is a priority, but we also need to set some money aside for emergencies, travel, and various annual fees.
  • Reassess our student loan repayments. We want to get these paid off as soon as possible, but depending on mortgage + salary of new job that I am determined to get, we may need to adjust. Hopefully, we'll be able to devote a big, BIG chunk of money to student loans each month.
What about you? What are some of your financial goals for 2018? Pay off some debt? Build your savings? Max out your retirement fund? Get a side hustle or two? Do tell!

Disease Called Debt


  1. Although I've got all sorts of mini-goals to hit along the way, when all is said and done, for the end of 2018I've got two (big ones):

    1. According to the plans/milestones I mapped out when I started paying off our debt, if all goes well and stays on track, I hope to end 2018 with our total debt dipping just below $2500.

    2. We've got a huge planned expense looming in January 2019 (throwing a big celebration for my daughter's Bat Mitzvah), so I've got a pretty ambitious savings goal for 2018. I want to end 2018 with $5000 in our "fun stuff" savings account.

    1. <$2500 in debt! That is amazing! Good for you. I'm also super impressed (and inspired) to hear that you're already planning out your daughter's Bat Mitzvah.