If you’re new here, you might think it’s a little premature to talk about what we’ll do when we’re debt free. After all, at our last monthly budget report, our remaining debt was just over $30,000.
That may sound like a long way off, but considering we started at over $130,000, it feels like we’re on the homestretch. The end is in sight. We made slow and steady progress over the first two years, then about six months ago, we really ramped up our payments and we’re gaining traction faster than ever!
At the time we set our goal of paying off our six figures of debt by the end of 2016, it was really a stretch goal. According to our numbers then, it was impossible. Now, we even have hopes of paying it off earlier than our original goal.
With all this excitement, I’ve received lots of questions about our future plans. I’m going to try to answer the most common ones today. If you have a different question, feel free to ask in the comments, send me an email, or reply to any of my emails (you can subscribe here).
Are you still going to blog?
You betcha! I’m hooked!
Blogging has been a big part of our journey to get out of debt. From motivation and accountability, to helping others and earning an income too. I’m here for the long haul.
Some readers have asked if we’ll have to change the blog name. Nope. We’ll still be here at the same url. I’ll probably change the logo/tagline to be similar to what I have on my Facebook page.
I will still be sharing frugal inspiration and financial motivation, we just won’t be in super debt-payoff mode. We will still be living super frugally (more on that below). I also plan to spotlight some of my readers’ debt payoff stories!
Are you still going to live in your in-laws’ basement?
I get this question all the time! We’ve been living in my in-laws’ unfinished basement for three and a half years. It has actually gone by really fast.
While it’s not much to look at, this unconventional living arrangement has saved us so much money and has blessed us in other ways. It’s not for everyone, but it has worked out wonderfully for us.
So, yes, we are going to stay a little while longer while we work on our next big financial goal. I’m hoping that will take maybe a year, but that might be overly optimistic.
What’s your next financial goal?
I’m glad you asked! We want to buy a house!!!
We don’t want to go rent somewhere while we save. We’ll make much faster progress if we stay put for a little longer. Moving twice would be a nightmare.
California is not a cheap place for real estate, so saving 20% for a down payment will take some time. We’re not letting ourselves even look at properties or financing now, but as soon as we’re debt-free we will. Depending on the programs available, we might get away with less of a down payment (though we don’t want to pay PMI). We will likely buy in a rural area and we will be first-time home buyers (again), so maybe there will be some special financing available.
Oh, and after we buy a house (or maybe I should say “buy” a house), we will be back to being six figures under again with our mortgage! Good thing we weren’t going to change our domain name.
Aren’t your in-laws ready to be rid of you already?
Maybe, but they tell us they like having us here. And they’re good, honest people, so we believe them. If that’s not the truth, then I guess overstaying our welcome is their consequence for lying. (I kid.)
I’m sure there are aspects of having their house all to themselves again that are exciting (like quiet, for example), but they aren’t pushing us out the door. In fact my mother-in-law keeps mentioning that she hopes we stay really close still.
Are you still going to make your personal finances public?
For the past two-and-a-half years, we have been totally transparent with our personal finances. Each month we’ve shared everything we’ve earned, spent, and paid in debt.
That accountability has been huge for us! Knowing that we will be sharing all of our financial details with you definitely makes us think twice about what we do with our money.
I’m planning to continue making personal finance public here, at least while we save up for a house. Thankfully we don’t have bad money habits that we risk slipping back into, but when we’re debt-free, it might be easy to justify unnecessary things. I don’t want to fall into that.
What are you going to do to celebrate being debt-free?
This is where it gets fun! 🙂 Let’s pretend we’re talking face-to-face and you asked me this question. I would probably ask you to guess.
So take a split second and guess, just for fun. 🙂
We’re not going to Disneyland or on a cruise. We’re not going out to a fancy restaurant or getting fancy champagne (we don’t even drink).
We are getting new bikes (and new helmets) for the whole family!
Our kids all have bikes that don’t really fit them and don’t work well. They were all thrift store finds or yard sale finds for under $10 that we fixed up, but they are pretty spent now. My husband’s bike is 14 years old and needs repairs, but should be fine when those are done. My bike was stolen a little before we got married.
Family bike rides are right up our alley though. We wanted a reward that involved the whole family because we have really made our goal a family affair.
We estimate that it will cost about $1100 to outfit the whole family with bikes and helmets. We’re looking at spending about $600 total for my husband and me and $100 for each of the three older kids. For the baby, we are deciding between a handlebar seat and a bike trailer. (Any input?) Helmets for the six of us will add on about $120.
We are also going to buy the kids their own (nicer) sleeping bags. We have hand-me-down sleeping bags for the kids, but they are in sad shape. Every time we go camping (one of our favorite free family activities) there is arguing about who gets the one with the broken zipper or who had the ripped one last time.
When we’re not packing our gear in, we usually bring lots of blankets to supplement our sorry sleeping bags. We go camping enough to make real sleeping bags worth it though.
We estimate that our entire celebration reward for paying off our six figures of student loan debt will cost around $1300. Of course we’ll be smart shoppers (shop around, price match, use ebates, etc.), but I’m sure you figured as much.
And that about covers the most frequently asked questions about what the SixFiguresUnder family will be doing after paying off six figures of law school debt.
How about you?
- What are your plans when you’re debt free?
- What will you do to celebrate your great accomplishment?