I love words.
It’s sometimes weird electing to spend all of my virtual free time in a world that values numbers when it is really words that speak to me. But when I look back at my progress this year, I have a confession to make:
The numbers make a difference.
I used to be all about setting goals lovely goals that oozed inspiration. Elegantly worded, sometimes in fancy fonts, maybe they had a number or maybe they didn’t. (Let’s blame Pinterest, shall we?) But there’s nothing quite like having to reconcile one cold hard number against another. So I’m going to try to go stay true to my Q1 and Q2 recaps here and go easy on the words.
I’ll let the numbers do the talking. And honestly, they have a lot to say because we crossed a huge mortgage milestone last quarter.
2018 Q3 Recap
$129,777.69 Our mortgage is under $130,000. ::breathes deeply:: I don’t know if it’s a sigh of relief or to keep myself from fainting, but I can’t help but take a deep breath when I think about this number. For real. We have owned our house for less than six years and we only really got serious about paying down the mortgage 2.5 years ago. Somehow (OK, I know how. All hail the side hustle and the pay raise!), we’ve cleared over $85,000 from the principal alone.
RELATED POST: How I Fell into Six Figures of Debt Without Noticing
$7085.04 toward our principal. Maxing out our Roths early is allowing us to be more aggressive than usual with our mortgage. And it feels great!
$1201.75 to interest. Ew.
$0 toward retirement. We already maxed both our Roths. But I suppose there’s an asterisk here. I am starting to squirrel away about $300 a month in a 403b. My husband has yet to open his. More on that…later.
$1709.80 to college. I know there’s tons of talk about disrupting the higher education model. I support that. But I also want to make sure that HP is able to go the route I went if that’s necessary. As a first-generation college graduate, I still see the difference that made in my life. So yeah, money for HP! Double yay for all the family and friends who gave us money for his college fund for his first birthday.
RELATED POST: What a Bounce House Rental Says About My Values
710,487 steps. This is just bad. I fell so far short of my goal. After reflecting some, I realize part of the problem is that kayaking (my favorite summer pastime) isn’t accurately reflected here. And one day, my FitBit only clocked 4 steps. Even so, this is a hot mess of a fail.
3 single-use cups. This was my goal, but I’m still disappointed. I’m really trying to prioritize the environment in the decisions that I make. I’ll keep working on this for sure!
1 online sale (of 6 items). In an experiment that I will finally be able to write up in 14 more days time, I sent a giant box of stuff to thredUP again. I thought things changed. It turns out they did. They got worst. Post forthcoming, I promise! Beyond that, I didn’t make any real effort to sell online. To be honest, I am still sitting on a half dozen designer items that I really need to take the time to list. Otherwise, I’m enjoying giving things away too much. This was a fail and a huge win!
2018 Q4 Goals
$8000 toward our mortgage principal. This is a stretch goal. I have to ride this wave as long as we can. Once the calendar flips to 2019, it’s back to socking money away in our Roths. Retirement will always take priority over aggressive mortgage payments. You’re welcome, Old Lady Penny.
$1000 in HP’s 529. Going to go hard again this quarter in order to scale back later. The hope is that after these few initial years we can let compound interest do the heavy lifting.
Any dollars toward retirement. I said I would stick to numbers. I lied. My only real goal for this quarter is to continue to forget my own 403b account access info (it’s already automated!) and actually get my husband going with a self-managed fund. His work keeps sending back managed funds at 1.5%+. HARD PASS.
950,000 steps. I’m back at work. There’s no excuse to not nab at least 10,000 steps a day. Fin.
3 reusable cups. I should say 0. But know thyself, right? 1 a month isn’t catastrophic. In 2019, I am hoping to come up with several goals each month that are more environmental than financial.
RELATED POST: Why I’m Skipping Starbucks
10 Freecycles (or sales). My priority is decluttering. I know there’s no recouping the thousands of dollars I wasted on shoes. So I’m focusing on making more space than finding a few pennies. (THE HORROR! Things I thought I’d never say.)
So Tell Me…What are your plans for this quarter? Are you better at setting aggressive goals than I am? What are your tricks?