The Money Mustache Community

General Discussion => Throw Down the Gauntlet => Topic started by: The knitter on June 03, 2017, 07:50:59 AM

Title: Get back on track.....
Post by: The knitter on June 03, 2017, 07:50:59 AM
I started reading MMM four or five years ago, when I was in debt and spending foolishly.

I religiously read and started making changes, and got myself to a very comfortable financial situation.

Then I got complacent. Without that debt-reduction goal, it was easy to get really lazy really fast. Plans to ride my bike dissipated. My garden died after I let it waste away. I got lenient about buying needless things.

I'm not in debt again, but not making any positive gains either.

I'm challenging myself here to get back on track. I started today with a four-mile bike ride on a busy road (a fear of mine I'm trying to overcome).

Anyone else fall into this complacency trap and want to join me trying to reset?

Title: Re: Get back on track.....
Post by: Lord Cashmoney on June 03, 2017, 10:54:25 AM
Hey! I remember you from four years ago! You and I are in similar positions of getting back on track, too! I was pretty religiously moustacian four years ago, but then a whole bunch of stuff happened that I'll detail in another post later on. Most of it was good, but a lot of it can still be classed as a "volcano of wastefulness".

Getting back on track now is fun though, as I know a lot more about myself than I did before. Maybe we should keep tabs on each other as part of a gauntlet throw down. It's always more fun hitting goals with a friend!
Title: Re: Get back on track.....
Post by: The knitter on June 03, 2017, 03:17:15 PM
I'm down to keep each other honest.

My first goal is to get on my bike once a day. That's a small step toward actually using my bike. I've just been too scared to seriously ride on the road.

And even if I decide bike commuting is not for me, I'll get some much needed exercise along the way.

What's your initial goal? I'd be interested to hear about your volcano of wastefulness, too.
Title: Re: Get back on track.....
Post by: Lord Cashmoney on June 03, 2017, 11:31:40 PM
A lot happens in four year! I figure I'll detail all of this in a case study just because there sheer whiplash from where I was 4 years ago to now is so drastic. In short, though:

- My annual day-job income shot up 30% (Bonus!)
- I moved my father across country so he's local, with all the expenses that entails. (Good, but super expensive!)
- I saved a good amount of money at first. (Sweet!)
- I'm engaged (Bonus!)
- We bought a house! (super expensive, as we're in a high-cost area.)
- We paid off the partner's previous home and turned it into a rental! (Bonus!!)
- I still had student loans and credit card debt. (What?!)
- I financed a brand new fancy-pants car to commute to work every day, across a congested toll bridge, so that I could park in an outrageously spendy parking garage! (Whoa, LCM... what's happening to you.)
- I bought lunch almost every day! (*sound of grave being dug*)

This is just a small sample of the financial boons and criminally wasteful volcanic meltdowns that occurred. There's so much more to the story that I'll have to unpack and share with everyone here as it should make for some pretty scandalous reading! There's so much I would have done differently if only I had kept focus, but the panic / elation roller coaster I was on only allowed for short term thinking. Now that things are so much more settled, I've again cast my eyes up and forward, feeling thankful to have reached this position I'm in now.

Alas! You asked of my current goals! After so many tense years, at the beginning of 2017 I resolved to "deleverage" myself. Old debt, over-booked schedules, too much worthless stuff cluttering up this sweet house I share with my partner... it all has to go. I am genuinely surprised at my progress, too, which reinforced to me what the power of focus can bring.

2017 Goals

- Eliminate credit card debt (+/- $15,000)
- Eliminate the last of the student loans (+/ $28,000)
- Clear up my calendar of meetings, conventions, trips, engagements etc that I don't want to attend
- Eliminate car loan ($12,000 @1.9%)
- Quit eating out, except for once a week.
- Wipe out all the clutter in my office, kitchen, bedroom etc
- Restore emergency fund ($20,000)

Next up in the crosshairs is the car payment, which is the last debt I have before the mortgage on our primary residence. How exciting! To be honest, I thought the credit cards and the student loans would take me the bulk of this year. That they're gone and we've only just touched June is very, very gratifying and motivating. It's freed up mental capacity that I didn't even know I had...! But that's a post for later.
Title: Re: Get back on track.....
Post by: The knitter on June 12, 2017, 05:38:36 PM
Congrats on all the big changes in the last four years! It sounds like you've gone through a lot, but mostly good. And having your father local will pay off in the end.

I find there's only so much my brain can process, and big life changes get in the way of other long-term goals. That's why this forum is so helpful - to push us to keep taking small steps toward the big picture goals. I find coming here gives me a good kick in the pants to help get me back on track.

I've gotten to the point in my cooking that I now hate eating out for lunch because my own leftovers are usually much better. My goals of reducing waste and saving money go hand-in-hand there, as I really just don't want to throw out food at the end of the week. Little steps will help. Meal prepping on weekends has been the biggest help to this end. I plan out the week's meals, cook several things In the oven at once, and then use them throughout the week.

On my biking challenge, I've ridden my bike the last two days, and every other day before that. Not bad, considering I was not riding at all before.

I'll follow up with a post about some of my trip-ups in the last four years, and my goals moving forward.