This report will close out two full years of working towards debt freedom. We’re still not quite there, but are getting very close. It is funny because the closer we get, the slower times seems to move! For that reason, we plan to provide our updates semi-annually in 2019. This is our year end financial accountability report covering November and December 2018.
We write this accountability report about our finances to help keep us on track and also to provide encouragement for others on the same journey as us. I think the main point we want to make first is that we are not bragging by blogging about this. In fact, we are ashamed of the debt we accumulated and find it embarrassing to admit. We are sharing our story to keep ourselves accountable and hope that it may help someone else.
We are continuing our journey to becoming debt free and have $19,805 to go. Over November and December, we were able to pay off $8,940 of our remaining debt. This brings our grand total paid to $139,142 since we started tracking last year! All of this remaining debt is our Heartland Cyclone.
December ended with our net worth down up just barely from October. While we were able to reduce our liabilities quite a bit, we lost some of our total assets due to the recent drop off of the stock market. All of our investment accounts were down for this period. However, we understand that losses are part of the game, which is why you have to be in it for the long-term.
Here is the breakdown of our net worth.
We did not have any huge unexpected expenses. We had some additional expenses that we were able to plan for in the budget.
First, we traveled a little farther than normal, going from Texas to Arizona. Then we flew out to the Washington DC area for our daughter-in-law’s graduation from Shenandoah with a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies. We’re so proud of her!
Our primary revenue streams include military pensions for both of us, Sean’s research consulting hours, and Julie’s freelance writing. In addition, our business, Chickery’s Travels continues to grow.
Chickery’s Travels consists of multiple revenue streams. We have book sales (from 2 books we’ve authored), as well as ad revenue from our website and YouTube channel. We also have public speaking contracts with several RV shows throughout 2019. This is very exciting since we both enjoy speaking and teaching.
We are definitely learning that building a business from the ground up is not easy. We work many more hours for ourselves than we ever did working regular jobs or even during our time in the military. We are just starting to see some rewards after more than a year of hard effort. Initially it was tough not to get discouraged, but stuck with it and are happy with the growth .
The main thing that has helped us with our finances is keeping a budget. We use YNAB (You Need A Budget) for our monthly budgeting along with the Every Dollar app to track our daily purchases. Seeing where the money goes is definitely eye-opening and when you assign it at the beginning of the month, staying within the budget is much easier.
Future Plans and Projections
We write these accountability reports to make sure we stay on track with our goals. It has really made a difference in our purchases over the past year. We often think twice before making a frivolous or large purchase. Do we really want to show a decrease in net worth for this thing? Do we really want have to publish that we made poor decisions? This blog (and you) really helps!
Although there will be times like this when we have an overall decrease in our net worth, we feel it was expected at some point since the stock market cannot rise every month forever. Our spending, however, continues to be on track and we hope this inspires others to join us on a debt free journey.
Thanks for following along with us this year. We hope you’ll join us in 2019 when we plan to finally be debt free!
Sharing is caring! Feel free to share this image on Pinterest!