We wrote a blog post in early January about how we were able to pay off $91,000 last year while living full-time in our RV. We are happy to be on our way to debt freedom because, as Dave Ramsey says, “the borrower is slave to the lender.” It took us several years to see this and with us both in our late 40s, we feel the pressure to work quickly to pay off our debts so we can feel comfortable about retiring.
Monthly Accountability Report
I want to start writing a monthly blog post about our finances from the previous month. Mostly for accountability and also for encouragement to others on the same journey as us. This first post will cover April 2018. I think the main point I 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 just over $59,000 to go. The entire $59,000 is the payoff of our 2015 Heartland Cyclone. At the beginning of the year, we owed about $80,000 on the Cyclone, since we worked hard to pay off all of our other debt first. We owed so much on the RV because we financed the full amount without putting anything down. We don’t recommend anyone making that mistake. Sadly, we learned our lesson AFTER making this poor decision. Click here to see a video I made on calculating the true cost of financing a new RV where I discuss how much we lost in depreciation and interest.
So, how did April end for us? Our net worth ended at $200,713. Not bad considering last April we had a net worth of $111,000. We still work and also have pensions from the Air Force, which really helps when trying to pay off debt and build some wealth.
Our investments gained between 3% and 4%. Also, between our small business income (affiliate income, book sales, YouTube) and other work, our income increased $962 from March to April. This extra income went straight to the RV loan. We did have some unusual expenses this month. Julie is doing a makeover on the RV so we spent a little over $2,200 on supplies and new furniture. I was hesitant at first, but it is much cheaper than purchasing a new RV.
Since this is the first “accountability” blog, there are not really any month-to-month comparisons, it would be good to describe how we have been able to get ahold of our finances over the past two years.
The main thing that has helped us in 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.
It has been easier for us to work towards this goal since we also both agreed on a “Why,” meaning that we had a reason to get out of debt and increase our net worth. The why for us was the flexibility and freedom to travel without having to work. We want to be able to live on our pensions without worry. The other “Why” is being able to put a large down payment on a house when we are done traveling in the RV.
So, there it is. The first month of publishing our road to debt freedom. Again, this is more accountability for us to make sure we stay on track with our goals and do not stray too far off.
Thanks for reading and please follow along each month to see how the debt free journey is progressing.