Because of my advance projections, I knew that we were about to hit a big milestone -- nay, TWO big milestones! But I was holding my breath. I also know that Murphy tends to visit when you're about to accomplish something great.
And visit he did. All of a sudden, we needed new tires on the Santa Fe. *SIGH* However, even after dropping nearly $700 on tires and related work..........
WE PAID OFF THAT CAR!!!!!!!!
And then, just to add some icing to that delectable cake...........
WE FILLED OUT OUR SAVINGS TO A 3-MONTH EMERGENCY FUND!!!!!!
(If you're following the Dave Ramsey plan, you know that it goes like this: $1000 "baby" emergency fund, pay off debts smallest to largest, then 3- to 6-month emergency fund. However, as described here, Dave recommends an alternate schedule for families like ours: an independent contractor is, in theory, at a much higher risk of being without income than a salaried employee. So we needed a bigger initial cushion.)
Are we done now? No, of course not! But this was hugely satisfying. After over a year of only making minimum payments and putting money into our savings just to take it back out again, we've made progress. It feels great!
Today, we got out the Big Red Marker and updated our snowball chart:
|Involving baby early|
|Baby wants to cross off MORE stuff!!|
And now I'm going to use this space to explain a couple of items on our snowball chart that might look a bit odd to any TMM die-hards... if you're not a Dave fan, YOU SHOULD BE --oh, I mean... you can skip this part. :)
- The Santa Fe is on the chart twice. Under the first occurrence are the words "to refinance." Even though it wasn't "paying off a debt," one of our original snowballs was to get the car loan paid down to a number at which we could refinance to a much lower rate. Doing so saved us close to $200/month. Great decision, and the fact that we were able to cross it off the list gave us that element of satisfaction that comes with a debt snowball!
- We appear to have skipped a step! At some point in the process of making minimum payments, the Diamond Membership (our vacation club) and the car shifted in terms of what was the Smallest Debt. So we decided to pay off the car first since it technically was the smallest debt now... just didn't print out a new list. The Diamond Membership is the next thing to go!