The one thing decluttering our possessions has shown us is there are so many other areas in our life that need simplification. Financial simplification in the form of less monthly payments to various places. We would also like to reduce/eliminate the amount of outstanding debt. Both of these will result in less stress as we approach thoughts of retirement.
Questions we should ask before purchases: Do we really need to spend for “it”? What will be the result of not getting “it”? Is there something more important than “it”? Will “it” increase or decrease stress levels?
Of course, there are certain “purchases” we strongly feel were necessary and must pay for: home/mortgage ($128,152.60), cars and RV ($16,653.62), college education for our children ($93,628.93).
Grand total when we began seriously reducing debt: $238,435.15 as of April 1, 2015. [UPDATE: 4/2017 = $154,364.49 a reduction of $84,070.66 in 2 years!] Our goal is to be debt free in 5 years. Each of these 3 categories were “necessary” in our mind to give our children a stable environment and educational/professional opportunities. We wouldn’t do anything different in these areas.
Interesting Article: “Going Extreme in Simplifying Your Finances Brings Extreme Results” by Nancy Anderson, Forbes.com, 01/12/2012
Financial Update April 2016 total $196,292.88 reduction of $42,142.27 in the first year!
Annual Financial Update, April 2017 total debt $154,364.49 reduction $41,928.39 in the last year!
Annual Financial Update, April 2018 total debt $262,251.96
reduction increase -$107,887.47