Hello friends, inspirations and financial confidants,
I was working through a pile of collections statements and plugging numbers into the Debt Snowball Spreadsheet when I decided to stop by LLNOE and see what was going on as of late. It's really incredible, I began this journey in 2011 and so much "life" has happened, ups and downs, stupid and wise decisions, career momentum - everything! And it is so funny, as I technically sit here in BS2 again, it does not upset me because I've been through this before and know it can be done again! I feel pretty elated about our future together so whatever dirty work needs to be done now, is totally worth it.
So last time I left you off, I shared that I'd sold my house, reconnected with a fellow and we were renovating an RV. I was getting my schooling finished, paring down possessions and was looking at beefing up my IRA.
Fast-forward about 8 months to today: that fellow asked me to marry him,
we his mom and sister planned an elaborate backyard ceremony and we are happily newlywed as of June. We have an insane amount of plans/dreams/goals to keep us occupied and are eager to get cracking. I finally got my associate's degree in hand/on a piece of paper/ready to frame on the wall like I wanted. I had applied for a different position within my company around the time of my last blog post - I got the job and started in late February. I love my new team, new boss and the line of work I've gotten into, and was offered a substantial pay raise with the inclusion of a monthly commission that I was not previously eligible for. So, really - all great things! Our RV renovations are complete "enough" - the bathroom is still an untouched time capsule of 1987, but everywhere else is complete barring some minor cosmetic finishes. RV Living is certainly interesting, but honestly, it's eye opening how little we really need to lead perfectly healthy and normal lives.
We purchased 2.5 raw acres locally in March using proceeds from my home's sale to help with down payment and begin our Construction Fund. We're slowly but surely taking the steps to make it build-ready. Logging, well drilling and electric hookups (must cashflow these) are all are items needing completion before we can even think about turning to a lender for a home construction loan. On the other hand, DH is toying with the idea to try cashflowing/DIY'ing a build (he works for a home builder and is pretty experienced) and keep living in the RV during the process, but I am not quite there yet mentally
We have a decent amount of debt to drill through to bring us, as a married couple, back to solid footing. DH had a lot of medical and court-related debts in collections for years so now's better than ever to clean that up. Back story on the court stuff: When he and I dated 10 years ago, we had a great time and fell hard for each other. We dated almost 4 years during the ages of 21-25 years old so pretty young. But he liked to drink a lot. It got him into a couple of fights/incidents and even a couple DUI's. Both our moms and I intervened but he didn't want to accept that he had a problem. Things looked bleak so I ended the relationship. During this time I'd also found Dave Ramsey and was trying to take responsibility for my adult life. In fact, I probably ranted about him on this very blog in my early DR days, haha! DH is now 5+ years sober and he's the wonderful man I knew before alcohol was involved. He's totally willing to work the DR plan and I've got a LOT of experience with that!
So it is our intent to really knock this out of the park and carry on. Can't go back and change mistakes now, but we can be responsible and own up to them and get them squared away. I tallied up all of our shared debts, including my credit union VISA which is clearly out of control since I set it up as my overdraft protection.... yeah, my car loan, and his collections debts from varying debtors. It's nearly $50,000. Yes, I do feel a little queasy typing that up and sharing with all of you. From experience, though, I know that's a very necessary but painful step in the right direction.
On the bright side: I'm attempting to settle the collections accounts for the original amounts owed rather than all the interest. Several of the accounts are currently sitting at 2x the original amount just from 12% interest fees and length of time debt has been sitting. It's fair to offer a payoff of the original balance to a collection agency, right, since they got the debts for far less? I used a low snowball estimate in the Debt snowball sheet, and the prediction was an August 2020 payoff. Well, I want to be paid off in, like, January 2019, so we've clearly got some work ahead of us!
Attaching a photo of our RV, taken from me standing in the kitchen
It is good to be here and read up on how everyone has been. Thanks for the support and inspiration, as always!