The mantra for 2018 was “learning as we go” and, man, did we do some learning in 2018! We were also insanely busy in 2018! As we prepare to move from 2018 into 2019, we wanted to take some time to reflect on our progress. We did some serious work in 2018!
- Continued major focus on paying down debt. HUGE success in 2018 with this one! We made our last payment toward our $73,676.99 debt on 6/17/2018 and then left out a HUGE sigh of relief! Other than our mortgage, we don’t owe anyone anything!
- January 2018 – Pay off PSECU loan for Kubota tractor. Our original timeline had us paying off the tractor in December 2018, but, thanks to some stellar focus and progress, we paid off the tractor on Friday, 1/26/2018 – eleven months ahead of schedule! 11 months of EARLY success here in 2018!
- June 2018 – Finish paying off all outstanding debt (except for mortgage) by paying off Josh’s Silverado. Our plan had us scheduled to resolve this huge and final debt in January 2019. We had built so much momentum in paying off our debts that we actually paid off the truck on Sunday, 6/17/2018! HUGE success and a HUGE milestone of being debt-free (except for our mortgage) in 2018, 7 months earlier than we had originally planned!
- Celebrate being debt-free! Even though balloons and a parade would have been pretty sweet, there was no huge celebration when we made our last debt payment. We did a few happy dances and then focused our sights on our new goals.
- Establish high-yield savings account. Not more than a few minutes after making our last debt payment, we set up our Ally High-Yield Savings Account on Sunday, 6/17/2018. When we set up the account in June, the interest rate was 1.65%, which we were pretty happy with. But, thanks to the budding economy, the interest rate has steadily increased over the last few months and is still at 2%. Transfers to and from account have been super simple and we’re really pleased with our choice so far.
- Beginning in July 2018 – Take monthly debt payment ($3,516 per month) and pay our savings account. We had originally planned to start banking our boat bucks in February 2019. But, thanks to paying off our debt ahead of schedule, we started banking our previous debt payments as boat bucks in July 2018. We were also able to increase the amount that we’re saving to $3,516, which is a huge improvement over our original savings plan of $2,550 per month. We’d consider this one a pretty big success in 2018!
- Throughout 2018, continue to purge items that we don’t need / want that won’t impact daily living. Specifically, ensure the basement has been cleared of anything that we don’t use or see ourselves using between now and when we move aboard. While this one may not be a complete success, we’re pretty dang close! Getting free use of a dumpster when our house was fixed was a huge help in our progress with this goal. We’ve still some more work to do in the basement, but we’re well on our way. Christmas has been reduced to almost three plastic totes which is a pretty big victory!
- Winter 2018 – Complete renovation of kitchen in our current home. The kitchen renovation is well underway! We anticipate completing the kitchen renovation by the end of February. (Which is still winter, so it’ll count as a success, as long we get it done!)
In our 2018 Goal Plan, we had included some additional goals that had quite made it into our original five year plan. The goals we added were getting our scuba diving certifications, going to Maine for a family vacation in June 2018, completing the ASA 101 and 103 courses and making sure to make it to Ocean City’s Bike Week. So, some success and some out and out failure on these “extra goals.”
We both completed not only our open water scuba diving certification, but we also completed our advanced open water scuba diving certifications in 2018. We both went on to complete a few additional certifications, too. Going to Maine for a family vacation in June 2018 was half a success. Josh made it for a long weekend, while Alexis was stuck working.
Ocean City’s Bike Week was a complete fail for us due the potential impact of Hurricane Florence. We decided to cancel our reservations, save the money, avoid the potential hassle and head to camp for the weekend. While we didn’t make it to Bike Week, we saved some money and had a good weekend. As far as the ASA 101 and 103 courses are concerned, we decided to purposefully put them on hold until we purchase our boat. Our thinking is that if we’re paying money to take the courses anyway, we may as well take them on our boat instead of some boat we’ll never be on again. So, ASA 101 and 103 are kind of on the back burner for now. Fingers crossed for adding them to 2019’s goal plan!