First and foremost, we need to get our spending and saving back on track. Since becoming mortgage-free, we’ve splurged quite a bit, primarily on travel and home improvements. While we still plan to do a decent amount of travel in the future, home improvements should be relatively minor.
We will center our financial goals around buying assets and building passive income streams during the next several years. Below are a few ways our life has changed since becoming mortgage-free.
In an era where many families require two working parents to make ends meet, being mortgage-free has provided us with the possibility of moving to a single-income family.
In hindsight, we should have saved up more money before moving forward with the kitchen remodel. Instead, we ended up nearly doubling our original budget and, as a result, burned through the majority of our emergency fund. Using your emergency fund to pay for a new kitchen is not recommended, but it is what it is.
We could live on about $2,000 a month somewhat comfortably if we needed to since we have no debt. However, we don’t strive to live overly frugal and could cut some fat if needed. Examples include going out to eat, paying for cable (Sling), weekend road trips, and minor home improvements.
We take a lot of pride in giving away 10 percent of our take-home pay. We are so grateful to be in our financial situation, and the least we can do is give back, even if that slows our path to financial independence. We are also on schedule to fully max out my 401(k) for the first time by contributing $19,000.
We try to be as smart as we can with our money on travel. For example, our flight to Los Angeles for our family (3 tickets) was almost entirely paid for with Southwest Airlines points. We often look for deals on lodging and entertainment to minimize the cost of travel. When the kids get older, we plan to explore more elaborate travel opportunities out of the country.