“How should we start this?”
“ I don’t know, I’m tired.”
“You’re going to be tired. You have 5,000 children.“
We actually only have 4 kids.
We’ve been living what might look like on the surface the American Dream. We own our own home, and we live in Southern California (the amazing weather and beautiful landscapes help you forget the high cost of living and a government that can’t seem to keep the power on consistently). We even built a second house on our property to bring in some income to lower the cost of living. And we’ve got a high-paying job in technology, that more than covers all these monthly payments, leaving us with some money for doing fun things with our family. And we (more or less most of the time) really like each other.
By most accounts, we’re doing quite well.
But in the last few months, the job has been feeling like a prison. Finding something that pays as well would be difficult. The house needs work that we don’t have time to do, or enough money to pay for (at least not any time soon). And we just keep feeling like something is not quite working.
Should we really be in over 900k of debt (for the house and the construction loan)? How stable is this situation actually? 3-6 months without work would be a major problem.
The debt is something we’ve come to accept to the point of just forgetting about. It hangs over us like a specter, any time we think about radically changing our life, or doing something more exciting or interesting. “But how are we going to pay the mortgage? What if our renters move out and we have to pay both loans with no income?”
In short, debt, which is a future obligation, is driving a lot of our decisions about what we should do with ourselves and our family.
And invisibly and subtly draining our energy for doing something new, or trying something new.
In short, despite everything looking great on paper, and having many things we are incredibly grateful for, we just aren’t quite living.
We could probably sell everything. But we are very invested in the community we have here.
So, rather than tap out, downsize, and quit, we decided to try a different experiment.
Let’s pay off ALL of our debt. In just one year.
“That seems like a lot”
Yes, yes it does.
And there is no amount of scrimping, saving, scrambling, cutting corners, checking the couch cushions, or skipping coffees that would get us anywhere even remotely close to that goal in a year.
It’s basically impossible.
And that’s what we are going to try to do over the next 12 months.