In 2018, we cut another $2927.00 from our monthly budget!  I say “another” because, in case you missed it, in our last post we shared how we cut over $4,000.00 from our monthly budget in 2017.  If you don’t math – that’s a reduction in our monthly spending by $6,927.00.00 in just two years.

 

Getting on Board

 

We were rockin’ and rollin’ – in sync – and super motived. Well, no not really.  At the beginning of 2018, Curt was still fairly solidly in the “Reluctant Spouse” Camp.  He was on board as far as the progress we were making but I don’t think he truly understood WHY I felt so “on fire” about this newfound FIRE Movement.

 

To me it represented freedom.  Being Financially Independent meant I didn’t have to keep working in a job that was draining my spirit.  That I could be with my children when I wanted to. We did not have to live with the heaviness of six-figure student loan debt or carry it to our graves.

 

Curt eventually had his own awakening towards the end of the year in Greece at the FI Chautauqua.  If you’d like to hear about that you can listen to how he shifted from Reluctant Spouse to completely Sold-out FIRE Junkie in this episode HERE.

 

How We Did It

 

So, how did we reduce our monthly expenses by $3000.00? Just as in 2017, we continued to ask the same two questions for every expense we had.

 

  1. Can we eliminate this from our budget entirely?
  2. Can we reduce this expense?

 

As you can see from the list below, we reduced our phone bill, paid off some of our phones, sold our travel trailer, cut the cable cord down to only Internet, reduced student loan payments and paid down/off some of our credit card accounts.

 

 

PAID OFF TWO PHONES $168
CABLE REDUCED TO JUST INTERNET $60
PAID OFF SMALL STUDENT LOAN $50
REDUCED STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS $650
PAID OFF ANOTHER OLD TAX BILL $1086
PAID OFF CREDIT CARDS $329
SOLD TRAVEL TRAILER $338
NO MORE TRAILER STORAGE $120
REDUCED CAR INSURANCE $126
TOTAL $2927

 

The Cost

 

Now, you might be thinking, Holy Smokes, $6927.00 is a lot of money, you must be killing it with your savings now!  Well, that was some of it.  We did increase our savings rate significantly in 2018.

 

But the biggest move we were looking to make was for me to retire my law practice.  For years, I was the breadwinner in our family.  With the expenses we were managing – leaving my practice and going from a six-figure income to nothing, without making some adjustments, would have left us bankrupt.

 

The problem was that I was at the end of my runway.  I was living with a fear of an impending crash.  For the sake of my own mental health – I needed to make a change and fast.  We did that in October of 2018.  Clearing almost $7000.00 a month combined with reducing some of our retirement savings and making a little bit of money here and there with side-hustles made it possible.

 

I loved my career for a long time, I am thankful for everything it gave to me. And now I happily have closed that chapter of my life.

 

Looking Forward

 

Now that we have cleared the hurdle of closing my law practice, the goal is now two-fold. Continue to reduce our expenses but, more importantly, to increase my income significantly in my side businesses.

 

Once we do that, we can ramp up our savings rate again so that we can meet our retirement goals.

 

We hope that by sharing our journey transparently, you are both inspired and encouraged.

 

If you need help creating a financial foundation, we can help. We have several resources to help you get your finances in order. Click on an of these to find out more information:

7-Step Money Foundations Course – a 21 day  FREE email course

Shut-Up and Budget – 120 Page Workbook based upon our FREE 7-Step Money Foundations Course.

Printable and Downloadable Money Foundations Worksheets, Saving and Debt  Trackers. 

 

Love and Prosperity,

Wendy and Curt

 

P.s.   Our plans for 2019 are even more exciting! We shared a bit about it here – and we look forward to updating you on our progress soon.  

 

 

 

 

 

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