Welcome to another edition of WINNING, a sometimes-monthly post in which I outline our financial (and other) achievements in an effort to stay sane and motivated on this long road to debt freedom! I almost forgot about it this month, but NOT TODAY SATAN. I'm determined to get this post out. That's why I'm writing it before work while my kid is chowing down on his toast and my cat is meowing at my feet. This is gonna happen, poor grammar be damned.
Wins are important because let's face it, paying off debt and getting your finances in order can be exhausting. And frustrating. And for some of us it takes foreverrrrr.
While you're in the midst of this process, you have to keep a strong grip on the things that are going well.
With that, I present to you three wins for August of 2018:
(1) We met and exceeded our August savings goal!
Our big goal this month was to sock at least $5000 into savings, using my extra paycheck (this was a three-paycheck month for me) and Fortysomething's final summer bonus. As of today, we've stashed $5500 into our emergency fund. We feel incredibly proud of ourselves for meeting this milestone because we've never had this much in savings before. It's a big deal. It means that if the shit hits the fan, we can clean it up without immediately resorting to credit cards.
As a preview to a post that I maybe plan to write next week, for now, we've decided to maintain our slow roll on debt repayment and keep adding to our savings. Stay tuned for the why.
(2) We made an extra medical bill payment!
We're still paying off a few thousand dollars for the Kiddo's appendectomy back in March. Because our payment plan is interest-free and involves taking money directly from my HSA, I don't include this as part of our remaining debt (I probably should, but I don't want to, so... I'm not going to). Thanks to that extra August paycheck, I was able to make an additional, unscheduled payment to the hospital. This brings our total bill to approximately $3300. Another piece of great news: next month I'll receive a $500 incentive for the company wellness program I completed last year, so that, too, will go straight to the hospital bill. Progress!
(3) I did not make impetuous, personal finance-destroying decisions at work.
To lay it all out there, this past month at my job has been grueling. First my boss quit without warning. Then my team was dismantled and restructured. Then, without asking me or preparing me in any way, they suddenly took me off a project I've been working on for months and put me onto another project that up to this point I've had nothing to do with. And that's not to mention the intense three-day business trip that took place mid-month and the numerous new initiatives that have been rolled out in a matter of weeks.
I feel like I have whiplash. This is my first corporate job and while I had heard many people talk of such shenanigans in offices like mine, I wasn't prepared for the actuality. My gut instinct every other day for the past few weeks has been to walk out. Circa-2006 me would have almost certainly handed in my resignation and left, but present-day me has decided to keep taking it a day at a time.
So I didn't leave. I didn't quit. I didn't walk away from my paycheck, health insurance, and 401K match.
Do I cry at my desk every day? Yes. But I'm still here, giving myself time to figure things out. That, my friends, is an ENORMOUS win for me and my family.
Tell me! What are your wins - financial or otherwise - this month?
(I just discovered a bonus win: I went back and read our Winning post from August of last year. At the time we were feeling bored and like the whole debt repayment process was moving at a snail's pace. So... WIN: we didn't quit!)