This month marks a significant milestone in the financial part of married life with my wife Jean. For the second time in our 14 years of being together, we are again debt free. We paid off our 0% loan on our 2005 Toyota 4 Runner at the beginning of the month and combined with finally selling our investment home this past September, that was a poor investment, we now have approximately $3,000 less per month in expenses.
The expenses on our real estate investment were staggering just knowing we were literally throwing that money away every month. By the time we accounted for the house payment, taxes, utilities, insurance, home owner’s association fees and other fees and maintenance, it was costing us around $2,100 per month for the home. Fortunately we formed an LLC a couple of years ago to handle our real estate ventures (and now will be handling my web businesses) so our taxes will very low because of the losses.
Our 4 Runner payments were around $800 per month and that was paid off in January and we received the title about a week ago or so. It’s a great feeling to know that you actually own, free and clear, the first brand new vehicle you’ve ever had. This vehicle could have been paid off much earlier or we probably could have paid cash for it, but during our real estate dealings we wanted to use that money for a down payment on a third spec home, which we never bought. The thought was that we could get a 0% loan and use someone else’s money, while using our money for a down payment.
All in all it turned out to be a good thing we made payments on the 4 Runner. Since we sold the investment house last September in a short sale (not a foreclosure, but it does hurt your credit some) hopefully making a few payments on the vehicle will help to recover our good credit score. However, the most important thing is that we now have a little extra money every month. Even though we have almost $3,000 less in expenses, it doesn’t mean we have that much more to spend every month because $2,000 of that was money we really couldn’t afford to waste in the first place. I’m glad that little rabbit trail in life is now in the past.
Some of the extra money will be spent on advertising for this blog and having our back porch enclosed which Jean is dillegently saving for. We’re not in any rush however to start racking up expenses again. it will be nice living on the debt free side of life for a season.
I fee like I can relax and breathe again…
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