No Pair of Shoes is Worth 2 Million Bucks

Screenshot 2018-01-27 19.03.19

I thought the hard part was going to be a year of no shopping—that’s what kicked me into gear just five weeks ago, motivated by an op-ed by Ann Patchett: no more personal shopping for clothes, shoes, bags, or jewelry.

I was wrong.

The hard part is not being able to not shop fast enough to make all this debt go away. I was so clueless about the mess I was in. Serious denial. Crazy. Batshit. Crazy.

And now, as I wrote a few days ago, I am totally woke.

So now I make lists of how long it will take me to get out of debt. I’ve used a variety of budget apps to budget loose $4,000 a month. With that, along with my side consulting income, I think we will be

  • free of credit card debt by January 2019;
  • liberated from auto loan payments by March 2019 (and the two cars should see us through the end of the era of the personal automobile);
  • flush with an emergency fund to cover three months expenses by June 2019;
  • back to investing in retirement accounts (on top of what our employers already do) by August 2019;
  • in the process of cash flowing our remaining kids’ college expenses through 2022;
  • paying off the house by 2025 (there’s a lot of dreaming involved in this aspiration);
  • and then maximizing our investments over the next five years until we retire in 2030 with, if my numbers and the economy hold up even moderately, about $2 million saved plus the worth of the house.

Those are the goals that will keep me focused. And I hardly care if I ever buy another pair of shoes again.