At this time last year, we had the most debt we’ve ever had–$240k of debt, actually. Because of the overwhelm I felt, I couldn’t possibly imagine doing anything other than side hustling. Sure, we took a day trip to the beach in 2015 (once). But that was the extent of non-work. Spending time and money having fun seemed oxymoronic to me.
At the end of 2015, we reviewed our annual budget for this year. We worked so hard to crush credit card debt, downsize our home, and minimize our belongings. We decided to start prioritizing fun in 2016, which led us to a frugal week in the Smoky Mountains and a long weekend in Chicago. And nightly walks in local parks.
When we finally sold the big house in May 2016, our financial life seemed to be heading in the right direction! My student loans totaled $29,496.38 at that time. And we had a balance of $36,485.59 on the small house mortgage.
Fast forward to today and we find ourselves in an even better position! We’re making our final mortgage payment of $13,000 on Election Day. We’ve paid off another student loan in full (albeit it the small loan, #7), so the student loan balance sits at $24,797.78.
Of the $240k of debt we had last year, we’re down to about $25k next month–that’s slightly more than 10% left. Wow! We couldn’t have done this without the support from and infinite wisdom of the personal finance community. No way! 🙂
If you’re in hustle season, I respect that. You want to crush debt. You want to retire early. You want to take a vacation.
I’ve been there. I’m still there! Sure, we’ve paid off our small house mortgage in one year, but we aren’t debt free yet.
Update: We’re completely debt free, including our mortgage!
If you read my guest post over at Think Save Retire, you’ll see what I learned from side hustling as much as I have over the years.
See? Fun! 🙂
While I have learned a lot from side hustling, I can say that fun is an important component of the hustle. Even if you love your side hustle as much as I do, there is value in doing things other than work. Take a walk. Read a book. Go kayaking. Do some action verb (most are free!) that you enjoy doing and you’ll enjoy the side hustle that much more. Your future, lower-stress self will thank you for it.