My husband isn’t a profligate spender, but he hasn’t been fully on-board with my plan to pay off $40,000 in debt this year. Don’t get me wrong, he was thrilled with our February debt reduction progress. He’s equally determined to get rid of the credit cards and at least one student loan, but he wasn’t convinced we could pay off two of them and the medical debt so quickly.
Then last night he prepared our March cash flow budget and also took a look at our annual expenses versus our current income. That was the breakthrough. After looking at the numbers, he discovered that we only have $1,000 more a month than we earn. That’s not enough to afford a mortgage, insurance, property taxes, and HOA fees, at least not and have anything left to put into savings, start an emergency fund, and maybe have a little fun.
I pointed out three things:
- The amount of mortgage interest we would pay in the early years will reduce our taxable income (it will be about double the standard deduction), so we can reduce our withholding after we buy
- We will hopefully both receive raises before we’re ready to buy
- If we succeed in my debt plan, we’ll free up nearly $550 a month.
That got him. The prospect of having an extra $550 a month by the end of the year, even without factoring in withholding or raises is a big deal.
I think I finally have a true partner in this plan to reduce our debt. Maybe now he’ll listen when I brainstorm ways to reduce our expenses. He might even agree to some of them. He’s not a big spender, but I’m borderline cheap and that’s caused some tension. I’m hoping he’s seen the frugal light and will join me under it’s lovely glow.