New goals

It’s been an age since I last updated, and not for not trying. I have a bunch of drafts saved since I’d get an idea for a post, and then decide not to publish it. I think I’m to the point where blogging about money isn’t as motivating as it used to be. Paying off the debt was an accomplishment, and then once that happened, it kind of felt like we were ‘done.’ Sure, we’re saving now, but it doesn’t have the urgency that paying off the debt did. And, it kind of feels like bragging. We’re proud of our accomplishments and know we are very lucky and blessed to be able to do what we’ve done, but we don’t want to make anyone else feel bad about their situation. So, it’s a fine line.

I think laying out our new goals may be helpful:

  1. Continue paying for husband’s graduate school tuition without loans.
  2. Continue saving aggressively for retirement.
  3. Put some savings into taxable investments for potential future home purchase.
  4. Continue saving for travel.

So far, it has worked well to put the tuition bills on a rewards credit card and then claim the rewards for travel, then pay off the bill when it comes due. Upon some advice via the MMM forum, we got the BarclayCard Arrival MasterCard for travel, which has netted us nearly $900 in rewards this year (which includes the $400 bonus for signing up). We took an amazing trip to Germany and France in July, which wasn’t too horribly expensive, though it was a splurge in some ways but not in others (we stayed with friends for one week and my mother rented an apartment for us for the other week). We both really enjoy travel, so we want to keep doing that as time allows. I may do an entry just on our trip, so will save details but share one photo…

IMG_3245

Me (blue dress) and my sister (scarf in hair), walking along a street in Paris. It was about 100 degrees that day, so I feel bad for the guy in long sleeves and pants!

We are waiting to consider a home purchase until after my husband is done with graduate school. His future job has the potential to be higher paying than my current job, so we don’t want to get tied to a specific geography until we know where he’ll be working. Right now, we are perfectly situated within about a mile from each of our workplaces and from school, and we like the convenience of that so would want to try for a similar situation once we know where he’ll be. One challenge for us is that we aren’t really handy or into yardwork, so we’d have a lot to learn upon buying a home,plus it would be more work to maintain, so it might not be the best option for us, since we’ve managed to live in a one bedroom apartment for six years.

We happily celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary just a few weeks ago, as well, but didn’t do anything too lavish to celebrate. We both had the day off, so just spending quality time together was nice. We saw an afternoon showing of ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey,’ and for dinner, went back to the restaurant where we had our reception, and they gave us a free appetizer and dessert. It was a lovely day.

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