Now that my student loans are paid off and we’re not making any extra payments this month, I find that I’m missing the little buzz of excitement I get when I make an extra payment and watch the line of total debt drop closer to zero. We’re still paying on the car, and I can watch that amount owed drop, but since we’re in a holding pattern, that little buzz just isn’t there.
I enjoy watching our other accounts grow, but it’s not quite the same “stick it to them” feeling that came with making an extra payment. I also look at our accounts way more than a sane person should. I don’t touch them or buy/sell, but I look at the little “portfolio balance” chart in Personal Capital a bit too much.
I have a new goal in completing our emergency fund, but for some reason, it’s just not as exciting. I’d love to set some more short term goals as far as savings go – like continuing to spend very little on groceries or getting our savings rate closer to 50%. But with life at a cross-roads, I don’t know what a reasonable goal is at this point. Moving will seriously impact our savings rate as we spend money on things like deposits, down payments, and fixing up the house for sale. We’re trying to avoid buying groceries right now – especially freezer stock up items – in case we do move. Just the bare minimums to get us through the week – which both helps keep the grocery bill low, and increases it since we’re not buying in bulk.
One thing I am excited about is the possibility to buy a smaller house with a (much) smaller mortgage, and hopefully saving more. We don’t know what our new salaries might be though – just what we’ve asked for, so we might not save as much as we’re expecting. But, it lets us look for a house with a different set of priorities in mind rather than just “how big of a house can we afford”.
If you’ve finished paying off your debt, what do you do to stay excited about saving?
I do thinking about how successful I am in the near future to stay excited about saving. To be successful in the means that, I can help people achieve their dreams in life. And to teach how to save money and stop wasting. 🙂
We’ve found the same thing to be true: when we became debt free, we lost a little of our edge when it came to our finances. It makes sense: we are debt averse, so that provided good motivation to become debt free.
Our trick was finding something we really wanted to invest in. For us, that was rental property. Now our savings rate is even higher than it was when we were paying off debt (& counting our debt-repayment amount as ‘savings’).
Yeah, I think our goal of contributing a certain amount per year/month will be what keeps us going. We’ve gotten Dad’s first “new” paycheck with paying for our health insurance and paying more taxes. We’ll be getting mine next week to see what our new take-home pay is and how much we can put aside for saving and investing then update our plan. Hopefully once we have a plan, we’ll have more motivation.