It has now been close to 3 months that my wife joined me in being debt free and consequently our marriage became a debt free one as well. We still do a monthly budget, use envelopes for certain expenses and allocate every single dollar on paper before the start of every month.
One of our goals in busting up and getting rid of debt was to get our time back. Ultimately I would love to reach the age of 50 and have the opportunity to leave the work force and live off investment income from our brokerage account well before we are eligible to withdraw from our retirement vehicles. But in the mean time there have been ample examples where I’m getting a small taste of the freeing of our time.
When we were gazelle intense and squeezing every dollar we could to pay off debt my wife took a part-time job teaching English as a second language and I picked up every ounce of overtime offered at work. Nowadays in our free time rather than earning extra to pay down debt, we volunteer our time through our home church serving on committees and leading small groups and we have spent more time with extended family.
But ultimately my favorite piece of getting our time back is having the freedom and flexibility to re-connect with my wife following the busy work week. This past weekend we spent our time going out for leisurely walks in the park, napping by the lake front and talking and hanging out at our apartment. With our income freed up to focus on wealth building, giving and short term savings I have found that I am happiest following a weekend of leisure and being alone with my wife J.
Overall I don’t think that my spending will ever wildly increase. I mean we are planning some fun trips for the next year but in the day to day and month to month I think our scaled down lifestyle has really set itself into my spirit. Before my total money makeover I measured life entirely on the superficial. Now I’m starting to feel like I’m getting my time back and am more than content exactly where I am: which is living below my means, giving and staying connected to the person I am going to spend my life with!