We were $7 under our expenses budget for the month of October. That level of accuracy is pretty amazing. Extra education and grocery expenses were offset by lower restaurant and general household expenses. The bottom line is that we’ve curbed our impulsive spending habits. We don’t go out to eat as often, and we don’t make random purchases without thinking. In the past, “Household” was a catch all for buying those things that didn’t really fit anywhere, usually off of Amazon. A new phone case, a drip irrigation system for the garden, toys for the chickens (for real), better ear buds, etc. A few items we needed, like mic stands for the kids’ music gigs, but for the most part it was just random stuff, to the tune of $400 per month. We’ve cut those expenses by 75% and we don’t miss the stuff at all.
We’re still making extra principal payments as part of our regular, monthly mortgage payment, but for September and October, just based on the way the budget worked out, we weren’t able to make the extra-extra payments that will accelerate the payoff. Now that November is here, we should really see the mortgage balance start dropping. It will be psychologically rewarding to see the remaining balance go below some of the milestone amounts. It’s like passing those mile markers during a long race. It provides the motivation we need to keep our eyes on the debt free finish line.