Well, it's official. We are debt free except for the home mortgage!
We closed on the refinance and everything went well. The out of pocket expenses were less than I had expected ($950) and we won't have a mortgage payment due in May. The first one will be due June 1st. So that is pretty sweet!
And, my husband is expecting a large commission check on May 1st, plus our nice big tax refund should be coming soon. I'm feeling really good!!
So, we were officially in Baby Step 2 for 26 months and we paid off $23,000 during that time.
What's really exciting is that I firmly believe that we have finally figured out how to stop living from paycheck to paycheck. We have finally figured out how to do our budget with an irregular income. It feels so good to know that we are moving in the right direction and things should get better and better.
I have been married for 18 years and during that time we have always struggled with debt. We did not live below our means. Several times we would "pay off" our debts (by adding our debt to a refinance, or when we took out a 401K loan, etc.) but we never changed our ways and eventually got right back into debt. Most years I found that we spent about $10,000 more than we earned - no matter our income.
Things are different now. We forecast our expected income and our expected expenses. We follow a budget. We spend with cash.
Even our mortgage broker complimented us on our finances and said we are doing much better than most people our age that he works with. I know we still have a long way to go, but it did make me feel good. I finally feel like a grown up. I know how to delay gratification. And the more I delay, the more I realize how little I need to feel satisfied. :)