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Finances & Money

Our Zero-Debt Goal Date is…

May 15, 2009.

That’s when we’ll have the remaining $54,737 of our debt paid off according to our budget. I actually plan my budget for 5 years down the road. It’s not as crazy as you think, though, because I do a lot of copy and pasting.

In July, we sent an extra $4,000 towards our debt (one at the beginning and another at the end of the month). Since in the last 2.5 years, we’ve paid off more than half of our total debt, I think we can conceivably accomplish the goal of debt freedom by May, 2009. (Disclaimer: “debt freedom” does not include our mortgage)

However, we have many bumps in our road to freedom.

  • I’m starting my Masters next month. Although my employer pays a hefty chunk of that bill, I’ll still be on the hook for about $12,000-15,000, depending on rising tuition costs, books, and timing.
  • We want to birth or adopt a child soon. Adoption can cost at least $15,000 up front, and even more for international adoptions. Although we can take advantage of many federal, state and employer benefits to mostly offset the cost, it’s a major ding up front.
  • We want to do some major improvements in our home this year. We want to gut our upstairs (aka the master bedroom), refinish the old bathroom and replace the ugly carpet and linoleum in the kitchen/dining room with hardwood. Luckily our fathers agreed to lead the effort, but we won’t get the materials for free. Oh, and we’ll be paying them for their efforts anyway.
  • We’re selling the Malibu, but we’ll eventually need another car. The plan is to just run the Pontiac into the ground, but with 126,000 miles on it already, who knows how fast that ground is coming at us. We also have my Ridgeline, but it’s not a practical everyday commuting vehicle.
  • Stacie wants to pursue advanced education. This probably won’t be another masters or a PhD. Instead, she’s looking at certifications or additional coursework to gain more skills in her field.
  • Our 5/1 interest-only mortgage resets in 27 months. We may need or want to refinance the home, and that usually costs money. The decision is still at least 1.5 years away, but time flies.
  • Stuff happens.Nope, you can’t predict what God, or your fellow man, will send your way.

So there’s a number of things that can affect our goal date, but now that I’m publishing this date, we have a goal. We know what to plan against when things arise.

Do you have a goal? Do you have a date for that goal?

About the author

Clever Dude


  • Our goal date is December 31, 2010. That is for credit card, student loan, and car loan debt, but not including our mortgage.

    I just recently set the credit card portion goal for December 2008.

    It is going. Slowly. But going. lol

  • I’m shooting for December 2008 (minus the mortgage, like you). At first I was aiming for July of 2008 when we’re hoping to be having our first child, but home renovations like you mentioned have hit us a bit harder than we’d originally thought making us consider pushing back the “baby” plans — but I’m thinking we can manage both *if* we push the date back to December.
    Personally, I can hardly wait. For either event!

  • Our debt goal, minus the mortgage is also Dec.31 2010. Then we can actually save! I’ve been doing some doodling the past month, switching to lower or zero interest cards. The end is near!

  • My debt goal is March 2012 (student loans and credit cards). Actually, I have the cash to pay off both debts right now, but the debt has so low interest, I’m in no hurry. The student loan interest is 4.25% and tax deductible and the credit card iterest is 2.99% for the life of the balance.

  • […] from Financial Dominance asked an interesting question on my post about our Zero Debt Goal. He asks: Have you written a post about why you went with the interest only mortgage? My thought […]

  • […] Our Zero-Debt Goal Date is… – It’s good to have a goal date to help drive you to get rid of that debt. Oh, and know what road blocks are in the way ahead of time […]

  • My zero-debt goal is probably never.

    I do have plans to have our primary mortgage and HEL paid off when I am 56 years old (another 13 years). But as long as I can make money by out of any given event, I will try and do it.
    As an example, we (my wife and I) recently bought a fixer-upper house for about $90,000 less than other houses in the area. We’ll put about $45,000-$50,000 into it, and resell it (or rent it out if it appears to be taking too long).
    The “funny” thing about it is that we will have not used any of our own money to do this. It is all borrowed money (at low rates).

  • Thank God! I just stumbled on your blog today while searching for still more money saving tips. I too am on a debt freedom journey. It’s good to feel like I’m not the only one out there doing that.

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