After some number crunching, we realized we're actually in a much better financial position than we thought, but apparently he and I believe in stores, not banks. This mentality needs to change. First thing's first:
1. We sold his 2008 Jeep Wrangler ($489 monthly payment) and got him into a 2010 Mazda 3 Hatchback ($225 monthly payment). This switch dropped our insurance payment by $30/mo and subsequently reduced the amount of $ needed for gas!
2. We consolidated all of our debt. Now, instead of paying upwards of 20% interest every month ... we're paying 5% and writing a check for one lump payment instead of 6.
3. We bought Quicken. If ever there was a question about where the heck all of our money goes, this handy little program gives you a visual in a pie graph! I haven't even looked into the advanced features, but I get the impression this $20 investment (via Amazon) is pretty powerful.
Based on our number crunching, if we keep on the path that we're at ... we'll be in good shape to pay off all of our amassed debt in a little over 15 months. All of that being said: we did hear from the SgtMajor, who gave us orders ... but we're still waiting on hard copy. Honestly, until it's on paper? I don't believe anything. Assuming it all works out to plan, we've thought about buying a house or a condo outside the city sometime in the next 2-2.5 years. A lot of that is going to depend on where I find a job and also being responsible with our finances ... and we definitely want to go on a big trip to Europe after we've gotten all of our debt taken care of, but hand to God? I never thought I'd be considering buying a house before I'm 30.
Honestly, I like this frontier. The idea of being more responsible with our spending and working toward something much bigger.
I've basically put the idea of owning a horse into the back of my priority list until further notice. I never wanted to be 40 years old before the option fell on to the table, but I think I want a house more than I want a pony. I may even decide I want a family before I want a pony. We'll just have to see how the cookie crumbles!