Looking forward to 2007, I want to do only one thing: PAY DOWN (or ELIMINATE) our debt.
The great thing about this one goal is that it requires a bunch of other changes that I also want to incorporate into my life. However, seeing it in terms of dollars and cents, and watching the numbers go down on our debts, will help motivate me more than any other reason.
NBA and I both agree that he would be a wonderful stay-at-home parent. However, our current financial situation makes that an impossibility. Even if I were to get a job right now, we could not afford to live. That is absolutely disgusting. It makes me sick to think of how much we currently "need" to live. By paying off our debt, we would be gaining so much more freedom. Freedom to live in accordance with our values; freedom to spend time/money working for positive change in the world; freedom to be together.
Ok, so how do we even begin? Well, the first thing we need to do is know exactly how big of a hole we are in. We have done this many times, and hopefully this time it will stick.
Next, we need to know how much it would cost each month to reduce our debt by, let's say 25%.
Then, we need to pay that FIRST, and learn to live on what's left over.
The learning to live on what's left over is where my simplicity environmental, and community-building goals will come to play. We will be shopping less, eating out less, driving less, spending more time together, using the library more, hanging out with friends more, being more active, visiting more parks, having more picnics...Which will lead to weight loss, lower energy consumption, making connections, engaging in the world.
I am feeling very galvanized by all of these posts and thoughts recently.