Fingers crossed, we should be able to finish paying off my law school loans in the not-too-distant future.
What comes next?
I have some specific plans. I’d like to start funding a retirement account. We want to put something in a college fund for forthcoming Baby DebtFreeJD as soon as possible (the miracle of compound interest!) And, of course, if all goes well, we’ll have a mortgage to tackle.
Mainly, however, my goal is more process-oriented than results-oriented. It is:
I want to think about money as little as possible.
Some of you may think that’s a good way to put oneself on the road to financial ruin. Hear me out. People who spend thoughtlessly, who are ignoring the fact that they are deep in debt, and who fail to put anything away for retirement eventually end up thinking about money all the time, because they run out of it at some point. That is (at least to my mind) much more time-consuming (and stressful) than putting in some legwork so that you don’t have to think much about money in the long-term.
My vision of a perfect financial future is one in which Mr. DebtFreeJD and I have pretty much automated our spending and saving, so that money effortlessly gets taken out of paychecks and diverted towards retirement, savings, investing, and credit card bills. It’s one in which we’ve more-or-less figured out what we think is worthing spending on and what is not. It’s one in which we have enough socked away that we aren’t too worried about temporary job loss or other unexpected life events that come with big bills.
In short, it’s one in which we can focus our time and energy on the things that matter to us most, like family (including, of course, family members with fur), our various hobbies, and our work. Some people really enjoy carefully tracking every dollar they spend and watching their net worth grow. I don’t, to be honest. I want money to be a useful tool — and not something on which I have to spend lots of time and attention for the rest of my life.
So, that’s the goal. More thought needs to go into how to achieve it, but if we can end up there, I’d be pretty pleased.