I really thought that being debt free (except for my mortgage) would make life so great and easy. It's not great and easy, it's still a struggle. I keep trying to be careful with my money so that I can build wealth, pay off my mortgage and give. It still seems like there's never enough money to go around. The power of focus that went along with paying off debt is gone. I am only able to put small amounts of money into my various saving vehicles. It's very stressful.
I've changed my mindset a little bit, which has helped. I have decided to put 15% of my income into retirement. For me, that will consist of a Roth IRA and mutual funds ($5,500 into a Roth and $3,500 into mutual funds). This year, I will actually put all $9,000 into my roth ($5,500 for 2015 and $3,500 for 2016). Anyways, it helps that I can focus on $9,000 a year. That's my most important goal for this year. After I get $9,000 into retirement, then I can focus on my other goals. So right now, I am putting minimum extra payments on the mortgage. However, after I get $9,000 into retirement I can then focus on putting extra on the house or any other goals that I may have.
To be honest, I am still struggling with what to do after I get my retirement funded. I don't have a solid goal yet for how much extra to pay on the mortgage each year. I thought I had a solid goal for how much extra to put away for a new car, but I don't think that number is solid in my mind yet either. I need to figure these things out so that I can get a better plan together.
I had a comment on a previous post (I think the commenter was Liquid Finance) about financial independence. I want to get there, but I don't have a firm conception of what that means for me in my mind. I know it means being debt free, paying off the mortgage and having savings and retirement. However, again, I don't have exact numbers in my mind.
Does anyone else have concrete figures of what financial independence means to you?