The Aftermath MATH of the Maiden Rehab

Remember that time we bought a fixer-upper thinking a $60-65k rehab budget would cut it then ended up in the six figs? Oh right, of course you do, we just did that. At first, there was a part of me that was wondering if we made the right choice. I mean, we didn’t have all that money in a savings account. We just figured we could take on that debt and pay it down comfortably. We’ve been there & done that (i.e. student loans, wedding expenses) but this time felt a little different; maybe it was the two other little but loud mouths that now look up to us. We went the credit card route and ended up with a bunch of miles/points that we can’t really use – thanks COVID-19, limits taken to the max and at least for me, a credit score that plunged almost 150 points LOL! But it’s ok; we’ll make a plan & figure it out.

I feel like when the rehab started, it was me who was cost attentive with you ready to make it rain. About mid-way through, tables had turned when I was dropping “YOLO” after “YOLO” while you questioned whether or not we could really afford this. But by the end, we both were kinda left holding our breaths wondering, “How are we going to make this work?” But you know me…all my crazy ideas, super-fun spreadsheets 😉 and never give up attitude. Look back at that question we asked ourselves: HOW are we going to make this work? We knew, it’d be ok; we’d make a plan & figure it out.

Let’s not deny it though. There was certainly a bit of anxiety at the end of the rehab. Not to mention we had a lot more stuff going on with our lives – like starting new jobs in the same month (a post for another day) and being at a point where we just wanted to move in already except for PAINTING.


Anyway, this wasn’t a state of mind that we cared to be going through so we decided something. The total debt after this rehab was going to be the peak of our debt. PERIOD. EVER. END OF STORY. It was going to be the deepest hole we are ever going to dig ourselves out of and never again will we get anywhere close to this. Matter of fact, we have a straight line of sight to FI now. It was ok; we made a plan & figured it out.

So we added it all up. We even decided to throw in all non-mortgage debt – not just the rehab. (Separate note: the mortgage debt would be handled differently – another post) Total non-mortgage debt:


Wow…does that number scare you? I get it if it does. But let’s go back to what we ask earlier: HOW are we going to make this work? HOW are we going to pay this off? HOW fast are we going to pay this off? We have plan, set it on auto-pilot but know adjustments may need to be made then live & enjoy life! Stay tuned.

For everyone else…

I’m taking the next step in my side-hustle business as a money coach. In my mind, there are a few purposes of laying out our total debt number:

  • To show you that no matter how large the obstacle, in this case debt, is, all you need is a plan and you can quickly see that it isn’t impossible to conquer it. Sure you might need time or discipline or work or all of the above but you have to start taking control of it. I tell Nolan every time he whines about doing something ‘hard’ that “nothing worth doing is easy.”
  • Knowing that we are gonna go on this years-long journey, it’d be so much cooler to have others along for the ride. And I think it helps to do anything when you do it in a group. How cool would it be if we look back on this time 2, 5, 10 years from know and think about how far we made it?
  • If your debt scares you, you gotta face it! Otherwise, you’ll only be digging a deeper hole that you’ll likely still have to climb out of at some point down the road. Why not start now on your own volition?
  • Lastly, and personally most important to me, I want to get over the “money is taboo” culture that we live in. I hate that when we have big financial events like buying a house or buying a car or paying off student loans that we are often too shy to talk to our closest friends about this. What if they knew something we didn’t that would help us out immensely? I’m not saying we should be talking about how rich we are or what cool ‘toys’ we can afford but when it comes to bettering our finances, I’m all for helping each other without feeling fearful of being judged or shamed. If more people were educated about money & finances, then I feel like more people would have control over their lives.

So if this is something you’re going to take on, create a plan. Set it in motion. Then enjoy your life while it all runs on auto-pilot taking the time to check on it occasionally.

This is what I want to help people do. If you have any interest in getting help from me, reach out. Alternatively, I’ve laid out the valuable resources I found on the journey to FI on my LIY (learn it yourself) page. It doesn’t matter which path you take but the important thing is you start your journey. Make everyday from here on count!

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