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No. of Recommendations: 4
We are only doing what is necessary to prevent more expensive problems, and we continue to kick a lot of other deferred maintenance issues down the line. Stuff like this isn't in the budget. It should be. Most repairs and maint are foreseeable and should be planned for, but I haven't figured out how to budget money that I don't have, so there is a fail.

While you are in paydown mode, doing only what is necessary to prevent further issues is a good step. If you can't find something like a side hustle or selling something to pay for it, then dip into your emergency fund, and, if you need more, slow your paydown by just paying the minimums on the rest of your debt. Do whatever you can to not add to your debt if at all possible.

Once you get most/all of the debt paid off, I would suggest putting a 'home repair/maintenance' category in your budget. Typically, something around 1% of the value of your home per year should take care of most things. If you know you're going to need something large, like a new roof or a new HVAC, sooner than your fund will get up to that level, then you will need to bump the amount up at least initially. You should also have categories to pay for things like car repairs/maintenance (new tires are not an emergency) and things that occur periodically, like driver's license renewals, or car registration.

If you want to pay for improvements or updates, like a new kitchen or adding a deck, then you need to put an 'improvement/update' fund into your budget, and save for that, so you won't need to take out debt.

In the win column, I made a bit over $2k at the side hustle. I wish I could reproduce that on a monthly basis but that isn't the case yet. I should be able to do so down the road, but not during the full-time-job stage of life. Still, it was good to offset the home repairs this month and stay on track. Our debt is smaller this month, not larger.

Good job on that!

AJ
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