Updated: Jan 20, 2020
In 2016, our goal was to pay off as much debt as possible and still save 20% or more of our yearly income. I had student loans (over 35k), car loan (16k) and my niece's braces (less than 1k) to pay off, my husband had zero debt minus our home that we shared. We managed to pay off my debt minus our home before the end of the year with careful budgeting and a side hustle of AirBNB. And we had finally saved enough that we could discuss options for Plan B, my goal to live and work abroad. My first thought was Australia, his was New Zealand. My career in Health IT made either country an option but after research, weighing the pros and cons of each country and further discussion, New Zealand seem to be a better fit. I booked an exploratory trip to New Zealand for fall of 2016 to see if it was indeed as clean, friendly and beautiful as all of our research indicated.
It checked all the right boxes. We knew that could be a great option but we were still working on Plan A.
Fast forward recap:
Plan A - Debt minus house erased and savings growing every month
Plan B - Live and work abroad possible option New Zealand
Plan C - Live in family home in Bajze, Albania