It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on our Mortgage Pay-off progress. I was recently taking a good hard look at the numbers to see how we want to progress while still finding room in our budget to explore the world through travel or enjoy other experiences we’ve put on hold for quite some time in order to get ourselves out of debt for over a decade.
It’s hard to believe in 2009, we were in a far different place. We were right on the cusp of our first major financial meltdown, with a second meltdown to come a few years later. Despite all of that, I stumbled upon the notion of frugality and now here we sit about 10 years out from our first ruins and are in an amazing place far from where we were at that time.
We don’t use the typical cell phone plans. We keep our utilities to a minimum, and we’ve increased our income through side hustles and having multiple sources of income. We do 90% of all home improvement projects ourselves (sans roof replacement and HVAC), plus we do all of our home maintenance.
Not only do we have a nice home now, but we have two children and two crazy dogs as well. We drive newer cars that we plan to run into the ground, and we are able to save for retirement, save to pay off future goals, and also save to travel or expand our learning.
Children aren’t inexpensive, but we’ve found a way to bring in extra income in the past decade that’s helped us reach our financial goals a bit sooner than we thought possible. We’ve made it work well with increases to our food budget to include kiddos + my health issues with going gluten-free and incorporating as much organic produce and organic meats into our lives.
With the mortgage, we did not throw as much money at it the past year as I had originally hoped. We kept our regular additional payment to a minimum and didn’t put anything extra at all toward it. Instead, we saved up money to purchase a new hybrid car for Chris (he has long commutes) and cover the cost of travel this summer for two major trips. In addition, our Emergency Fund was tapped out at the start of 2019 due to replacing our roof AND our furnace and air conditioner that decided to go on us at the same time.
So far, this year wiped out a hefty chunk of change, but I can’t even believe we had that kind of capital even saved up! It still amazes me.
It’s been quite the most expensive year in our marital history, but in the end, we’re still coming out above the fray and able to fill our IRAs in January, plus continue to rebuild our Emergency Fund back to healthier levels.
In the coming year, I’ve decided to increase our regular principal additional payment each month to somewhat force a faster paydown than making that additional choice each month for what to send to the good ol’ bank. With this monthly increase, without paying anything additional, we should be done with our mortgage inside of eight more years. If we choose to add extra, that’ll drop that number of years significantly. Worst case scenario, I’ll reach our mortgage pay-off goal by the time I turn 45 years old. Best case, we’ll hit it sooner.
This simple plan to put more in our regular payment takes out the deep thought about savings vs. investing in that debt. It also makes our mortgage end up finishing up around the 15-year mark by choice. Plus, it allows us a little more freedom to still pay-down debt, while we decide how to use other income to travel, update our home, or send it to the mortgage.
So far, I feel confident this uptick will make a difference. In the past year, we’ve dropped down around $10,000 extra on our principal balance without tossing too much additional at the bill. In the coming year, we’ll drop the balance by almost $20,000! Each year, as the principal balance drops so does interest and it’s history 🙂
By this time next year, we’ll at least hit one of our next mortgage goals to get under $160,000! That’s a win.