We got our annual mortgage interest statement in the mail the other day. I opened it in the driveway, on my way back from the mailbox. When I came through the door, I was waving that little piece of paper in the air. “Can you believe we paid $4000 in mortgage interest last year?” I was quite irritated. “Do you know what we could do with $4000?!”
My husband looked up and said calmly, “That’s a lot of money.”
We bought this place in October of 2008, and our original loan was for $155,000 for 15 years. When we sold our other house in Georgia, we put the proceeds toward this one. Then Davey remembered he was retiring and maybe we couldn’t make that higher payment, so he refinanced the remaining balance of $112,500 in 2010 for thirty years. Somewhere in there, I took over the bill paying/money management duties. And may I just say: Retiring from the Army wreaks havoc on the pocketbook! We floated along for a while, just making our payments, while we waited for our finances to stabilize. And when they did, I started noticing that our principal balance was barely moving from month to month. Isn’t that frustrating, to keep making payments without ever seeing any progress on your debt?
A few weeks ago, my beloved was looking at our banking account balances. “Did you know our mortgage is down to $92,000-something?” he said happily. I nodded and grinned, because I’ve been working hard to pay off that mortgage for two years now.
But I’ve also learned about successful budgeting this past year.
This year, my budget has provisions to get us under $80,000, and if we can hold to that course, we can have our farm paid for in 5 1/2 years, without sacrificing anything that we value. We still don’t have cell phones or cable TV. We go out once a year for our anniversary. I cook at home every night. We borrow movies from the library. If there is a way to reduce some necessary expense in order to free up money for things we want, we do it.
And we want this. Can you imagine owning your home outright? No mortgage? No nothing?
That is my proverbial carrot on a stick.
And this is my paradise.