Paying Down the Mortgage

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. :-)

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2 thoughts on “Paying Down the Mortgage

  1. Melanie

    We will have no mortgage this time next year if all goes well. It is not due to any diligence on our parts though. Just dumb luck, or God’s grace. :) We bought a fixer upper for cheap in a small town that then boomed and became a hot new hipster spot. Our fixer upper (still needing a lot of fixing up) sits on a double lot in the trendy new arts and market district. All the homes in our neighborhood have been getting bought up, bulldozed and rebuilt into duplexes, or gutted and remodeled. We have held out for a couple of years because the thought of moving completely overwhelms me…but we can’t resist any longer. Our home of thirteen years will go on the market this spring and we should get enough to pay off our mortgage and pay cash for another house in a less expensive area. Anyway….I need to scope out your blog for budget advice. I have never been very good at it, and I think that is because I just can never seem to account for everything. I always end up going over in certain categories because of small unexpected things. Even though we will soon have no mortgage (squee!), we will probably have expenses in fixing up our new place,,,,
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  2. Emily G

    On our first house, we paid off our 15 year mortgage in 7 years-and sold the house six months later. We didn’t get to enjoy the freedom for long, but we had to go-the neighborhood was going bad fast and it was no place for kids. Here, we haven’t been paying ahead on the mortgage and I don’t know why. Probably because we are still settling in and getting a little farm going. Once we stabilize more perhaps we can. It would be nice to pay for the place in less than 15 years. That’s a long time!

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