It’s no secret that I hate my mortgage. It’s no secret that I don’t believe there’s such a thing as good debt. But we do really love our house, our neighborhood, our short commutes, and our proximity to family. So we grin and bear it.
Since I fell into personal finance, I’ve taken a Bandaid approach to my mortgage. As in, rip it off as fast as humanly possible in the form of double or triple payments each month. And it’s working. Last October, I promised to share quarterly updates of the progress we’re making on our mortgage, so here’s where things stand at the start of 2017.
In keeping with 2015 when it took me at least two posts to properly calculate how much debt we paid ($24,000 was the actual total), the same is holding true for 2016. When I got my tax documents, US Bank pointed out that we put over $29,000 towards our debt last year, not the $27,000 I have previously
So where does that put us now? We owe $174,239 on our house. That’s still a big number to swallow, but at least I can say we’re under $175k. At this point, it is what it is. As much I as I don’t like it, all I can do it make a plan to get rid of it.
The Immediate Plan
I’m a big fan of consistency. I find something that works, and I stick with it until it stops working. For at least this next quarter, our plan is the same. We’ll use our income to at least double our mortgage payments each month and put some or all of our side hustle money towards the debt as well. That means by April, we’ll have parted with another $8,000. Unfortunately, at this stage in the game, we’re still paying so much money in interest, our payoff progress won’t be that dramatic.
The Long Run
This is where things get a little interesting. While I have next to none of the details of my maternity leave worked out at the moment, I do know that it will be at least partially, if not entirely, unpaid. No amount of slicing and dicing will allow us to double our mortgage payments, pay our regular bills, and take care of any other medical expenses that may crop up on my husband’s salary alone. It’s just not possible.
As I see it, we have two options:
- Pay our required monthly mortgage payments and let that be that. It would certainly cause the least amount of stress in the short term. It also wouldn’t get us any closer to our goal of having our mortgage paid off by the time I’m 40.
- Draw down from our savings account to continue making extra payments. We have the money to swing three extra payments. And my future self would be really excited for that option. We’d stay on track with our goal and slice away at another hunk of interest. But I’m also not sure I’m comfortable putting extra money towards something like that when we are about to confront so many unknowns.
The good news is that we don’t have to commit to either option right away. In fact, we can truly play it month by month. That makes the planner in me nervous, but it also gives me an unexpected sense of peace.
So Tell Me…How are you tackling or how did you tackle your mortgage? Any suggestions for what we should do during my leave?