A Look at Our Mortgage Numbers

mortgage-1I am terrible at setting goals. I also don’t really share numbers here. At least not in any streamlined way. If you read my posts about unexpected expenses and the $24k in debt we killed last year, you’ll get a fairly decent picture of my income and my spending. But let’s leave a little mystery to life, shall we?

The one thing that I do consistently well, though, is to track my mortgage in an attempt to slash away at it. The goal is to have it paid off before my 40th birthday. Ten years seems reasonable. Rather than continuing to talk vaguely about it, I thought I’d share quarterly updates here.

The Original

When we bought our house, our mortgage was for $214,000. We put down just over 20%; in doing so, we dodged PMI. I’m not even sure I knew how PMI really worked back then. All I knew is that I didn’t want to give the bank any extra money on top of the gobs of money I was already going to be giving them in interest over the next thirty years. While I know some of you gasped at the thought of a 30-year loan, I made sure that we could pay it off early without any issue. See? Little Penny did have her act together a wee bit.


Earlier this year, we started to get aggressive with our mortgage paydown. In our typical budget, we plan for a double payment. Then, I toss my extra side hustle money for the previous month at the mortgage. That means that at the start of the fourth quarter of 2016, we still owe $180,815.12. Be still my heart.

As if that number isn’t panic-inducing enough, I should also point out that last year, I paid $7,076.95 in interest. Before you tell me that I can write this off on my taxes, let me remind you that I know. I did, and I’ll do it again next year. Now, let’s consider the fact that one of my friends rents a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment* with access to two pools and a pond for less than what we paid in interest. It goes both ways. You like your mortgage? Fine. Don’t let me stand in your way. But I’m getting rid of mine.

*There are also dogs. And faint odors. And neighbors very close by. Sometimes, I really do like my mortgage.

The Plan

In short, the plan is to stay the course. There will be months when we pay 3.5 times our required payment. I’ll continue to celebrate obnoxiously on Twitter. There will also be months where we only pay double or slightly more than that. While I hope it never happens, there may even come a time when we only pay the regular payment. Maybe there will be some unexpected expense. Or maybe I’ll get my investing prowess so on point that I put all of my extra income there instead. I’m hoping that quarterly updates will be enough motivation to keep us pushing forward aggressively. Let’s get this done by 40, shall we?

So Tell Me…Should I share more numbers? Do you have a mortgage? What’s your debt-slashing plan?


A Look at Our Mortgage Numbers

Nothing But Net: Putting One-Third of Our Net Income Towards Debt

NetAt the start of the year, I wrote two different posts about debt repayment. First, I talked about how we paid $18,000 towards our mortgage. Then, I copped to the fact that we actually paid $24k towards debt, because Mr. P still had a car loan until one final click paid it off in full.

In both posts, the tone is not entirely celebratory. Part of me is proud that we were able to put some extra money towards our mortgage and towards paying off his car ahead of time. But most of me thought it wasn’t really worth celebrating because so many people put so much extra money towards their debts. That fact, coupled with my feelings that a mortgage isn’t actually good debt at all, kind of soured my celebration.  Continue reading “Nothing But Net: Putting One-Third of Our Net Income Towards Debt”

Nothing But Net: Putting One-Third of Our Net Income Towards Debt

A New Outlook on Our Mortgage

A New OutlookI hate our mortgage. And I probably always will. The fact that we own so little of our home yet foot all the repair bills was maddeningly frustrating last week when our furnace started acting up to the tune of $600. But after clicking through Tim Urban’s “The Tail End”, I realize that maybe I’ve been viewing my mortgage–and homeownership to a degree–all wrong.

Our Mortgage Takes Our Money

Every month, I am greeted with an email ping reminding me that we owe the bank something to tune of $900*. Since we are determined to pursue some form of financial independence and now Mr. P’s car loan is no more, we are trying to double those payments. Because we made a 30-year commitment to our bank, we are trying to be more aggressive with paying it off by adding my side hustle money to the debt-payoff pot as well.

It isn’t always possible to be so aggressive with our payments, but we are going to keep trying. There’s no denying the crushing feeling that comes with six figures worth of debt. As for those who classify a mortgage as good debt, I say no debt is good debt. I won’t be sorry to see it go.

Our Mortgage Buys Us Time

As much as I dislike our debt, it affords us the luxury of time. My commute lasts between 15-20 minutes and Mr. P’s is about five minutes longer. I can make it to and from work in the span of a single podcast. That’s pretty hard to beat. Sure, having no commute would be even nicer, but I’m not about to make that weird childhood misconception that teachers actually live in their classrooms a real thing. These short commutes allow us to maximize our time at home and our time with each other.

More than that, though, our mortgage buys us time with our families. My family is ten minutes away and Mr. P’s is just a stone’s throw farther. Tim Urban’s analysis of his time left with his parents was crippling to me. He writes, “When you look at that reality, you realize that despite not being at the end of your life, you may very well be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important people in your life.” His reality affords him about ten days per year with his parents. Tears rolled down my face when I looked at his chart that was almost completely filled with red Xs.

Once I pushed past that momentary existential crisis, I realized my chart would look dramatically different. Yes, my parents are in their 60s as well. No, I’m not kidding myself into thinking that they’re going to be the first couple to live to 120 together. Unlike Urban’s setup, however, our mortgage allows me to spend at least one or two days each week with my parents. Whether it’s me stopping over for tea and to go through the hoards of things they are still so generously storing in their basement or it’s us meeting up for dinner and running errands together, I can see my parents whenever I want. The same holds true for Mr. P and his family.

As easy as it is to get caught up in numbers, spreadsheets, payments, and account balances, I have to remember that life is so much more than a mortgage. In the moments that matter most, I’ve not given our mortgage a single thought. Money is not the most precious thing in the world. If leveraged correctly, money is nothing more than a tool that allows us access to the truly precious things in life: the people we love.

The next time my in-laws are over for a barbecue or my parents are crowded around the kitchen table, I like to think I’ll hate our mortgage a little less. In reality, I know that, as we pass plates, clink glasses, and laugh loudly, our mortgage won’t even cross my mind.

*It’s worth mentioning that apartments and rentals in our area are commensurate in cost, if not more expensive, than our mortgage. Just the other day, I learned of one friend who is paying $1700 for a two-bedroom apartment. I about peed myself.

So Tell Me…How are you leveraging your money to do the things you love or to spend time with the people who matter most?

A New Outlook on Our Mortgage

Actually…We Paid Off $24K in Debt Last Year

$24KIt’s not good to keep secrets in the blogging world. I know that. And it’s not so much a secret, so much as it isn’t really my story to tell. But we have more debt than I’ve previously mentioned. Well, had.

More precisely, Mr. P had more debt. I wrote a post about how we paid off over $18,000 worth of debt last year. And we did. That was mortgage debt. We also paid off another $6,000 towards Mr. P’s car loan.  Continue reading “Actually…We Paid Off $24K in Debt Last Year”

Actually…We Paid Off $24K in Debt Last Year

The Wrong Kind of Dough

The Wrong Kind of DoughFor the past few years, I’ve been tutoring as one of my side hustles. It can be quite lucrative. It can be very fulfilling. It can also be a colossal pain in the patootie.

Whenever I think I’ve tightened all the loopholes in terms of cancellations and payments and covered all my bases in terms of materials and additional assignments, something unexpected comes up. This past week, I was planning on attending my regular tutoring session before dashing off to make cookie dough with my family. Midway through my morning, the parent of my student emailed me saying that his daughter had to meet with a teacher after school and couldn’t make the session. He closed the email by typing, “Reschedule. K, thx.” I was livid. Continue reading “The Wrong Kind of Dough”

The Wrong Kind of Dough