Early last year, we were making some serious headway on our primary mortgage. In addition to our regular monthly payment, we were paying lump sums of $1,000 each month, and sometimes more. The balance was dropping quickly, and I was super excited about the prospect of becoming 100 percent debt-free. Then boom – it was all over. Let me explain.
Starting the Mortgage Game Over
Right about the time we were busy murdering our mortgage last year, my husband decided to make a huge career change from the mortuary industry into sales. He really hated it, and we instantly discovered the a career in sales is not for everyone. I’m honestly not sure what we were thinking. He’s awesome with people, but hates imposing on them. He’s just too sweet. For that reason alone, it was never going work.
With a shattered ego and his tail between his legs, he quit just a few months after he started. Fortunately, he was lucky to find an awesome job just a few weeks later. Unfortunately, we had to move for him to take this new job. So we did.
The good news is, we ended up in a town that I absolutely love. We’re much happier here, in fact, which is why I constantly thank my husband for his mid-life crisis. Seriously. The bad news is, we started our mortgage over, even though we rolled our huge profit back into the loan on this house to minimize what we owed. Still, it was more of a mental defeat than a simple numbers game. We weren’t any more in debt than we were before, but our momentum was gone.
Why We Are Still Prepaying Our Mortgage
The last time we were killing our mortgage, I sent random payments in with wild abandon. Any time I got my grubby paws on some extra cash, I would just mail it in, and scream expletives at our mortgage out the car window in the post office drive-thru. Seriously, I did. F!@#@#!%@ YOU, Home Loan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But now we’re taking a more cautious approach. Instead of killing our mortgage, we’re slaying it…slowly and painfully. It’s a 15-year-loan, but we are still determined to knock it out in less than 12. Here’s why:
I Still Hate Debt
The mortgage may be new, but the fact that I hate debt has never changed. For some reason, the fact that I have mortgage debt hangs over my head as if it were some serious emergency. I just dislike the feeling for some reason. I want to be freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…………………………………………..
I Like Watching Balances Drop
It’s probably because I’m OCD, but I just think there’s something sexy about watching a balance drop against it’s own will. Each month, I send in my payment. And each month, my balance inches slowly down. One day it will be gone completely, and I will probably take my husband out to Benihana. Until then, I will enjoy watching it drop…drop…drop…until it’s gone for good.
We Want to Retire Early
I recently started tracking out expenses on Personal Capital. One thing I learned is that our net worth is headed in the right direction, and that we can probably retire in about 12-16 years – if we want. My oldest daughter should also start college in around 13 years and I want to be totally debt-free before that. I think it will be a lot easier to pay for college and get ready for retirement if this stupid mortgage is gone by then. We’re also using some of the free tools offered by J.P Morgan Wealth Management. Both of those services combined are making a huge difference in the way we plan for the future.
Note: If you sign up for Personal Capital (it’s free!) and link up to $100,000 in investable assets, you get a free consultation with a Personal Capital Financial Advisor. And yes, the 100K minimum does include retirement accounts for both you and your spouse
I Don’t Think We’re Moving
You never know what will happen in life, but I honestly believe we’ll be in this home for a really long time. It’s big enough to raise our family in, but small enough that we shouldn’t have to downsize once the kids move out. It’s also in an extremely desirable neighborhood, and has low taxes to boot. Unless anything major changes, I don’t see us moving. That’s just another reason I feel good about kicking our mortgage to the curb. See-ya.
Goodbye Mortgage, Hello Freedom
Beyond all of these excellent reasons I mentioned, I’m just tired of owing someone money. I’ve been in one form of debt or another for my entire adult life, and I’m just sick of it.
When I became self-employed two years ago, I took a big risk with my future. I walked away from a stable, well-paying job to forge my own path and stake my own claim for freedom. Now I want to recreate that act of defiance in personal life as well. This is my life, and I want to break down any and all barriers that stand between my family and our ability to live the life we want to live. To me, that means goodbye to any form of debt- even the good kind. It’s standing in my way right now, but only until I stop letting it.