November, already? Thus, the end of Month 2!
With temps in the low 80’s in east Tennessee, it sure does not feel like November. Wanting to be in the fall spirit while taking my step-daughter trick-or-treating, I decided to wear boots and was sweating by the time we got back to the car.
Anyway. Whether it feels like it or not, here we are. A new month means a new update on our 24-month goal of paying off our mortgage! So, let’s get straight to it. Drum-roll please…
$3,748.29 paid off in October! Which means a total of $8,315.90 since we started this goal in September. Whew. I love waiting until the very end of the month to find out the grand total. This brings our balance to $68.819.82 (yay for being in the $60,000s!) from $77,135.72 on September 1st. Not too shabby since my loan was for $90,000.00 three years ago.
As a refresher, how are we doing this?
We are living on my income and using ALL my husband’s income, as well as any extra income that finds its way to us, to pay off the mortgage. This month, that extra income was in the form of $150 of unexpected, and therefore unbudgeted, child support. Every little bit helps! Unfortunately, this month was not one of those magical-extra-paycheck months as September was, but if this is a realistic amount for us to pay off every month, then I am very happy.
Two months down. We can do this.
[Edit: We did it; we’re 100% debt free! Check out my very last mortgage post here.]
So, this past month was full of adjustments for my husband and me. My husband, Ron, now has a new supervisor at work, as well as a shift change to midnights, 10:45 PM – 6:45 AM. This means that he leaves as I go to bed and gets home as I am leaving for work. Lots of daily routine changes in the last few weeks at our house. Thankfully, this is temporary, and we just found that he will going back to day shift very soon. Wives of night shift police offers – oh my goodness, I have so much respect for you!
As for me, I am excited to say that I have taken on a side job as a representative of a company that is endorsed by Dave Ramsey’s SmartVestor program! I have had the same job since I was 20, so this is huge for me. I am studying my little butt off so that I can pass the state exam to be certified to sell life insurance, disability insurance and annuities, and any money I earn is from commission. Knowing that we do not depend on this income in any way makes it even more exciting. I cannot wait to take every cent I earn from this and throw it at the mortgage.
For the first time, I am building my own business and will be handling my own taxes. I have a lot to learn in several different aspects – business, networking, sales, taxes – and I am determined to make this new journey a success. Finally, I will be utilizing my passion of personal finance by offering financial coaching. I plan to eventually turn this into my only job and earn my licenses to sell securities, as well.
I feel that, at last, I am taking a step to make my goals happen. Not that paying off my mortgage isn’t taking a step, but since I have decided to never go into debt again, the goal of paying off debt is relatively short term for me. Building my own business is going to be a challenge, and I am no longer scared of it. If I want to have true financial freedom, not just freedom from debt, I must do everything I can to achieve it. Entering the realm of personal finance means that I will finally get to do what I love (and finally get paid for the advice I offer).
If you have read my previous blogs, Month 1 of 24 and Month 2 of 24, you know my stance on what is considered normal. I want to reach people and make them understand that the 40 rule is NOT how it has to be! Working 40 hours a week at $40,000 per year for 40 years and retiring with 40% of your pay is mediocre! Why do we accept this as our lives?! Why was I “normal” for so long? Why couldn’t I have figured this out sooner? Why did I think I was “making it” once I had a house with two cars in the driveway as I chose one to drive to work to spend almost my entire day there, making other people rich?
I hadn’t made it! Not even close! Anyone can do that.
It will be hard for a while. Sleep is not something I am getting a lot of these days. But, who cares. Everyone always looks backs wishing they had done more THEN to make their life better NOW. I’m doing it, and I’m hoping to inspire others to do the same. Normal should represent a completely different lifestyle than we settle for – and choose to live.
As promised in my first blog, below is a financial snapshot of this month. I failed to include this in last month’s update. Keep in mind that we are not actively contributing to our Roth IRAs or our daughter’s college savings until the mortgage is paid off, and we are only contributing what our companies match to our 401(k)s.
As is my habit, I will leave you with a few questions to ask yourself.
- Looking back at this past year, what could you have done to make your present situation better?
- Look back a little further. What could you have done three years ago? Five years ago? Ten years ago?
- What are you doing NOW to make your future situation better? What can you do and what are you willing to do?
I know the next couple of months are busier than ever, but make time to improve yourself. Read! If you have not read a nonfiction book since high school, you are not gaining new perspectives, you are not changing your worldview, and you are not improving yourself!
See you in December for the next update in My Quest for (Financial) Freedom!