Alright, let’s get straight to it – $2,782.50 paid in mortgage principal this month!
This brings our grand total of what we have paid on our mortgage since September 2016 to a whopping $11,098.40! Yay, five digits!
[Edit: We did it; we’re 100% debt free! Check out my very last mortgage post here.]
If you are new to my blog – First Post Here – this is how we are doing it:
As of September, our monthly budget is now based on solely my income. My husband’s biweekly paychecks go straight toward the PRINCIPAL of the mortgage, meaning our standard monthly payment is still coming from my budgeted income.
We are Dave Ramsey followers and consider ourselves to be on “altered” Baby Step 6. Altered?! The reason I say this is because in addition to completely halting the contributions to both of our Roth IRAs, we completely stopped contributions to college funding for our five year old. We are still contributing to our 401Ks – just enough to receive our companies’ matches. This translates to 4% of my pre-tax income and 5% of my husband’s.
One major change since My Last Post is that Ron is no longer on midnights!
While his schedule is not back to his normal 9-5 yet, his severely understaffed department is now starting the hiring process, so hopefully things will go back to normal soon.
We also made it through the first holiday of the season AND BLACK FRIDAY without using any of the money that we had budgeted for it. Our weekly grocery budget covered the extras that we prepared for Thanksgiving dinner, and we bought a security camera that was on sale for $10 on Cyber Monday. I think we did well!
I will admit, however, that I have not felt my usual amount of motivation this past month. I am sure that it is a combination of seeing cute fall clothes and accessories, knowing that it has been a long time since I have bought any for myself…hearing /seeing all the Christmas ads…seeing house decorations on Facebook…hearing people discuss what they are buying for their families for Christmas…need I continue?
Ron and I went to Lowe’s to get replacement springs for our garage door. As is our usual habit, we took our time walking around the entire store, checking out every exterior door, light fixture, refrigerator, oven, cabinet. We are usually two kids in a toy store, and doing this usually helps me dream and envision all the options I will have in the future, but this time I felt like the poor kid in the toy store watching other kids’ parents buy them everything they want. I could not see myself ever having any of those things. The beautiful $4,000 fridge and $1400 exterior door did not seem within reach.
Truthfully, I do not consider myself to be materialistic. Am I a minimalist? No, but not materialistic either. The appliances in my house are the same outdated, white appliances that were there when I moved in. Well, with the exception of the microwave we bought after we got married to replace the one that was rusting from the inside out. Our side-by-side 1998 fridge is making louder noises than ever. We have done no updates to the house besides paint, and our furniture consists of hand-me-downs. Most of my clothes and shoes are a few years old, at least, and my cute fall boots are not quite so cute at this point. And I do not even want to talk about the purse I’m carrying.
I am perfectly aware that I am feeling sorry for myself and, as my Granny would say, just “wallering” around in my self-pity. But that is just how I have felt this month. Am I proud of being weird so that I can be debt-free soon? Yes, without hesitation. A simple life is what I am striving for, but that does not mean it is easy. Sacrifices are necessary. Giving up, which is the only form of failure in my eyes, is just not an option, and I’m not saying that so that I can appear to have good character or to even set a good example for my stepdaughter. It just would not make sense. Not completing this goal, or even slowing our momentum, to have some of the material things I want now, that are only a trend now, will not give me the life I desire. The life I desire to have consists of CHOICES, and only freedom will give me that. Financial freedom is the key. That sleek, shiny, spacious, music-playing fridge will not make me happy, and neither will a new pair of boots. Okay, maybe a new pair of boots, but only temporarily happy. None of it will allow me to stop working any time sooner.
I’m just in a rut, that’s all. This is a big goal, we are doing better so far than I ever anticipated, and our lives will be much better because of it. Maybe I just need to read Rachel Cruze’s new book.
I mentioned my Granny before. My Granny is an angel in my opinion, and I want the entire world for her. A couple weeks ago, the subject of money came up, and my 71 year old Granny mentioned how excited she was to only have two car payments left. Two payments left on the car that she drives down the road to church on Sundays and “down the mountain” to Kroger every Wednesday. Once that payment is done, she is glad to have more to pay toward her fridge. Her fridge! (This entire post is about refrigerators!) Wrapping up the conversation, she said how nice it would be to get to the point where you don’t have to worry day-to-day about money – as if it was a blanket statement applied to every person. As if that is just the way it is. 71 years old and has worried every single day of her adult life.
As I listened to her with $13,000 sitting in the bank, I just wanted to hand it all to her. I can excuse her situation by explaining her life of being a widow at 19 and a divorced, single mom of two kids a few years later, with no education and a mill job. I can give her every dime in my possession, but it would only set two generations back. I gave my advice and promised myself that this will be where the giving part of Baby Step 7 comes into play.
Neither my Granny’s fridge, nor the fridge of my (and, more so, my husband’s) dreams has helped or will help either of us.
We all, young and old, want shiny, impressive things. But while I’m young, I will sacrifice having these things so that when I’m old, I will not worry every day about paying every month for these things.
On some positive notes, I take my life insurance exam early this month! After that, more studying to take my disability insurance exam. But, at least by getting the life insurance exam out of the way, I can start making money soon, which means more toward the mortgage.
As far as my day job, I am back in my regular role, and cubicle) now that one of our office employees is back from maternity leave. I put some visual aids above my computer monitors now that I am back in my own space. They allow me to keep a constant eye on the prize.
In addition, Ron has an opportunity to start earning more overtime. I am proud of him for doing this so that we can pay off the house sooner, but I have to admit that I would be perfectly happy if he didn’t. I miss him!
Below is this month’s snapshot of our finances.
Wrapping up, and as I always say, PLEASE brainwash yourself. I read 30 minutes per day while eating my lunch at work, and this small amount of time is enough to keep me focused on improving myself and my situation.
I finished Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and cannot recommend it enough.recommend it enough.
A short book, The Business of the 21st Century by Robert Kiyosaki is a GREAT read for anyone intrigued by/interested in/skeptical of network marketing.
Right now I am reading How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and it is a must read if you are a human being. Period. My husband is reading (listening) to it, too, and I love that we are doing this together.
Even though this was not the most invigorating or motivating post that I have written, I hope that if you struggle from time to time with staying motivated, at least you know that you are not alone.
In closing, here are three questions to ask yourself:
How do you keep yourself motivated on off days (or months)?
Do you succumb to the pressures of the holiday season?
Are you willing to save for the things you want, or would you rather buy them now and pay for them later?
Have a great Christmas and see you next year while I continue to provide updates along My Quest for (Financial) Freedom!