Monthly Updates

Debt Payoff Report: Month 10

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And just like that, half the year is gone. I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it several more times along the way, but being so dedicated to this goal is making time go by even faster than normal.

June is a great time to check yourself on your new year’s resolutions and your goal progress. With that being said, let’s take a look back at the three goals I set for 2017.

1. Read at Least One Book per Month

Nope, I have not kept up with this goal, and I’m okay with that. Since setting up my domain,, and revamping my site, my blog has become more of a priority and is receiving much more of my time recently.

2. Earn at Least $20,000 Through My New Business

Okay, I laughed out loud at this one, as I had almost forgotten about this juncture. In October, I decided to give the multi-level marketing structure a shot for the first time by obtaining my life insurance license and working with the local SmartVestor Pro in my area. As my vision evolved for where I wanted to be in life, I decided this was not the path I wanted to take, and this venture dissolved almost as quickly as it began.

3. Pay Off Our House by the End of 2017

The big one. Well, let’s look at it.  We paid off $28,036.70 the first half of this year, and we have $34,586.41 left to go, so I believe it’s still possible. If we can hit this number again and manage to squeeze out the difference of $6,549.71, we will knock it out. If not, this goal should be complete within the first three months of 2018 – exceeding our original goal of September 2018.

If you’re new to my blog below is a quick recap of our original goal.


Pay off our mortgage in two years or less.

Start Amount

$77,135.72 after paying standard payments since purchasing the home in November 2013. The original mortgage was $90,000.


We decided to design our monthly budget using my income only, including the standard monthly mortgage payment. My husband’s income, as well as extra money that finds its way to us, is used as mortgage principal. We altered Dave Ramsey’s Baby Step 6 for the duration of this journey by lowering our retirement contributions to 4% and 5% just to continue receiving our employer matches.

[Edit: We missed our new goal of paying it off by the end of 2017 by a month, but we paid it off. We’re now completely debt free! Check out my final mortgage post here.]

Bringing it back to June, we paid off $3,523.06 in principal. I had ambitious hopes of using my “extra” check this month to pay just enough to color in another line of my debt-free chart, but again, as was the case in March, I had to slow myself down and think of more immediate things that needed that money.

This time, we have a short list of things that need repair. The trampoline we bought our daughter for her birthday was ruined by damaging storms that came through a few weeks ago, as well as the canopy top for our gazebo. So, we’ve had a twisted trampoline and a topless gazebo in our yard for about a month now, but these issues were not emergencies, so we decided to wait until we had the extra money before purchasing the parts to repair them. In addition, our weed-eater and lawnmower decided to mess up at the same time, so we need to order some parts for them, too.

Speaking of birthday parties, we attended one this past month for my high school best friend’s three year old daughter. Because of her husband’s line of work, they travel often, so this was the first time I had met her daughter. We committed the social taboo (shh!) by regifting some of our daughter’s presents she received last year but still had not opened. We made a quick stop at the Family Dollar on the way for a bag, tissue paper and a card and totaled a whopping $3.00 in exchange for free pizza, cake, endless Capri Suns, and clearing up some extra toys from my house. No shame!

So, if you read last week’s post, Why I’m Glad I Don’t Love My Job, you are aware that I received a 50 cent raise. This is on top of another small increase I received a couple months ago. However, when putting our budget together, we still use the monthly salary of $3,314.76 that I received at the time of our first married budget. We deduct the different each week and transfer it from our checking account to our “House repair” sinking fund since our home undergoes constant upgrades and renovations.

If we weren’t working on our house, we would use that money for a different purpose. I refuse to live on more that one income, and I want to make sure we keep our standard of living below it.

I’ve recently been reading The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko thanks to winning a give away by Katie from Check out her work and several other bloggers in the Instagram #debtfreecommunity and #mortgagefreecommunity by viewing the group board I recently set up on Pinterest here.

This book has been on my list for a long time, and a few pages in, I read a quote from a millionaire who said, “After college my husband (also an engineer) and I both got good jobs. We lived on one income and saved the other. Anytime we got raises we just saved more. We have lived in the same modest 1,900-square-foot house for twenty years.”

Since my husband and I both work but only live on one income, this quote reassured me that we are doing the right thing. Doing this will allow us to build the wealth to live the life we desire, while also preventing a major change in lifestyle if one of us loses our jobs.

Happy July, everybody! Let’s see how much we can make of the rest of 2017.

How did you do this first half of the year? Comment below or let me know on Instagram!

How we paid off $3,523.06 of mortgage principal in June 2017.

How we paid off $28,036.70 of mortgage debt during the first half of 2017.

How we paid off $42,549.31 of mortgage principal in 10 months by altering Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps.


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  1. Glad I found this post through a group Pinterest board! What a great breakdown of getting debt free using a method that I’d never thought of!

    The only problem now is that I have a whole new backlog of posts to read! Lol

    Thanks for sharing your journey!

    1. Thanks so much for your feedback! Best wishes!

  2. […] I mentioned in my previous post, I have been reading The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. and William D. Danko, […]

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  5. Hello! I just stumbled across your page as I’m pinning for Tailwind this week. My husband and I bought a foreclosure and we are down to $47k that we owe. Our home is 1400 sq ft. And there are 5 of us total. 2 girls one boy, my husband and myself in a 3 bedroom house.

    We are newly 30 and decided we are not going to move. When we crunched the numbers we saw that with keeping our home and paying it off we could both retire in ten years when we are 40! It’s amazing and so exciting to have an opportunity like this at our fingertips.

    I am so glad to see there are other families that have similar goals like ours. I enjoyed reading keep up the good work!

  6. You really didn’t say Anything until the end! You both worked and saved the money from one paying job and used the other paying job you used for bills, I didn’t get anything else. Hmmm waste of time.

    1. Thank you for your input, Laura.

  7. Julie says:

    I have a question or two for you please. You say the original Mortgage amount was $90,000. Did you put a huge down payment on it, or was the house was not expensive in the first place? (I say not expensive because $90,000 for a home is unheard of these days)

    As well, how much is your house worth today? Thank you.

    1. Hi, Julie! Our house was listed for $120K. I purchased it for $100K and put down $10K. I live in a rural area of east TN about 20 miles west of Knoxville. I chose this area instead of Knoxville where they’re much more expensive or even 10 miles down the road where they cost more. I am not high maintenance and looked for a home with good bones that I could update along the way. I would estimate that it’s worth about $140K today in this market.

  8. Alison says:

    We are neighbors! We bought our first house in cedar bluff and turned into a rental and just bought our second house in concord which we also rent part of it out. Now the debt payoff train has started! Love the inspiration!

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