Happy Birthday to Me!

Normally about this time of the month I post a mortgage update giving all the details of how much progress we’ve made, how much longer we’ve got, etc.

Since it’s my birthday month, I decided to take a slightly different approach. We recently celebrated my birthday, and as a gift to our entire family, we decided to pay off the house early!

We were able to take some money from savings, rearrange some things with my first paycheck of the month that we would normally budget, and come up with a enough to knock the rest of it out!

What’s next?

I’ve posted before about FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early). Remarkably enough, the initial plan was to go full speed ahead on saving and investing for 10 years from this birthday. I thought originally that we might start a couple of months behind, but as it turns out we’ll be starting right on time.

The plan is to switch from mortgage updates to FIRE updates. I’ll share progress as we go and the strategies that we use. The progress will likely be slow going to start and may be hampered at times by the stock market, but we’ll keep the plan in mind to not get discouraged.

We have a specific number in mind that we’d like to hit. That number doesn’t include the value of our house, car, or college savings accounts. It’s mainly composed of what we have in savings and investments. For obvious reasons, I don’t plan on sharing that final number at this time.

One common rule that I’ve seen to find your number is to take your annual spending and multiple it by 25 (up to 50). That gives you a pretty good starting point. Our final number is about 37.5 times our annual spending to give us some extra room.  Given what we have invested so far through our 15+ years of working, we’re about 20% of the way to our final number. That means we’ll save the other 80% in about two-thirds the time it took us to do the original 20%. Pretty crazy, but entirely possible.

Final notes

What do you do to celebrate your birthday? What crazy gift could you give to yourself this coming year to change you and your families future forever?

May 2018 – Mortgage Payoff Update

mortgage blackboard

At the end of May, our remaining payoff balance was at 12.78% of our original mortgage that we took out in 2007. That is a reduction of 1.57%.

How much longer until the mortgage payoff?

Once all of May’s payments were applied, we’ll have reduced our mortgage balance by about $2138 this month. That brings our balance to almost $17k. According to our schedule, we have 3 payments left. That means our mortgage will be paid off on September 1, 2018.

We’re getting really close to this series of posts being wrapped up. I’ve been searching for ways to potentially just wipe the mortgage out right away because the end is near. It’s possible, but more likely that this type of action will happen in July and not June.

Progress slowed down a bit in May because I transitioned to a new position. That means the gaps in paychecks occurred. However, June should be back on track and the side business is really picking up steam. All of this happening at once could potentially push the mortgage to be paid off by the end of July! More updates to come and you can rest assured there will be a post the day the mortgage is paid off.

Budget Series

May has been pretty busy, but I still plan on covering our “activities” budget next.

April 2018 – Mortgage Payoff Update

At the end of April, our remaining payoff balance is at 14.35% of our original mortgage that we took out in 2007. That is a reduction of 3.38%.

How much longer until the mortgage payoff?

Once all of April’s payments were applied, we’ll have reduced our mortgage balance by about $4590 this month. That brings our balance below $20k. According to our schedule, we have 4 payments left. That means our mortgage will be paid off on September 1, 2018.

The side business is starting to be a bit more consistent, which means regular extra income coming in each month for it that is helping to promote paying down the mortgage. This last month was a bit larger than usual, but I’m looking forward to other similar sized ones in the future. After the house is paid off the extra income will help to move forward other goals, such a early retirement.

Budget Series

The next category I’ll be covering is “activities”. This is different than entertainment in our budget.

March 2018 – Mortgage Payoff Update

At the end of March, our remaining payoff balance is at 17.73% of our original mortgage that we took out in 2007. That’s a reduction of 2.19%.

How much longer until the mortgage payoff?

Once all of February’s payments are applied, we’ll have reduced our mortgage balance by about $2971 this month. That brings our balance to just above $24k. According to our schedule, we have 5 payments left. That means our mortgage will be paid off on September 1, 2018.

We didn’t have anything extra of significance to throw at the mortgage this month, just some small amounts here and there.

I’ve had some projects wrap up with my side business and have gotten paid for them. That’s how we’ve been able to cut off an extra payment. In order to reach the September 1 deadline, we were going to have to use some money from savings. From this point forward, anything extra we throw at it over what is planned, will reduce what we take out of savings to achieve the September 1 goal. Once we don’t need anything from our savings, then we’ll work towards cutting off an extra payment.

Budget Series

I’ll be publishing an update on this soon!

February 2018 – Mortgage Payoff Update

shack

At the end of February, our remaining payoff balance is at 19.92% of our original mortgage that we took out in 2007. That’s a reduction of 3.46%.

How much longer until the mortgage payoff?

Once all of February’s payments are applied, we’ll have reduced our mortgage balance by about $4713 this month. That brings our balance to just above $27k. According to our schedule, we have 7 payments left. That means our mortgage will be paid off on October 1, 2018.

We made significant progress this month thanks to a small tax refund and we kept our spending in check so we were able to put the full amount we plan on each month towards it.

We’ve had a project put on hold with my business, but nothing that can’t be made up with a new project or two. Once a project or two wraps up, we should be able to cut another payment off and be done by the beginning of September.

Budget Series

I haven’t forgotten about this, but the side business has kept me pretty busy. The next category I’ll be covering in the budget series is still going to be about gifts.

January 2018 – Mortgage Payoff Update

Home Interior

At the end of January, our remaining payoff balance is at 23.39% of our original mortgage that we took out in 2007. That’s a reduction of 3.01%.

How much longer until the mortgage payoff?

Once all of January’s payments are applied, we’ll have reduced our mortgage balance by about $4086 this month. That brings our balance just below $32k. According to our schedule, we have 8 payments left. That means our mortgage will be paid off on October 1, 2018.

We’ve been plugging away pretty steadily this month at the mortgage. We were given an unexpected gift that we applied. It helped to get us back on track and give us a bit of buffer room.

Any extra money that we’re finding is going towards the debt. Now that Christmas is behind us, the number of unexpected expenses has dropped a bit and should make it easier for us to stick to the budget.

On a positive note, several things are happening with my software consulting business, Adro Solutions. As different projects are added to the pipeline, completed, invoiced and paid, we may be paying it off sometime this summer!

Also, Julie has started a new business. I’ll hopefully have more information on that soon as well! Exciting times in our house.

Budget Series

The next category I’ll be covering in the budget series is about gifts. Do we budget enough?

Photo by brad.coy

December 2017 – Mortgage Payoff Update

fancy home

At the end of November, our remaining payoff balance is at 26.40% of our original mortgage that we took out in 2007. That’s a reduction of 0.66%.

How much longer until the payoff?

Once all of Decembers’s payments are applied, we’ll have reduced our mortgage balance by about $895 this month. We successfully got the mortgage just below $36k by the end of the year. According to our schedule, we have 10 payments left. That means our mortgage will be paid off on November 1, 2018.

We reached our safe amount of padding in our savings account, so extra money each month will now go straight to the mortgage. We’re going to be pushing it kind of close to make the November 1 deadline, but I have a plan.

I’ve increased my goal of how much I’d like to bring in from side work. I also plan on ramping up selling items on eBay and Amazon this year. I’ve done this  in the past with various levels of success, but I think with proper coaching and guidance I will bring in $1000 a month.

This is important because we’ve already planned a celebration vacation in December which means we’ll need to save up extra to pay for that as well. I believe it’s all possible, it’s just a matter of planning and getting there.

Budget Series

I haven’t forgotten about the budget series and the personal care category. I’ll hopefully have an update for you on that soon.

November 2017 – Mortgage Payoff Update

mortgage blackboard

At the end of November, our remaining payoff balance is at 27.06% of our original mortgage that we took out in 2007. That’s a reduction of 2.14%.

How much longer until the payoff?

Once all of October’s payments are applied, we’ll have reduced our mortgage balance by about $2910 this month. We are on track to be below $36k by the end of the year, which was the goal we set earlier this year. Like I said before, we’ve made some temporary adjustments to our payoff schedule. If we kept our accelerated schedule, we’d have 11 payments left. That means our mortgage will be paid off on November 1, 2018.

This month, I had some extra money come in from side work which helped us to boost the payoff a bit more. Once we’ve got a reasonable padding in our savings account, I plan on putting anything extra directly towards the house again. The padding should be built up by the end of December at the latest. After that, we’ll be making much larger payment against the principal.

Budget Series

I’ll be continuing the series that covers our budget. The next category we’ll be covering is personal care. What is “personal care”?

Photo by Got Credit

October 2017 – Mortgage Payoff Update

mortgage blackboard

At the end of October, our remaining balance is at 29.20% of our original mortgage that we took out in 2007. That’s a reduction of .64%.

How much longer?

Once all of October’s payments are applied, we’ll have reduced our mortgage balance by about $873 this month. We finally crossed the $40k mark and are slowly working towards $30k. Like I said last month, we’ve made some temporary adjustments to our payoff schedule. If we kept our accelerated schedule, we’d have 12 payments left. That means our mortgage will be paid off on November 1, 2018.

Last month, we started saving up money for some potential changes in the future. In order for us to have a reasonable idea on a potential mortgage payoff date, I’m determining the payoff date based on if we applied all the money we’ve saved up “just in case” and added any extra money that should be coming in from other sources over the next 12 months. I have to be pretty certain that the money is going to come or else I don’t add it.

Budget Series

I’ll be continuing the series that covers our budget. The next category we’ll be covering is entertainment. Everyone needs to have some fun money, but how much do you really need?

Photo by Got Credit

September 2017 – Mortgage Payoff Update

mortgage blackboard

At the end of September, our remaining balance is at 29.84% of our original mortgage that we took out in 2007. That’s a reduction of .64%.

How much longer?

Once all of September’s payments are applied, we’ll have reduced our mortgage balance by about $870 this month. We didn’t reach $40k like we had hoped by October 1. We’ve made some temporary adjustments to our payoff schedule that I’ll explain below. Right now, we’ve got 42 payments left with the adjustments we made. That means our mortgage will be paid off on April 1, 2021.

You might be wondering why the extension in time and increase in the number of payments. Essentially, we’re preparing for a potential transition in the future. We don’t know all the details on what it will be yet, but we’re preparing anyhow. One way of preparing is by piling up some extra cash. Once we’re through this time, we’ll take all the extra and apply it back to the mortgage. At that point, it will hopefully wipe out the rest of the mortgage or get us very close. For that reason, our large payments will be reduced for the next several months.

Budget Series

I’ll be continuing the series that covers our budget. The next category we’ll be covering is clothing. How much do you spend on clothing each month? What all does clothing cover? It sounds like an easy one, but we include some items in that category you may not think about.

Photo by Got Credit