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How to NOT take forever in paying off your mortgage! 2 friends are now mortgage-free!


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My dd and I just returned home from a playdate/visit with friends. She informed me just in passing conversation that she and her dh no longer have a mortgage! They are 50 have 2 sons (homeschooled) and a nice house that's valued at maybe $300,000 which is alot of money, but the state in which we live and the city, that's an average price. I do not know what his salary is....he is a professional working from home. My freind, "C" has partnered with her husband to form budgets, for every.thing:

 

groceries (food and staples)

gasoline

mortgage (until recently, it's now paid off)

homeschooling

clothing for EACh family member

retirement savings

utilities

car repair

car pay't (they deduct the money still so that when they buy another car, they will be used to the money "out" every month)

......and the list goes on.......

 

C told me they keep recipes for.every.single.expenditure!! They have retirement savings! Every.thing.

 

She said they follow Larry Burkett's plan <>< .

 

 

 

Now I have another friend "J" ....same scenario. She's 51 and her dh is 56. They have 4 grown children (20-30). I don't think she keeps receipts like C, but she "bargain shops". I do too. She shuffles money here and there and has been able to pay off the mortgage. J's dh makes around $90K/annual salary. They have NO retirement savings.

 

Now, I'm happy for my friends. J I've known for 18 years and C I've "known" about 7 years, but our friendship has deepened for about 2 years. I asked C a little bit ago, what are we doing wrong and proceeded to tell her the content of this thread....that I have 2 friends that have paid off their mortgage....what's going on.

 

What a blessing to be mortgage-free, but that is hard in any economy and especially in this one.

 

Now, for you economist's HOW, HOW, HOW can one accomplish this? This would be a great position to be in, but it's just not happening. We have my dh's salary only and one 11 yo dd, 2 pets...:D

 

My dh DOES save for our retirement. We are not big spenders on anything. Our house is not as nice as C/J's houses. We have a 10 yo Pontiac Montana van and a pre-owned 2004 Toyota Camry. We do go out to eat maybe 2x/month at average of $15.00 each time for entire bill. I won't list all the expenditures, but we're not lavish in anything. Shouldn't we have more than we do? Where does the money go. My dh is a professional working outside the home.

 

Suggestions? Ideas? Anything to help us get this mortgage paid off sooner rather than later.

 

PS....Forgot to mention, my own sister with her dh paid off there mortgage this past May when J paid hers off!

 

HELP. Sheryl <><

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Well, you haven't really given anyone information on your household to give you advice.

 

I would read a book by one of the financial budgeting authors, like Dave Ramsey or others. Get an idea of what your budget looks like, and ideas on how to prioritize getting rid of any debt you may have.

 

I would also make a list of your expenditures and "honestly!" figure out what is need and what is want. Things like electricity and water may be needs but keeping an ultra green lawn and keeping your home a steady 72* are wants. Figure out where you wiggle room is and start making some changes.

 

 

One of the most important things with paying off a house, it to have not overspent in the first place.

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In our situation, our progress toward paying off the mortgage was stalled/reversed whenever we made large purchases, such as buying a new home. We made the best progress when we put off any and all purchases as long as possible. I can say that when we DID finally pay it off, we had a LOT of pent-up demand for expenditures, such as old cars, problems with the home that needed fixing, etc. We have definitely spent some time since paying off the house recovering from our cheapness. OTOH, some of our good spending habits have persisted and this is helpful in saving for the future.

 

It sounds to me like you are doing the right types of things. Keep it up and you will get there! That last payment really feels good! Good luck!

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Don't move every 4-5 years like we do. :D Our next house will probably be a cheap fixer-upper. This house was an expensive fixer-upper, so not doing that again.

 

If you run the numbers, I think you'd be surprised how easily you COULD pay off a mortgage. Granted, as pp said, that you didn't overbuy in the first place.

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Pay extra each month .It is amazing how it brings down the capital. I remember my mum kept a jar in the cupboard for all the loose change. Every month she would go to the bank with all the loose change, even if it was only $10 and pay it off the capital. Every dollar you pay each month over the capital is less you have to pay interest on the following month.

I once had a small mortgage, I paid $20 extra everyweek. I paid it off so fast. I was kind of disappointed when it was finished, it was fun watching how fast the amount went down.

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Guest ME-Mommy
Shouldn't we have more than we do? Where does the money go. My dh is a professional working outside the home.

 

Suggestions? Ideas? Sheryl <><

 

This is where the receipts come in handy...you need them to figure out WHERE the $$ is going. (even if you just throw them in a basket or envelope for the month and then categorize and tally them up at the end of the month)

 

THEN, based on your income vs. expenses, come up with a game plan toward paying off the mortgage...

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Us too!

 

DH and I talk a lot about how, if we had kept the first house we had purchased, it could easily be paid off by now and we could live where I would like toi live, in Southern California. We bought our first house in 1998 in Pasadena, for $142,000. It was a 4 bedroom with a quarter of an acre on a cul-de-sac and backed into the mountains. It was really a great place.

 

Unfortunately, we had not taken Crown Financial at that time and thought we needed to keep moving up! :tongue_smilie:

 

We are now on board with debt free living, AFTER purchasing the current house we are in.....so our goal now is to sell and downsize and pay off in less than 10 years if possible.

 

And, if we don't have to move again, we should be in good shape.

 

Of course, anything can happen with jobs, etc...

 

Dawn

 

Don't move every 4-5 years like we do. :D Our next house will probably be a cheap fixer-upper. This house was an expensive fixer-upper, so not doing that again.

 

If you run the numbers, I think you'd be surprised how easily you COULD pay off a mortgage. Granted, as pp said, that you didn't overbuy in the first place.

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You know that part where you seemed kind of amazed that they had receipts for everything?

 

THAT is your first step.

 

You have to know where your money is going.

 

I now use Quicken but I used to do it in a notebook. I still have all my boosk so can tell you how much I spent on groceries & hair cuts in 1988. :lol:

 

If you use credit cards (we do but we never carry a balance - it's just convenience for us) then you can download all your transactions into the program each month.

 

If you use cash, you keep the receipt in your wallet & enter it into the program manually. There are categories which help you track your spending & see where your money is going. Once you know WHERE it's going, you can make decisions about whether that's what you want to spend your $ on, or whether you want to cut back & put it somewhere else.

 

For reading, I kind of like The Automatic Millionaire's books. Check them out from the library :)

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Did they purchase the house for $300K? That may be part of it.

 

Our first house was purchased for $142K but went up to almost 500K during the big housing boom. It is now valued around $380K.

 

So, while the value may be 300K, they may have paid far less.

 

For us, our salary has increased so much since the purchase of our first house, that we could easily paid it off in the 11 years since we purchased it. Especially if I had continued working.

 

Dawn

 

My dd and I just returned home from a playdate/visit with friends. She informed me just in passing conversation that she and her dh no longer have a mortgage! They are 50 have 2 sons (homeschooled) and a nice house that's valued at maybe $300,000 which is alot of money, but the state in which we live and the city, that's an average price. I do not know what his salary is....he is a professional working from home. My freind, "C" has partnered with her husband to form budgets, for every.thing:

 

groceries (food and staples)

gasoline

mortgage (until recently, it's now paid off)

homeschooling

clothing for EACh family member

retirement savings

utilities

car repair

car pay't (they deduct the money still so that when they buy another car, they will be used to the money "out" every month)

......and the list goes on.......

 

C told me they keep recipes for.every.single.expenditure!! They have retirement savings! Every.thing.

 

She said they follow Larry Burkett's plan <>< .

 

 

 

Now I have another friend "J" ....same scenario. She's 51 and her dh is 56. They have 4 grown children (20-30). I don't think she keeps receipts like C, but she "bargain shops". I do too. She shuffles money here and there and has been able to pay off the mortgage. J's dh makes around $90K/annual salary. They have NO retirement savings.

 

Now, I'm happy for my friends. J I've known for 18 years and C I've "known" about 7 years, but our friendship has deepened for about 2 years. I asked C a little bit ago, what are we doing wrong and proceeded to tell her the content of this thread....that I have 2 friends that have paid off their mortgage....what's going on.

 

What a blessing to be mortgage-free, but that is hard in any economy and especially in this one.

 

Now, for you economist's HOW, HOW, HOW can one accomplish this? This would be a great position to be in, but it's just not happening. We have my dh's salary only and one 11 yo dd, 2 pets...:D

 

My dh DOES save for our retirement. We are not big spenders on anything. Our house is not as nice as C/J's houses. We have a 10 yo Pontiac Montana van and a pre-owned 2004 Toyota Camry. We do go out to eat maybe 2x/month at average of $15.00 each time for entire bill. I won't list all the expenditures, but we're not lavish in anything. Shouldn't we have more than we do? Where does the money go. My dh is a professional working outside the home.

 

Suggestions? Ideas? Anything to help us get this mortgage paid off sooner rather than later.

 

PS....Forgot to mention, my own sister with her dh paid off there mortgage this past May when J paid hers off!

 

HELP. Sheryl <><

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When you compare your situation to your friends', please keep in mind that very different scenarios arise already at the point when you take out the loan:

1. If you get a 15 year mortgage instead of a 30 year one, the monthly amount is higher, but overall there is way less interest to pay, and after 15 years you're done (it's just another way of "paying extra each month", just more structured, and you're forced to do so as opposed to doing it whenever money happens to be available)

2.Having saved up for a down payment before taking out the loan reduces the principal and hence the interest and can have a huge effect.

3. There are extremely different interest rates; if somebody took advantage of a low rate and refinanced, that is another big saving which is more effective than cutting daily costs.

 

All these two factors make paying off early much easier and probably have more of an impact than general frugality (which of course is a good strategy as well).

 

regentrude

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As much as I long to be mortgage free, I would recommend that saving for retirement is more important than paying off your house. Your friend with $0 retirement and a paid-off house isn't in a healthy financial spot. They are 10ish years from retirement and have NO money saved. That's scary.

 

We will be mortgage free by the time dh is 55. Our mortgage is low, but so is our salary and our family is larger. We have a monthly budget that I make sure we stick to. This month I have an unexpected expense for bat extermination, and I've cut nearly all discretionary spending to fund the bill. It's not easy, but I am determined!

 

Oh....I think it helps that we live debt free other than the mortgage. We pay for everything with cash, and I am constantly saving for everything. It might help that I detest clutter and don't even have the typical homeschooling book collection. :001_smile:

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How long had they been in their houses? I mean, did they necessarily pay the mortgage off super early, or had they just been paying it for awhile? We had very good timing when we bought/sold our last house, so we made a nice profit on it and moved to a cheaper area. We made a giant downpayment and were able to get a 15 year mortgage. So we'll have ours paid off (assuming we stay here) when we're in our early 40's--just because that's when it will be paid off, not because we do anything special (although I guess opting for the 15 year mortgage is a way of forcing yourself to "pay extra" every month).

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Did they purchase the house for $300K? That may be part of it. C bought their house for $125K I think...she just told me the other day and I don't remember, but close to this. They just upgraded for about 50K. They are asking 325K for their house. OR 300K.

 

Our first house was purchased for $142K but went up to almost 500K during the big housing boom. It is now valued around $380K.

 

So, while the value may be 300K, they may have paid far less.

 

For us, our salary has increased so much since the purchase of our first house, that we could easily paid it off in the 11 years since we purchased it. Especially if I had continued working.

 

Dawn

 

You know that part where you seemed kind of amazed that they had receipts for everything?

 

THAT is your first step. I couldn't agree more. It seems that is the obvious start and y'all are saying it here. C told me today to keep track for a month or even a week to see where our money's going.

 

You have to know where your money is going.

 

I now use Quicken but I used to do it in a notebook. I still have all my boosk so can tell you how much I spent on groceries & hair cuts in 1988. :lol: Laughing here b/c we talked about hair cut costs today!!! My hair stylist showed me how to trim my bangs to look professional to tide me over until I get in there. :lol:

 

If you use credit cards (we do but we never carry a balance - it's just convenience for us) then you can download all your transactions into the program each month. We NEVER carry a balance either. Best way to go if possible.

 

If you use cash, you keep the receipt in your wallet & enter it into the program manually. There are categories which help you track your spending & see where your money is going. Once you know WHERE it's going, you can make decisions about whether that's what you want to spend your $ on, or whether you want to cut back & put it somewhere else. I need to challenge myself to use CASH.

 

For reading, I kind of like The Automatic Millionaire's books. Check them out from the library :)

 

Us too!

 

DH and I talk a lot about how, if we had kept the first house we had purchased, it could easily be paid off by now and we could live where I would like toi live, in Southern California. We bought our first house in 1998 in Pasadena, for $142,000. It was a 4 bedroom with a quarter of an acre on a cul-de-sac and backed into the mountains. It was really a great place.

 

Unfortunately, we had not taken Crown Financial at that time and thought we needed to keep moving up! :tongue_smilie:

 

We are now on board with debt free living, AFTER purchasing the current house we are in.....so our goal now is to sell and downsize and pay off in less than 10 years if possible.

 

And, if we don't have to move again, we should be in good shape.

 

Of course, anything can happen with jobs, etc...

 

Dawn

 

This is where the receipts come in handy...you need them to figure out WHERE the $$ is going. (even if you just throw them in a basket or envelope for the month and then categorize and tally them up at the end of the month)

 

Yep, I'm definately going to do this. Keep receipts and "try" to use cash. Does using cash vs. check (old fashioned paper check, not debit) really matter?

 

THEN, based on your income vs. expenses, come up with a game plan toward paying off the mortgage...

 

Pay extra each month .It is amazing how it brings down the capital. I remember my mum kept a jar in the cupboard for all the loose change. Every month she would go to the bank with all the loose change, even if it was only $10 and pay it off the capital. Every dollar you pay each month over the capital is less you have to pay interest on the following month. This is EXACTLY what J does. She takes ANY.EXTRA.MONEY and applies it to her pay'ts.

I once had a small mortgage, I paid $20 extra everyweek. I paid it off so fast. I was kind of disappointed when it was finished, it was fun watching how fast the amount went down.

 

Don't move every 4-5 years like we do. :D Our next house will probably be a cheap fixer-upper. This house was an expensive fixer-upper, so not doing that again.

 

If you run the numbers, I think you'd be surprised how easily you COULD pay off a mortgage. Granted, as pp said, that you didn't overbuy in the first place.

So, don't buy "any" fixer uppers? :D

 

In our situation, our progress toward paying off the mortgage was stalled/reversed whenever we made large purchases, such as buying a new home. We made the best progress when we put off any and all purchases as long as possible. I can say that when we DID finally pay it off, we had a LOT of pent-up demand for expenditures, such as old cars, problems with the home that needed fixing, etc. We have definitely spent some time since paying off the house recovering from our cheapness. OTOH, some of our good spending habits have persisted and this is helpful in saving for the future. So, did you go in the other direction? It really involves readjustment on many things and denying some other things, right?

 

It sounds to me like you are doing the right types of things. Keep it up and you will get there! That last payment really feels good! Good luck!

 

Well, you haven't really given anyone information on your household to give you advice. Right, I don't think my dh would be pleased for me to discuss his salary, so I opted out of that.

 

I would read a book by one of the financial budgeting authors, like Dave Ramsey or others. Get an idea of what your budget looks like, and ideas on how to prioritize getting rid of any debt you may have.

 

I would also make a list of your expenditures and "honestly!" figure out what is need and what is want. Things like electricity and water may be needs but keeping an ultra green lawn and keeping your home a steady 72* are wants. Figure out where you wiggle room is and start making some changes. This is a hard one. Living in the south I do like it cooler. But, I CAN make other adjustments!!

 

 

One of the most important things with paying off a house, it to have not overspent in the first place.

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If your mortgage company offers an excelerated payment option, choose that. You make half a month's payment every two weeks, thereby paying more on a yearly basis. If you can refinance (and it makes sense to do so), get a 15 year mortgage if you can swing that payment. We are on an accelerated payment plan with a 15 year mortgage, and it reduced our mortgage by about three years (going from memory here so I might be slightly off).

 

There will be many people who have the ability to force themselves to pay extra payments on their mortgage without signing up for an accelerated plan with their mortgage company, but we knew we needed the accountability of having that money debited from your account every other week. There was no cost associated with this option from our mortgage company.

 

Refinancing, of course, has fees associated so have someone knowledgable run the numbers for you and let you know if it is worthwhile in your case.

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its great that its a goal you want to work towards! what we found is that we couldn't have it all. if we wanted to pay off our mortgage, and we did, then we had to make choices, some of which had great unexpected benefits.

 

in no particular order, what helped us was:

a) paying mortgage every 2 weeks rather than 1 time a month.

b) putting all gift money towards principle (from parents mostly)

c) setting up a savings account for our next car purchase and figuring out how much we needed to put into it each month, then doing it..... and then only spending what we had when the time came. i have never had power windows or locks, for example, because we have never had enough saved.

d)no cable (actually, no tv hooked up to anything except a dvd player. lots of fabulous unexpected consequences from this one, including much improved attitudes in children and no long lists of things that we had been convinced we "wanted/needed".

e) only basic phone service

f) no extended warranties on anything

g) cooking from scratch (really from scratch, not from a mix or a box or a can)

h) rarely eating out (easier than it sounds; after you get used to "real" food, it takes some work to find somewhere where it all tastes real.) then, when we do it out, we order two meals for four people, as the portion sizes are nuts. and water to drink.

i) we choose places of business in part by location, and we try to group activities.

 

and, in the beginning, keeping receipts made us totally nuts, so we did it the opposite way. we decided how much money we wanted to spend on different things, put the cash in labelled envelopes for each week (gas, food, etc) and then when the money was gone, it was gone. it only takes a few weeks of running out of gas money and having to stay home before one modifies one's choices of locations and activities. (i'm sure others would have figured it out more quickly, but i was a slow learner in that department). for example, we don't ever just "go to the library". we are at the library once a week when we are already in that part of town for dance. we grocery shop on the way home from violin lessons, because we drive right by trader joe's. etc, etc....

 

and we don't spend a ton on gifts.... our children are the only ones we know without a wii, but truly, that is a choice we are comfortable and happy with. and i have a realllllly old cell phone, no iphone. the time will come, but the time is not now.

 

hth,

ann

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Dave Ramsey's plan for finances has you do things in this order:

 

1. Save $1000 in the bank for emergencies

2. Get rid of all of your debt, except the mortgage

3. Save 3-6 months of your living expenses

4. Put 15% of your gross into a retirement fund

5. Save for your kid's college

6. Pay off your mortgage.

 

My dh and I are naturally frugal, so we were able to skip step 1 and 2 and found ourselves right in the middle of step 3, with $14k already saved towards our living expenses. We are now deliberately saving up for 8 months of living expenses (because jobs take so long to find currently. We feel that 6 months isn't enough.)

 

Make a humongous spread sheet of everything you spend money on. And I mean EVERYthing. For example, I have a category for "magazines" and allot $1 a month to it, because I have a subscription that costs $12 a year. I allot $6.50 a month to my AAA membership. (which I might let slide this year--but we live near a lot of old country roads, so if I break down with the kids, we could be stuck miles from anyone--and our newest car is 10 years old.)

 

We have very little to cut back on, other than using Regguheert's plan of letting repairs slide for awhile, but we'll see how far we can get in this savings plan.

 

I want to jump straight to paying off the mortgage, but according to the money people, it's better to do the above steps in that order first. Your friend who has paid off the mortgage, but has no retirement might actually be in a bad place (because of compound interest, and things like that.)

Edited by Garga
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What good advice on this thread!

 

If you want to pay your house off early, you must pay extra on the capital you borrowed.

 

Two ways to do this:

 

1) Pay 10% extra each month of mortgage.

 

or

 

2) Pay an extra mortgage payment each year.

 

If I remember correctly, this will turn a 30year mortgage into a 22year mortgage, but someone better at numbers/banking can give you a more accurate picture of this.

 

Gotta go. Dd want to paint again today.

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The first year we were married, we lived on my salary with dh school. We had a little ledger book and made out a budget. When I went to HEB and wrote a check for 16.27, then I wrote it in my leger. We had money automatically taken out for savings each month. It was only a 50 dollar savings bond, but it was something. We had no credit card debt. We had really old cars, so no car payments either.

 

Later we both worked but only lived on his salary and mine AUTOMATICALLY went into savings. Now instead of a ledger, i used Microsoft money and kept track of every penny. We also continued to have savings AUTOMATICALLY deducted. You can't spend it, if it isn't there.

 

I quit work when we had our first child and he had tons of medical problems, so we actually didn't save any and dipped into our savings that year, but that is what it was there for. I remember going to Bible study and being sad because everyone was going out to eat and I couldn't because it wasn't in the budget. Basically the only new clothes I got for about the first 10 years of my marriage were gifts and/or bought with money people gave me for birthdays or Christmas. I try to buy things that LAST that are basic and not too trendy. WE keep our cars until they wear out.

 

We bought a house and paid double on the mortgage each month. When we found our dream house 13 years ago, we were able to use the equity in that modest house to make a very sizaeble downpayment. We took a 15 year mortgage, but payed double until it was paid off in about 7. We have things automatically deducted for retirement and 529 plans. We go over our budget monthly and make sure we are where we wish to be. We live way below our means.

 

You need to ITEMIZE everything. IT will give you a very good idea of where your money goes and it also helps to keep you from spending money if you know you will have to explain how you spent 50 dollars taking everyone out to eat. ( We only go out to eat about once a month and that saves A TON!!!)

 

Christine

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The big difference between myself and your friends is about 20 years lol. At 30 I cannot imagine being debt free (we literally had $700 and no assets when we married in college), but by 50 I don't expect to have a mortgage or car payments. The key seems to be starting small by paying extra so you don't miss it as much and then keep increasing the 'extra' you pay. It is working for us anyway.

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We are not paying off our mortgage just yet, although we do pay more than the basic on it every month.

We are however, hammering our debt at a rate that makes me want to dance with glee. We are doing it using the Dave Ramsey plan-ish.

We don't have $1K saved, because we pay far more than that on debt every month, so it seems kind of pointless to take it out of savings and then put it right back in again.

We sit down a couple of days before pay day and decide exactly where every penny of every paycheck is going:

We are putting money into a savings account for expenses like tyres and car registration that are big sums that happen irregularly.

We keep a list of things we need to buy, curriculum items, paint, repairs, clothes etc, every pay we decide which ones we will do this month. If it's not put into the budget this pay, it does not get bought, simple as that. No impulse buying AT ALL!

We use cash for groceries, petrol and spending money. Once it's gone, it's gone.

It's made a huge difference.

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After I paid off my mortgage, I bought a big pumper bottle of neutragena body soap. Prior to that I'd used the cheapest whatever soap from age 16 (when I left home) to age 48 (when I paid off the mortgage). After I paid off the mortgage, and my folks died and I got a some inheritance and invested all but 200 dollars in college education for kiddo money, I bought my first ever matching set of silverware. Prior to that I'd had 6 forks and 3 spoons etc from Goodwill.(These are just examples). I put every extra penny (after retirement stocked) into my mortgage.

 

Many people are unwilling to live that way. I was too afraid not to:).

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If your mortgage company offers an excelerated payment option, choose that. You make half a month's payment every two weeks, thereby paying more on a yearly basis. If you can refinance (and it makes sense to do so), get a 15 year mortgage if you can swing that payment. We are on an accelerated payment plan with a 15 year mortgage, and it reduced our mortgage by about three years (going from memory here so I might be slightly off).

 

There will be many people who have the ability to force themselves to pay extra payments on their mortgage without signing up for an accelerated plan with their mortgage company, but we knew we needed the accountability of having that money debited from your account every other week. There was no cost associated with this option from our mortgage company.

 

Refinancing, of course, has fees associated so have someone knowledgable run the numbers for you and let you know if it is worthwhile in your case.

 

 

I talked to dh about doing this, but the thing is our mortgage was just sold to another company and they only allow for ONE online payment per month, which I have never heard of before. I'm still trying to figure out how we could do the "pay half of your mortgage out of every single paycheck" thing, but can't quite figure out how to do that?

 

ETA: I may have figured it out. Maybe we can do an automatic pmt from our bank to the mortgage company every two weeks instead of just the one online payment per month?

 

Wheels are turnin.....

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Also keep in mind that there's more info that perhaps you are unaware of. You know that they paid off their mortgage. You know the value of their home. But you don't know what the actual loan balance was. For instance, I know a couple who received, as a wedding gift, a *large* down payment on their first home. They only had to pay about $20K to pay off their mortgage. And as another poster pointed out, the value of a home (hopefully!) escalates over time, so the home at an impressive current value may have been originally purchased at a much lower price.

 

I just say that to let you know that you may be trying to compare apples to oranges, kwim? And not to be discouraged that you feel overwhelmed by the thought of it.

 

That said, I do believe it is possible to pay off a mortgage early, if that is your goal. You have to be relentless in making sure every extra penny goes towards that, though! Beans and rice, yada, yada, yada.

 

Also, as another has said, put extra money DIRECTLY to the principle of your loan. Write "EXCESS TO PRINCIPLE ONLY" in big letters on every extra check you send in, and look at your statements to be sure these payments are not being credited to interest owed.

 

It's hard, but I don't think impossible. We are a ways from paying ours off, but we are in the position to know that we could sell this current home today, pay off our balance and still have enough equity funds to purchase a perfectly adequate new home with no debt whatsoever (and I am still nudging my dh in that direction...:lol:).

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I talked to dh about doing this, but the thing is our mortgage was just sold to another company and they only allow for ONE online payment per month, which I have never heard of before. I'm still trying to figure out how we could do the "pay half of your mortgage out of every single paycheck" thing, but can't quite figure out how to do that?

 

ETA: I may have figured it out. Maybe we can do an automatic pmt from our bank to the mortgage company every two weeks instead of just the one online payment per month?

 

Wheels are turnin.....

 

 

Our mortgage company charges a fee if you want to pay 1/2 twice a month:confused1:

If you're income comes every 2 weeks you could be sure to pay with every other paycheck and then an extra monthly payment will be made every year and you won't even feel it.

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Wow, thanks everyone. I read ALL of your replies. I should have added I'm financially-learning challenged. Honestly, I don't understand finances at all. I know basics like to shop at Goodwill for some things, use coupons, buy in quantity sometimes, etc, etc, but I don't understand much of the detailed specifics of finance/econ. There, I said it! ;) Ah, it's coming clear to me now....in college (years ago) when I took economics, guess what. I didn't do well grade wise. :lol::lol::lol:

 

I have heard paying an extra pay't a year. But, that would seem like it would still take a long time. We bought our house in 1991 and we refinanced twice to opt for a lower monthly rate. However, it set us back. I don't get that. :confused:

 

How do people make 2 pay'ts a month? How is that possible for the average family?

 

OK, I am definatley going to create a spreadsheet or something and taking your common suggestion of keeping receipts and "tracking" expenditures.

 

Thanks for all your tips. Now off for my dh to read all your replies.

 

Sheryl <><

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Wow, thanks everyone. I read ALL of your replies. I should have added I'm financially-learning challenged. Honestly, I don't understand finances at all. I know basics like to shop at Goodwill for some things, use coupons, buy in quantity sometimes, etc, etc, but I don't understand much of the detailed specifics of finance/econ. There, I said it! ;) Ah, it's coming clear to me now....in college (years ago) when I took economics, guess what. I didn't do well grade wise. :lol::lol::lol:

 

I have heard paying an extra pay't a year. But, that would seem like it would still take a long time. We bought our house in 1991 and we refinanced twice to opt for a lower monthly rate. However, it set us back. I don't get that. :confused:

 

How do people make 2 pay'ts a month? How is that possible for the average family?

 

OK, I am definatley going to create a spreadsheet or something and taking your common suggestion of keeping receipts and "tracking" expenditures.

 

Thanks for all your tips. Now off for my dh to read all your replies.

 

Sheryl <><

 

Without going back and reading everyones replies....

 

I assume the 2 payments a month mentioned is actually paying 1/2 of the payment every 2 weeks as in exactly 14 days. This works great for people who get paid every 2 weeks. This puts you ahead because you are making a full payment every 28 days instead of every 30 days. By the end of the year, when you add that 2 days difference all together for all 12 months, it is roughly 1 extra payment per year.

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We bought our house 15 years ago, when DH and I both had professional jobs. We bought a house way, way below our means, though as we knew I wouldn't always be working.

Thankfully, we found a real estate agent that didn't try to pressure us into buying more house than we wanted or needed, or could comfortably afford. We have paid extra on our mortgage all along.

Our house is the smallest in this neighborhood, which is fine with us. When our neighbors/friends have "moved up" and tried to talk us into moving, we just shake our heads. We are happy here in our little house. Sure, it would be nice to have more room... But we are on the brink of paying off our house. (Planning to this summer, until DH was laid off. We have the money in the bank and DH has a new job lined up, but we don't want to do anything too quickly right now.)

We don't budget. At all. But I can tell you within a $50/month what we spend on clothing and food. I keep a running list in my head of expenses, as well as a running list of prices on our staples. We don't eat processed foods, so I don't cut coupons or bargain shop for the cheapest cereal. But we try to buy local, in season, produce as much as possible.

We are not shoppers, nor are we into 'things.' A neighbor boy was over this weekend and he was trying to tell my husband why we "need" a Blue-Ray because "it is just so much better." Lovely marketing by an 8-year-old. But we have old cell phones. Two average TVs that we seldom watch.

I have heard this phrase tossed around lately -- we would rather spend money on experiences than on things. We would rather buy theater/play tickets than buy a new DVD player.

Every so often, I look over our receipts for the month and compare them to what "the experts" say you should spend. We always spend a smaller percentage on the basics (food, clothing, entertainment, house, car) than what they say, so I feel comfortable NOT budgeting.

We do own two newer vehicles because DH is not into car repair and we live in a large city and don't want to get stranded. Both vehicles are pretty basic, though. Nothing fancy.

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Without going back and reading everyones replies....

 

I assume the 2 payments a month mentioned is actually paying 1/2 of the payment every 2 weeks as in exactly 14 days. This works great for people who get paid every 2 weeks. This puts you ahead because you are making a full payment every 28 days instead of every 30 days. By the end of the year, when you add that 2 days difference all together for all 12 months, it is roughly 1 extra payment per year.

 

Tap, Got it!

 

We bought our house 15 years ago, when DH and I both had professional jobs. We bought a house way, way below our means, though as we knew I wouldn't always be working.

Thankfully, we found a real estate agent that didn't try to pressure us into buying more house than we wanted or needed, or could comfortably afford. We have paid extra on our mortgage all along.

Our house is the smallest in this neighborhood, which is fine with us. When our neighbors/friends have "moved up" and tried to talk us into moving, we just shake our heads. We are happy here in our little house. Sure, it would be nice to have more room... But we are on the brink of paying off our house. (Planning to this summer, until DH was laid off. We have the money in the bank and DH has a new job lined up, but we don't want to do anything too quickly right now.)

We don't budget. At all. But I can tell you within a $50/month what we spend on clothing and food. I keep a running list in my head of expenses, as well as a running list of prices on our staples. We don't eat processed foods, so I don't cut coupons or bargain shop for the cheapest cereal. But we try to buy local, in season, produce as much as possible.

We are not shoppers, nor are we into 'things.' A neighbor boy was over this weekend and he was trying to tell my husband why we "need" a Blue-Ray because "it is just so much better." Lovely marketing by an 8-year-old. But we have old cell phones. Two average TVs that we seldom watch.

I have heard this phrase tossed around lately -- we would rather spend money on experiences than on things. We would rather buy theater/play tickets than buy a new DVD player.

Every so often, I look over our receipts for the month and compare them to what "the experts" say you should spend. We always spend a smaller percentage on the basics (food, clothing, entertainment, house, car) than what they say, so I feel comfortable NOT budgeting.

We do own two newer vehicles because DH is not into car repair and we live in a large city and don't want to get stranded. Both vehicles are pretty basic, though. Nothing fancy.

 

Suzanne, It sounds similar here. However, we bought not way, way below, but just a little below for the same reasons. We were told we could afford more, but my dh said (20 years ago), but that would mean not eating out once in a blue moon, or this or that. Now we do not have new cars. We do not have satellite. We do not have fancy clothes, shoes, coats. We do not have Blue Ray and on and on. We do have Tv's, but I'm not a HUGE tv fan....I think most (not all) of it is junk. I watch little. My dh's employer gave him a company cell phone that he can use for personal. I do have our family cell phone for safety reasons. We do go on a couple vacations a year. With that said, we are ALWAYS working deals.

 

Just trying to make sense out of all of this.

 

We're enjoying a little harvest from our garden. Hasn't done well for a couple of years. :confused: I've gone back to buying organic when I can. Many grocery stores now carry organic and while it's higher, it's not 2-3 times so. I feel better knowing that I do shop for deals to help offset the organic buying I do.

 

To the one poster, I don't remember when J started this procedure. I "think" maybe only 6 years ago. But, I don't remember downpay't they had and buying price. I'll have to ask.

 

After 20 years I thought we'd be further ahead than we are for a 30 year mortgage. I dunno...:confused:

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Yup, two payments per month would be two HALF payments every two weeks. BIG difference.

 

When I owned my own house my mortgage pmt was under $600 (ah, for those days again). I always rounded it up to $600. If I would have been paid every two weeks I could have paid $300 EACH AND EVERY PAYCHECK to give me a whole extra payment per year. Doesn't look like much at first glance, but it REALLY adds up.

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What I was taught is that you want to prepay principal. When prepaying principal you save a lot at the beginning of the mortgage and it gradually drops down to just a little savings toward the end of paying it off. (So it can really be worth it in the beginning, and is not towards the end.)

 

You will have to check and see if your mortgage allows prepayment of principal. Then you get (if you don't have one already) an amortization schedule for your loan. Here's what one looks like:

http://financialinformationservice.com/use-an-amortization-schedule-to-track-your-savings

 

Every month you must make one full mortgage payment. Any month you can you make a payment for the principal portion on the next payment. You save the interest you would have paid in that payment. This saves you a lot early on in the mortgage. If you look at that amortization schedule you'll see how the early payments are mostly interest, and the later payments are mostly principal.

 

In the amortization schedule I linked to for example, you would make your regular payment #5 of $1498.88 and prepay the principal of #6 in a separate check for $255.16 clearly marked "Prepayment of principal #6." You then save the interest for that payment which is $1,243.72. The next month you pay #7 in full, and if you can prepay the principal on #8.

 

I learned this in a finance class in college years ago. I've tried to find the info on the web for you. This site explains it fairly well:

http://www.sideroad.com/Mortgage/save_money_mortgage.html

 

Here is mortgage calculator you can use to see what you would save (assuming you can make prepayments without penalties, you have to check on that):

http://www.mortgageloan.com/calculator/mortgage-payoff-calculator

 

 

I think that whether your extra money goes to paying off the mortgage or toward retirement would depend in large part on where you are in your mortgage and how much you would save by making early payments.

 

As for how you come up with the money, my little piece of advice there is to find out how much you will save and print it out and place it where you will see it every day. Set a goal such as, "One extra payment of principal every 3 months," and read it every day. Having a set goal and seeing how much you will save when you do it will influence your spending and motivate you.

 

Here's another site that explains prepaying principal:

http://financialinformationservice.com/how-to-save-money-on-mortgage-interest-charges

 

Rhea

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We've tried and failed many times to track our expenses, it's never worked, in fact I'd go so far as to say that uber tracking has been the downfall that has caused us to ditch many a budget.

 

We know what we pay in terms of all bills and regular payments, and we know what we spend on food and gas. We have a spending money allowance and a list of things we need to buy/pay for, but we do not track spending on clothes, haircuts etc. They are just put into the budget when we need and can afford them.

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We have definitely spent some time since paying off the house recovering from our cheapness. OTOH, some of our good spending habits have persisted and this is helpful in saving for the future.
So, did you go in the other direction? It really involves readjustment on many things and denying some other things, right?
No, I would not say we have gone "in the other direction" since paying off the house. It is a little hard to explain, but if you are like us, you will be surprised by how different things are once you pay off all of your debts, including your house. These differences are NOT just in how you perceive things, either.

 

Here are some examples of what has gone on here:

 

1) We have replaced our roof, built an attached garage and have finished 900 square feet of basement space. We LIVE in our basement (always have) and these improvements were planned since we bought the house, but we decided to wait until we could do this with cash. Making larger purchases is easier for us now since we are not spending money which we do not have.

2) We have built up our retirement savings from zero to a quite decent sum. Our banker has been quite surprised at how quickly we are able to save money.

3) We had to replace nearly every banking arrangement we previously had. Why? Because most banks are set up to accommodate people with debt. We had to find and move to banks set up for people who had savings and investments.

4) We are bankrolling our son's college education from income.

 

Here are some things which have NOT happened here:

 

5) We have NOT bought any new cars. (We did buy our son a beater this year for $1500.00 total outlay. We gave it to him and he now owns it along with ALL expenses associated with it.) Our cars are 8, 8 and 12 years old and they still work, so we are still using them. I do *nearly* all the repairs, so we have spent about two thousand dollars on tools to maintain them.

6) We do NOT eat out more than we used to. In fact, we probably spend less on eating out than we did before we got into debt.

7) We do NOT go on extravagant vacations. We did splurge on a houseboat this year, but that $2500.00 for nine people was not in our character. We are going camping for a couple of hundred dollars next week...

8) We have NOT stopped gardening. In fact, we are steadily increasing our garden and we therefore purchase less and less food from the stores.

9) We have NOT added pay TV service and have even cancelled our home telephone line. (That said, our cellular bills are much higher now with children going off to school.)

10) We have NOT stopped purchasing clothes from thrift stores. Most of our clothes are purchased this way, though we do sometimes buy new things.

11) We do NOT worry about money like we did when we had debt. Yes, we still need income and yes, we still need to save money, but the important thing is that we are now capable of weathering an increasingly-large financial storm, so there is some comfort in that.

 

Again, I wish you the best in achieving your financial goals.

Edited by RegGuheert
Added two more NOTs.
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You need to read Dave Ramsey books. Total Money Makeover is a good start... and look into that plan that your friend is using. We have found a thousand dollars a month by nickle and dime.

 

Our budget does not break down EVERYTHING. We have a larger Misc. category than DR recommends.

 

 

Here you see our 14 categories:

 

Mortgage, second mortgage, homeowners association, license plates, car insurance, life insurance, groceries, medical, utilities, clothing, homeschool, dance class, Gamefly and Netflix, Misc. or Entertainment. We dropped trash service, internet and phone so those are now gone. We drive a 2000 van that is paid off and the company pays for our gas.

Edited by Lovedtodeath
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Here are some more ideas:

Thanks! The amount that we pay toward internet, cable, and home phone can have Emily's college covered if we save it for her. That is awesome! Every bit adds up!

 

Melissa, here are three other ways we found $100 in the budget:

 

I plan our grocery list to the dollar before I ever enter the store. I can adjust it much easier before hand, even changing the whole menu. A calculator in the store never helped much. I use cash and DH no longer stops by Walmart to pick up pancake toppings, etc. when the mood strikes. Savings: $200 per month.

 

No more fast food trips. DH was spending about $25 per week and I was spending about the same with me and the kids when we had doctor's appts or field trips. Our reduced grocery budget still covers snacks and lunches, and we still spend about $25 a month for emergencies. Savings: $150 per month.

 

Refinancing the house: interest is down by two points. Savings: $167 per month.

 

Building up an emergency fund in cash and planning our budget so that credit cards are not longer needed for dentist visits, etc. We have about 1,000 collectibles and 200 books to sell in addition to a couple of pieces of furniture if we needed it to build this up. Savings: about $300 that would be put on the credit card every 4 months.

 

Investing 2,000 per year starting at age 8 adds up to aruond 40,000 dollars for college according to the DR book.

 

I hope that helps someone!

 

I don't mind the hi-jack at all, (it isn't really a hi-jack since I started talking about DR) but I do think we need a DR thread, as I am excited with ideas and questions.

 

My biggest idea is to nickel and dime everthing to death. But that is only $15 per month! Really? That will send your baby to college. Get rid of the bill!

 

We found Jakobs college fund last night. :tongue_smilie:Trash service and slashing the grocery budget by another $10 per week.

 

I should admit, going into this, we already had a TMM of the heart and had most debt paid down. We aren't into the looking good aspect of money at all. We only own one vehicle and it is a 2000 stripped down model, though still we paid more than we ever will again. ;) I already saw how my mom did everything all wrong, so spending on clothes, shoes, decorative items, furniture, nail salon, hair style, etc. has just never happened around here.:D

 

Another idea we are working on is for me to make some money. I can't get a part time job, and working from home isn't working out... but if I watch one kid after school then that is another 100 per month. Watch that one kid before school and that is another 100. Watch two kids... you get the idea. It isn't a lot of money, but it will help us pay off our HEL and save for retirement. I can start slow and see how much I can handle. Just one kid in the afternoon part time will still make a big difference in our plan.

 

Then the boook TMM talks about selling things to get your emergency fund and debt snowball running. One woman sold 300 goldfish from her pond for $1 each. Okay, we are there. We have some collectibles that will go, even if we sell them for less than what they are "worth". I can probably find 300 books for $1 each. Emily's old room decorations and Jake's baby bed that I am keeping for sentimental value? Take a picture and sell them.

 

I will post this all in a new thread if you want to start one. :D

 

Ads help a lot because I plan my menu around them. If it is on sale for a good price, it is on the menu. They often will have the price listed, such as green peppers for 88 cents, broccoli for 1.88, ground chuck for 1.86... etc. I go to two stores to maximize the amount of things bought on sale. I also saved our receipts for a month so that I could just look at those to see how much our normal foods, etc. cost. It is so nice to just grab things in the store instead of trying to budget while I am there and works so much better. I hope you can make it work for you!
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Here is mortgage calculator you can use to see what you would save (assuming you can make prepayments without penalties, you have to check on that):

http://www.mortgageloan.com/calculator/mortgage-payoff-calculator

 

:iagree:I think we figured ours at $150 extra a month until we get our other bills paid down... once we switch to $500 extra a month it will be paid off in 10 years instead of 30.

 

Dave Ramsey goes into when to pay off your mortgage as opposed to investing in retirement/college funds in his book Total Money Makeover.

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We bought our house in 1991 and we refinanced twice to opt for a lower monthly rate. However, it set us back. I don't get that. :confused:

 

Refinancing for a lower rate helps you if you don't extend the life of your loan. If you extend it, then refinancing probably hurt you. Your monthly payment was probably lower, but the total amount paid against the loan(s) increased.

 

Say your original loan was for 30 years in 1991. Your payoff date would have been in 2021. Then in 2001 you decide to refinance when your original loan had 20 years left. If your new refinanced loan was for 30 years, you pushed back your payoff date to 2031 (2001+30). And then if you did it a second time.....

 

When we have refinanced, I always keep the payments so that our payoff date doesn't move back. I think refinancing is only beneficial in total if you don't add years to your payoff date.

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Refinancing for a lower rate helps you if you don't extend the life of your loan. If you extend it, then refinancing probably hurt you. Your monthly payment was probably lower, but the total amount paid against the loan(s) increased.

 

Say your original loan was for 30 years in 1991. Your payoff date would have been in 2021. Then in 2001 you decide to refinance when your original loan had 20 years left. If your new refinanced loan was for 30 years, you pushed back your payoff date to 2031 (2001+30). And then if you did it a second time.....

 

When we have refinanced, I always keep the payments so that our payoff date doesn't move back. I think refinancing is only beneficial in total if you don't add years to your payoff date.

Yes, our refinance adds 8 years so we are not really saving $167 per month...

 

I did a bunch of number crunching and figured that if we stick to paying it off in 10 years the refinance will save us about $9 per month, on average.

 

every time you refinance you are paying the mortgage company anywhere from 1100-5000 dollars, so that is added on to your balance as well.

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Yes, our refinance adds 8 years so we are not really saving $167 per month...

 

I did a bunch of number crunching and figured that if we stick to paying it off in 10 years the refinance will save us about $9 per month, on average.

 

every time you refinance you are paying the mortgage company anywhere from 1100-5000 dollars, so that is added on to your balance as well.

 

I don't know if this has already been posted....but just one extra mortgage pymt a year turns a 30 yr into a 19 yr. :)

 

Refinancing for a lower rate helps you if you don't extend the life of your loan. If you extend it, then refinancing probably hurt you. Your monthly payment was probably lower, but the total amount paid against the loan(s) increased.

 

Say your original loan was for 30 years in 1991. Your payoff date would have been in 2021. Then in 2001 you decide to refinance when your original loan had 20 years left. If your new refinanced loan was for 30 years, you pushed back your payoff date to 2031 (2001+30). And then if you did it a second time.....

 

When we have refinanced, I always keep the payments so that our payoff date doesn't move back. I think refinancing is only beneficial in total if you don't add years to your payoff date.

 

No, I would not say we have gone "in the other direction" since paying off the house. It is a little hard to explain, but if you are like us, you will be surprised by how different things are once you pay off all of your debts, including your house. These differences are NOT just in how you perceive things, either.

 

Here are some examples of what has gone on here:

 

1) We have replaced our roof, built an attached garage and have finished 900 square feet of basement space. We LIVE in our basement (always have) and these improvements were planned since we bought the house, but we decided to wait until we could do this with cash. Making larger purchases is easier for us now since we are not spending money which we do not have.

2) We have built up our retirement savings from zero to a quite decent sum. Our banker has been quite surprised at how quickly we are able to save money.

3) We had to replace nearly every banking arrangement we previously had. Why? Because most banks are set up to accommodate people with debt. We had to find and move to banks set up for people who had savings and investments.

4) We are bankrolling our son's college education from income.

 

Here are some things which have NOT happened here:

 

5) We have NOT bought any new cars. (We did buy our son a beater this year for $1500.00 total outlay. We gave it to him and he now owns it along with ALL expenses associated with it.) Our cars are 8, 8 and 12 years old and they still work, so we are still using them. I do *nearly* all the repairs, so we have spent about two thousand dollars on tools to maintain them.

6) We do NOT eat out more than we used to. In fact, we probably spend less on eating out than we did before we got into debt.

7) We do NOT go on extravagant vacations. We did splurge on a houseboat this year, but that $2500.00 for nine people was not in our character. We are going camping for a couple of hundred dollars next week...

8) We have NOT stopped gardening. In fact, we are steadily increasing our garden and we therefore purchase less and less food from the stores.

9) We have NOT added pay TV service and have even cancelled our home telephone line. (That said, our cellular bills are much higher now with children going off to school.)

10) We have NOT stopped purchasing clothes from thrift stores. Most of our clothes are purchased this way, though we do sometimes buy new things.

11) We do NOT worry about money like we did when we had debt. Yes, we still need income and yes, we still need to save money, but the important thing is that we are now capable of weathering an increasingly-large financial storm, so there is some comfort in that.

 

Again, I wish you the best in achieving your financial goals.

 

A combined thank you to all of you posters! Reg, our lifestyle is similar to yours. We have older cars and my husband does ALOT of the work. We bought a lawnmower second hand and my dh buys parts to fix things up rather than buy new.

 

I appreciate all the responses and detail. :001_smile:

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Obviously the money is going somewhere. I think the two of you need to sit down and write out exactly where the money is going. For ongoing monthly things, I'd keep a running tally for a month or two (or three) to get an average of how much your spending, on average, for stuff each month. You might be surprised at what you find....

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You said in your original post that one of the families has an income of 90K a year. Coming from someone who usually has a combined family income of roughly 50K/yr., that would make a big difference in how much you could pay on your mortgage each month!

 

Hubby lost his job of 14 yrs. in January. He is now employed again, however we've really learned to tighten our belts since January. Actually, hubby had been laid off last summer for two weeks and that was a real wake-up call for us. We had no debt except for our mortgage and car lease, but nonetheless we were really worried how we were going to pay all the bills because at the time we didn't know it would only be a two-week layoff. We had no idea if it would be weeks or months dh would be laid off. When dh went back to work I started putting away money by cutting spending in many areas, including on clothes and books which are my major spending weaknesses and I also:

 

-cut back my cell plan to $15 month (now it's been cancelled and I just use a pay as you go plan since we only use about $5 of talktime per month anyway)

-cancelled satellite

-stopped eating out as much (used to be once a week and it went down to once every month or two and it was roughly a $20 meal at McDs)

-made more frugal meals (soup night once a week, pancakes or bacon and eggs once a week for supper, more careful about timing meals so we could eat leftovers at least once or twice a week)

 

When dh lost his job in Jan. we had some savings so we weren't freaking out as much about how we would pay the mortgage for the next couple months. In April our car lease was up so we used our savings to buy a good used car and that freed up $350/mth. and that has made a huge difference in our financial situation I'm sure.

 

Dh was on employment insurance (55% of previous income) until the end of July and we've been able to stay debt free. This month we will barely scrape by, but now that dh is working again I hope to build up at least a small emergency fund again since we used ours to buy our car in April. That would be a HUGE tip I would give to anyone to save money - buy a reliable used car! Also, go down to one vehicle if you can, unless both your vehicles are paid for and your insurance is really cheap, but even then you'll find you make less silly trips when you only have one vehicle because you maximize your time and travel and as a result you save $$ on gas. We only have one vehicle but we make it work and I still hope to be mortgage-free in ten years. Dh's new job will involve relocating in a year, so I'm hoping wherever we move I'll be able to find a nice house in the same price range as our current house ($150-160K) and still pay off a mortgage in 10 years. That's still quite a ways away, but I'm only 33 so being mortgage-free at 43 yrs. old still sounds good to me :)

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If you get rid of trash service, what do you do with the trash?

 

For a family of 4, we use about 3/4 to 1 can of trash a week.

DH has a dumpster at the office, so he throws it into the pick-up a couple of times a week. He also can get online from the office once or twice per day and arrange our netflix and gamefly accounts (that would be the next question, lol)
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DH has a dumpster at the office, so he throws it into the pick-up a couple of times a week. He also can get online from the office once or twice per day and arrange our netflix and gamefly accounts (that would be the next question, lol)

 

 

Oh. Ok. I'm guessing the dumpster is something he owns or already pays for? 'Cause don't most dumpsters have signs on them saying something to the effect that only people with permission can dump into them? Like if it's a dumpster in an apartment building, only the renters can dump there. People who live down the road can't. Or if it's at a place of business, only the business can dump their business related trash there.

 

I was hoping I could get rid of trash service in some magical way.

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Oh. Ok. I'm guessing the dumpster is something he owns or already pays for? 'Cause don't most dumpsters have signs on them saying something to the effect that only people with permission can dump into them? Like if it's a dumpster in an apartment building, only the renters can dump there. People who live down the road can't. Or if it's at a place of business, only the business can dump their business related trash there.

 

I was hoping I could get rid of trash service in some magical way.

It is a family business (as in named after us), not magic. lol

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We bought our house before the boom, and bought a lower-priced one than we could have afforded, and in a working class neighborhood. I didn't listen to people who encouraged us to buy something more expensive.

 

We paid it off in 4 years, and then started fixing it up.

 

Right now we are living in an apartment complex in India with neighbors who are wealthy, and I tell myself all the time that whatever they say, whatever they do, that is fine for them, but we are not wealthy people and we just cannot live their lifestyle. I try to really stay in touch with the reality and limits of my middle class income.

 

As other posters have said, try not to compare yourself with others, but just try to improve your own situation.:)

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