Paying Off The Mortgage: August Progress Update

Ahhh!! The end of the year is coming so fast! This is the last day of August, which means that there are only four more months for me to complete my year-long challenge of paying off the mortgage! While this is a little freaky, I feel like I have done a pretty great job thus far. Here is the summary of what I have done from January through July:

January – $54,217 February – $53,871 March – $43,524 April – $39,999 May – $34,120 June – $31,252 July – $27,934

The Month of August

I knew that August wasn’t going to be an amazing month since I had to pay my $1,860 property tax bill, but I still made a valiant effort nonetheless. Within the month, I was scouring Craigslist for cheap cars, trying to find one that I could buy and then flip in order to make $1,000 or . . . → Read More: Paying Off The Mortgage: August Progress Update

Is The Next Housing Market Crash Coming?

Have you been paying attention to the housing market lately? Ever since the value of homes began rising in late 2011, they just haven’t slowed down! In the past few months, I have seen only a hand-full of for sale signs out in the front yard, and they certainly don’t last long. Many of these houses are being sold in 15 days, 11 days, and others in just 2 days! The housing market has certainly picked up steam, and the rising housing prices are an obvious indicator of this.

To be completely transparent, this is awesome news for me as I just so happened to purchase my first home in August, 2011. I mean, take a look at Zillow’s estimate of my home value after I made the purchase (that dollar sign is my purchase, and the solid blue line is my house value).

This chart always . . . → Read More: Is The Next Housing Market Crash Coming?

To Pay the Mortgage or Paint the House?

financial documents

I think it was two years ago already that my neighbor walked up to me, introduced herself, and then quickly asked, “So when do you think you’ll paint the house?” I was obviously a taken off-guard a bit, and eventually responded with, “Probably soon.”

I still haven’t painted the house…

My neighbor is probably sitting in her chair right now, stewing at the fact that I have not yet improved my home with a little bit of paint, but I have a dilemma on my hands! If I hire someone to paint my house for $3,500 (I got a quote last year), then I will certainly not hit my goal of paying off the home mortgage this year. And, as you all have probably gathered by now, I am slightly goal oriented (note the sarcasm) and always have a strong drive to succeed.

Thoughts of Painting the House . . . → Read More: To Pay the Mortgage or Paint the House?

Paying Off The Mortgage Update: July 2014

My goal starting in January (just 7 months ago) was to pay off my entire $54,500 mortgage by the end of the year. Yeah, it was a pretty lofty at the time, but I figured that if I pushed myself hard enough, I could accomplish this goal. Well…with a website downgrade from the Big G, the money hasn’t been flowing in quite like it used to, but you know I’m not going to let that stop me! The mountain has seemingly grown a little taller (which really sucks because I was already halfway up…), but I am still continuing my climb. This is a summary of my progress thus far:

January – $54,217 February – $53,871 March – $43,524 April – $39,999 May – $34,120 June – $31,252

Through June, I had paid off over 56% of my total mortgage (which was $70,875 back in August, 2011). That . . . → Read More: Paying Off The Mortgage Update: July 2014

Paying Off The Mortgage Update: May 2014

So how much money was I able to scrounge up for my mortgage payment in May? Well, if you remember, I did get paid 3 times in the month (which is the beauty of bi-weekly pay – you get an extra check two months out of the year) and I was reimbursed for my classes from the Winter semester. Yup, May had the makings of one huge payout.

When I began this mortgage payoff journey in February (just 3 months ago), my mortgage balance was at $53,800. My goal was (and still is) to get this balance down to zero by the end of December, 2014. In March, I was able to put $10,000 toward the mortgage. And, in April I scrounged up another $3,524.08. After just two months, my mortgage was down to $39,999.99!

The Mortgage Payment in May

I honestly wish May had been a little . . . → Read More: Paying Off The Mortgage Update: May 2014

How Quickly Could You Retire If You Had No Debt?

Our culture today is all about making a large income and buying a bunch of stuff on credit to “enjoy life to the fullest”, but in my experience, this often leads to discontentment, stress, and a constant want for more. One would think that the higher income earners would have a ton of money socked away in the bank, ready to retire at any time, but this isn’t how it typically works is it?

If one’s salary is $50,000 a year, they might finance a brand new Chevy Malibu. If their salary bumps up to $100,000 a year, they finance a mid-level Mercedes. If they are earning $200k+, they suddenly find themselves in an $80,000 Infiniti SUV and an executive home on the lake! As the pay grade increases, so does the lifestyle. As for that savings account, it might be a little beefier, but nothing like it could be.

. . . → Read More: How Quickly Could You Retire If You Had No Debt?

Google Slap May Cost Me My Goals

Habits of the rich that you need to start now

Google chopped my legs off last week, metaphorically speaking of course, but it was still quite painful. Because Google believes that I have some unnatural links on my website, they have downgraded my Page Rank from a PR3 all they way down to a zero. Due to this downgrade, my site will no longer rank as highly when someone performs a Google search, which means fewer visitors, which then means less money will come my way. And now, my goals of paying off my mortgage may be at risk.

A Reduction in Income

Ever since 2011, my website has comfortably earned between $800-$1,500 a month, and it was pretty steady. Now that I have been Google slapped, I expect that my earnings per month will fall to half of the average – somewhere between $400 and $800 a month, which means I can expect about $600 less each . . . → Read More: Google Slap May Cost Me My Goals

The Debate Between the 15-Year Mortgage and the 30-Year Mortgage

Have you ever been faced with the dilemma between buying a house with a 30-year mortgage or a 15-year mortgage? For many people, the 30 year mortgage is just a given and they don’t think twice about it. The payout per month is lower, so by going the 30 year route they can afford to buy a bigger house with their limited cash. This makes sense to most people since their goal is to buy the nicest house possible on their limited salaries.

But then there is the another (smaller) group of people that step back for a moment and realize that the interest rate on the 15 year loan is always less than the 30 year loan, so there are some obvious savings to be had by making slightly bigger payments with the 15 year loan.

The “Smart” Guy That Tells You To Go For The 30 . . . → Read More: The Debate Between the 15-Year Mortgage and the 30-Year Mortgage

Paying Off The Mortgage Update: April 2014

I have vowed to pay off my mortgage by the end of this year, 2014. At the end of February, I still owed $53,800 to the bank, but then March happened (which was a good thing!) and I was able to take this balance down tremendously. I sold my extra car, received a hefty tax refund check, and got some money from my insurance company. After March, I was able to put over $10,000 toward the house debt and brought the balance down to $43,524.

Paying Off The Mortgage: A Decent April

There were no more money windfalls like there were in March, but it was a pretty good month considering. If you remember, I had a big tax refund from last year (which I don’t necessarily like because that means I’ve been letting the government use my money for free), so I thought I would alter my . . . → Read More: Paying Off The Mortgage Update: April 2014

Paying Off The Mortgage Update: March 2014

I have vowed to pay off my mortgage by the end of this year, 2014. At the end of February, I still owed $53,800 to the bank, which is a huge amount (to pay off in a year anyway), but I still think it’s possible.

Paying Off The Mortgage: Money Windfall in March

I expected March to be good to me, but not this good. If you remember my post, “Paying Down the Mortgage: My Successes and Failures,” you probably recall that I expected to receive about $3,000 back in taxes, get about $3,000 in insurance money, and I expected to sell my Malibu that I was flipping for $6,500.

Well, I got a little soft-hearted and sold the Malibu for only $6,000 (but still made a $650 profit), and my insurance check was as expected for approximately $2,850, but the tax return left me a little speechless. . . . → Read More: Paying Off The Mortgage Update: March 2014