Paying Off the Mortgage: Failure or Success in September?


Well we are getting down to the wire now. September is finished and there are only three months left to make this mortgage disappear within 2014! At the beginning of the year, I was indebted to the bank to the tune of $54,500 because of my mediocre home (according to society’s standards anyway – I think that it’s quite lovely) in West Michigan.

It wasn’t really a New Year’s resolution, but it just so happened that I had the thought of becoming completely debt free toward the end of December last year. And, after crunching a few numbers, I figured that it might be possible to pay off the remainder of my mortgage within just one year! And so, this crazy journey of paying off the mortgage began. Here is what I have been able to accomplish so far:

  • January – $54,217
  • February – $53,871
  • March – $43,524
  • April – $39,999
  • May – $34,120
  • June – $31,252
  • July – $27,934
  • August – $26,656

In the first 8 months of the year, I was able to pay down my mortgage by $27,844. This has been an amazing feet so far, but unfortunately I am lagging behind in my goal to make the entire $54,500 payment within 2014 (take a look at the chart below). As you can see, everything was going swimmingly until July and August. In these months, I did not earn the amount of income that I was previously used to in the earlier months, plus my tax payment came due on my house. Due to these setbacks, I knew that I had to come back with a strong September.

August Payoff Graph 20140831

The Story in September

September was actually an excellent month. In order to keep this mortgage payoff a possibility, I figured that I needed to put about $2,800 toward the mortgage. Due to a very frugal month, I was actually able to save up $3,000, which would have exceeded my monthly goal, except… I found a steal of a deal on a 2001 GMC Sierra truck (click the link if you want to read about how this all came about). So, instead of putting $3,000 toward my mortgage in September, I instead opted to spend $4,000 on the truck for a potentially greater payment in October or November (whenever the truck sells that is).

This Makes For a Potentially Amazing October

Before this whole truck purchase came about, I was already planning on having quite an excellent payout in October. For you see, October just so happens to be a triple paycheck month for me (when getting paid every two weeks, it happens occasionally that we actually get paid three times within one month). My planned mortgage contribution was $4,000. But, if I happen to also sell the truck in October (hopefully for at least $6,000), then I might just be making a $9,000 contribution to the mortgage (for all you math whizzes out there, try to keep your head from spinning for a moment – I will probably have $1,000 in expenses on the truck, which brings my total down to $9k instead of $10k)! 🙂

So at the end of October, my mortgage total could potentially be down to $17,656. Then, with two months to go, this total will likely drop to around $12,000. And, since I have $15,000 just chilling in my bank account, my mortgage will be as good as slain!

Hopefully, the truck flip will be a success and will aid in the completion of this mortgage payoff in 2014!

I’m starting to feel like I’m going to make it! Keep your fingers crossed for the truck flip!

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My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


    • Thanks dojo! I sure hope there is good news in about a month or so! There’s always a risk in a flip, but everything is going decent so far. 🙂

    • It sure will, especially when I buy my first rental property with cash in 2015! 🙂

      • Have you chosen a market? With property prices so low in some parts of the States, I’m almost tempted to try investing in rentals myself.
        Myles Money recently posted..Happy Birthday To Me!

        • I think I have decided to target single family housing for young couples/families. It won’t yield the highest profits, but it seems like it would be the most hands-free when it comes to maintenance and turnover.

  1. Thanks for posting your progress. It has inspired me to take a fresh look at tackling our mortgage. We’ve been toying with the idea for awhile and you’ve motivated us to take a more serious look at the possibility as well as other investment opportunities that would become available as a result. Keep up the great work!
    Kate recently posted..QuickBooks Online Support

    • That’s awesome Kate! I absolutely love comments like this! If you ever need some further motivation, let me know. 🙂

    • I hope so! Thanks for the comment!

  2. Derek,
    You ARE going to do this! You absolutely are! Good for you, Bud! Good for YOU!

    • I sure hope so! It does look pretty promising right now, but still seems fairly daunting considering that my mortgage balance is still over $26,000! Once I fix up the truck and sell it I will feel a TON better. Can’t wait! 🙂

  3. Excellent progress Derek.

    This is mightily impressive. Both being completely debt free, and paying down over $50k in a year are both exceptional achievements.

    I’m looking forward to hearing more about the truck and whether you get there.

    PS – if you achieve this, that is going to be one hella sexy graph!
    moneystepper recently posted..Tips to Avoid Burnout And Keeping Your Brain Sharp

    • Thanks for the comments and encouragement Moneystepper! Yeah, if I hit this goal it would be one of my most incredible accomplishment to date! And I can’t wait to write all about it!

    • It is certainly exciting! And now you are pumping ME up! Lol. Financial freedom does feel like it isn’t all that far away. 🙂

  4. This is awesome news! I am so keeping my fingers crossed for you 🙂

    • Thanks Richard! I appreciate the finger crossings! 🙂 Can’t wait to update everyone at the end of October. 🙂

  5. Derek,
    I am sooooooooooooooo hoping & wishing & praying this all works out for you – sooner, rather than later. Go! YOU can do it, I know it and I can’t wait to hear all about it.

    • Thanks Jim. Me too! Only a couple more months and we’ll find out! 🙂

  6. Paying it off is easily obtainable and while a good goal you definitely shouldn’t pass up opportunities that present along the way. Good to be in a position to take advantage of whatever comes along in life. Great plan and execution. thanks for sharing.
    Lance recently posted..Best Online Finance Articles This Week Oct 4 2014

    • Thanks for the encouragement Lance! It is good to have some cash to take advantage of opportunities that pass my way. 🙂

  7. That is really impressive – $54,500 in a year is no small feat! And I love that you’ve already got your 2015 plan in place – I think being able to walk in and buy a rental property with cash makes you a certified baller.
    Autumn @ The Barefoot Budgeter recently posted..The Many Benefits to Buying in Bulk

    • Haha, I’ve never been a baller before! I like it! 🙂

    • Thanks Don! Hopefully the sale of the truck earns me some good money that I can put toward the mortgage. Stay tuned for the rest of the story!

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