I promised you that I would pay off my mortgage in 6 years.
Here’s what happened, and here’s what will change.
The day before our vacation this past December, we had to replace our refrigerator. The very next day after we got back home, my husband had four wisdom teeth extracted. To add salt to my financial wounds, I hadn’t accrued very much paid time-off at work following my recent job change, so my bi-weekly paycheck was missing 10 days of pay.
I was planning for the payroll shortfall, but I wasn’t planning for the new refrigerator or the oral surgery…so in just a few hours, we depleted almost our entire savings account. To add insult to injury, I just found out that we owe $750 in taxes this year. Yikes.
Although Math doesn’t change and 2 + 2 always equals 4, money changes every day. Prices go up and down, and our financial needs can change in a moment’s notice. If you’re running a successful financial plan, you understand that there are tweaks and small adjustments that have to be done every few weeks to keep your house well-oiled and moving smoothly. Recently, I posted HERE about a debt payoff mistake that I had been making, and I made a change to keep me successful.
I am very thankful that we had enough to cover these emergencies, but just like my savings account… I am left feeling “empty”. Yes, I am still in “sticker shock” over how much I just had to pay out, but I would do a disservice to myself if I didn’t take a minute to at least reevaluate how I save my money.
I asked myself an important question.
What is the bigger priority… paying off debt? Or saving money?
I took a week to think it over, looked at my budget, and considered a few options. Ultimately, I decided that my answer is “BOTH”. I want to pay off debt, and I want to save money.
I made a plan.
I visited the Debt Avalanche calculator to see how much I would askew my goals if I took 10% out for savings, and it made even less of an impact on my payoff schedule than I imagined. Here’s the math.
If I made just the minimum payments on my mortgage, I would pay it off in October of 2043 (26 years from now). Using the debt avalanche, I will have this thing paid off in December of 2023 (6 years, 11 months from now). I will also save nearly $70,000 in interest on my mortgage alone.
Start: January 1, 2017
End: December 1, 2023
Going forward, rather than saving $1,000 for emergencies, then dedicating every penny of our income to pay off debt, I have decided to re-balance my approach. I will be saving 10% of my income indefinitely, and use the remaining cash to pay off debt.
Plus, if I work hard and keep my side-hustle going, I could still knock off my credit card, furniture, student loans, AND my Acura loan by the end of this year.
Click HERE for Man Vs Cash’s post on why the Debt Avalanche
is the best thing since sliced bread for getting debt free.
Although this will take approximately $4,000 (over the course of 7 years) off of the table of that could go towards debt payments, this money will be working for me in a different way…
Peace of mind.
I will not have to question if there’s enough in my savings account to cover many emergencies or unexpected issues. I won’t have to consider breaking out a credit card or cutting back on spending, and I can write a check while automatically repaying my savings account… without even having to think about it!
My peace of mind is extremely important to me, and I am willing to pay off my house in 6 years and ten months (rather than 6 years and zero months) if it means being flush with cash.
Giving up 10 months of debt free life to enjoy 6 years of worry-free living seems like a fair trade for me right now.
In a few months, I will re-evaluate my plan and may even change my approach, but this is what will work to help me reach my goals.
Be sure to evaluate your own situation and what you need to do to reach your own goals.