Finances of a 50 Something

13-personal-financeAs I am working diligently to pay down my mortgage with all of the savings I have found through minimalism I am given several choices each month on how to do it.

I can take the whole amount and send it to the mortgage company as an extra payment each month, or put it in my savings account to earn a fragment of interest, or split the money between both.

With an expensive year ahead filled with an upcoming 90th Birthday party in Florida for Sharon’s father and my daughters wedding in New Jersey in November I have made the decision to try to keep a balance in checking that will supply enough money for both. This doesn’t mean that I am not sending an extra principal payment each month but it certainly is limiting the amount I would like to send.

I know that many people would love to be in this same position and I have to tell you that it wasn’t easy getting here. It took a lot of sacrifice and hard work through discipline to get the credit cards and vehicles paid off and of course a lot of time.

One of the first steps we took was reducing our housing costs by selling our home and moving 3000 miles away to an area that is less expensive. We cut 800.00 off of our mortgage payment by purchasing a home that is more affordable. With that we also cut our property tax bill by 700.00 per year. We drive less each day which accounts for an additional 300.00 per months in savings along with reducing our auto insurance by 120.00 per month.

I quit smoking and have discovered an additional 500.00 per month by getting rid of the habit, we pretty much don’t go out to eat and have figured that to be at least another 300.00 per month in savings. Even bringing a mug of coffee to work each day is saving about 35.00 per month. There are so many area’s we have visited over the years in our budget that have yielded us incredible saving and given us the resources we needed to pay off all accounts that were costing us interest.

For this year I have decided to send an extra principal payment of a set amount each month and allow the rest of our savings to sit in checking. Our savings account is enough to cover 6 months of living expenses in case there was an emergency and I see no need to add more.

Sorry if I am boring anyone with my finances but it was a bill paying morning and these thoughts are fresh on my mind. I know many are struggling right now but be rest assured that anyone who seeks to dedicate their lives to finding solutions to getting their finances in a better place can do it. For me right now I have the incredible desire to be completely debt free and there is nothing that will stop me in my pursuit. Sometimes life can get a bit rocky, and we all face challenges but by addressing those problems head on and making the decision to never lose faith in your own abilities you will find a way to get past them and move on.

Time is a funny thing. It seems that ten years is a long time from now, but ten just passed us as quickly as a jack rabbit being chased by a lion. What ever you wished you had done in the last ten years you can do in the next. Living a simple life isn’t so simple but in the long run it brings you to a happier place.
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Blood Sugar-101, Weight- 190.0
Weight coming down and another 30 minutes on the treadmill today.

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
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28 Responses to Finances of a 50 Something

  1. facetfully says:

    And every little success adds up. And every small success makes one realize they CAN do!

  2. Catherine says:

    I hear you! After my divorce, I literally was left in dire financial straits. I think my credit rating was in the negative numbers! I lost my home, never thought I would ever own another one. Luckily I met Bonaparte who taught me how to live within a budget and manage my finanances. Needless to say, 12 years later, the car sales man at the Toyota place told me he’s never seen a higher credit rating than mine. I was so happy. So, yeah it CAN be done! Nice post!!

  3. We followed many of the same steps you outlined, and this year, we paid off the mortgage. But let me warn you – Unlike in the days of our parents, no one sends you any actual “mortgage” with which to have a ceremonial “mortgage burning!” It was all handled electronically, and was rather anticlimactic! So you’ll need to do your own dancing in the streets when you finally get there!

  4. New Journey says:

    My husband would applaud you….I have told you before he has only paid a small amount of interest in his life to Sears (which was to earn credit) and of-course his mortgage…which he paid off in record time…him and his first wife never felt they went without…..they lived within their means at all times….never went hungry, always had a decent car to drive and lived in a beautiful home…to this day we have no debt, we are getting back to our budget and living within our means once again, this place is almost done….the large $$ needed to go for repairs are behind us I hope, it is a home after all and they seem to need constant repair…..so we are back on track….we projected March 1st to finalize the need to pinch into our savings….but I believe we have reached that goal 3 weeks sooner than expected…YAY……isn’t it a wonderful feeling to be self sufficient??? and as always love reading you post….
    kat

  5. hsampson says:

    Thanks Billy for this wonderful lesson. I need to try and see things this way!

  6. @fitone says:

    Very inspiring. And wow on how much you are saving from giving up cigarettes. Great post!

  7. call me cheap says:

    I was so relieved to get the “Monkey Mortgage” off my back in the 90’s. I have a young relative who is $90K in debt for college loans. she pays a huge amt each money to pay it back. She glibly tells her grandmother “it’s just like paying a house payment but I don’t have a house to show for it!” Her sister was caught embezzling $60k from her job last year & served 90 days in county jail. Luckily she hadn’t spent the $$ yet & gave it back. After she got out of the hoosegow she asked her parents to help her out– she & hubby had $30k outstanding in bills. You should give speeches in high school to help kids figure out simple finances!

  8. It seems that a mortgage is a pretty big part of your life and of course it is – owning a house is a huge deal. But I’m curious as to whether you ever considered renting instead, especially after selling your house or was renting never really a consideration?

    • I rented for a year before purchasing this home and I really missed certain things like having my own garden. Home ownership however is a big deal and huge responsibility and I have nothing against renting. It is a wonderful option and gives you the flexibility to pick up and move without the hassles of trying to sell a house. But for me it gives me a certain sense of peace and even while being a minimalist it is just as important to follow your heart.

      • That totally makes sense. I’ve done a lot of thought on renting vs buying, I definitely would love the freedom to replace the carpet with hard floors (to help with allergies) as well as remove the bathtubs and install showers (to make it easier to clean) but I think being free to spend money on other things (after rent is paid) is kind of the nice thing about renting.

      • My daughter lives in New Jersey and made the decision to buy a home over renting because renting was too expensive. A two bedroom apartment there will cost close to 2600.00 per month. Here in the Portland Oregon area you can still find one for under 2000.00 per month.

  9. Living In Denim says:

    This is a lesson so many of the younger generations need to see to teach them there is another way to live that doesn’t require living paycheck to paycheck. I still think back to when cable television arrived in my home town. The idea of paying for something I’d always had for free didn’t sit right. Today, the youth are so accustomed to paying for things they don’t even question the necessity of those purchases.

    • The funny thing is that TV is still free. I have a HD Antenna that is hooked up the TV in my gym and get over 40 channels. I get a kick out the long lines I always see at Starbucks. I have to admit that sometimes I will treat myself. But it’s usually the same people everyday purchasing $5.00 cups of over 1000 calories.

  10. suzewannabe says:

    Wonderful! Congrats!
    Keep with it!

  11. I prefer eating and cappuccinos at home to begin with. First for ease and lack of time and then the fact that our food has been hijacked full of toxins and GMOs, third all those places are now full of wifi and I get very sick going to them on a lucky day or otherwise I get a min stroke. It does seem overwhelming after cutting out the extras to get the bills down. For me it’s just a matter of keeping my mind busy and away from things I wish I could buy. Keeping busy w/ the LONG bucket list of things to do or stuff I want to watch and knowing, from past experience, if I hold to the goal I will get there. And then there is the motivation of high interest and if I stay at it hard and fast my score will increase and I can then consolidate for less interest, allowing for it to be payed off much faster.

  12. N J Ray says:

    I just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed reading your blog when I’ve had the opportunity. Money, exercise, waking up with joy: whatever you write about is engaging and well done. Thank you for allowing me a peek πŸ™‚

  13. Nothing boring about it, to another 50-something who’s working to get off the debt hamster wheel. I look forward to going through your posts and getting more inspiration as well as some new ideas!

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