While concentrating so much on my health I have kind of put other things on the side burner. One of those things is journey of becoming 100% debt free. Although I haven’t written much about this subject it appears that I am making great strides as I am continuously controlling my spending habits and paying down the last debt we have. That being the mortgage.
On January 1st of this year we owed a balance of 159,847.20. Just passing the six month point we are now down to 146,578.14. This means between the principle payment which is built into each monthly payment plus an additional principle payment we were able to reduce our debt by 13,269.06. These extra payments ended up looking like this:
January – $1,000.00
February – $1,000.00
March – $1,500.00
April – $1,500.00
May – $1,500.00
June – $2,000.00
As the year progressed these additional monthly payment have gone up and I anticipate the second half of the year to be slightly better each month. With our vehicles and all credit cards paid off we have the freedom of hitting this mortgage hard each month.
We have established an emergency fund of 26,000.00, and keep an average balance in checking account of around 20,000.00.
With this crazy housing market going on the the Portland area we have also managed to increase the value of our home from $199,000.00 which we purchased almost 3 years ago to $265,000.00 according to Zillow.
We have also been able to put together $132,000.00 in investments that are mainly attached to IRA’s and 401k’s. These investments drive me crazy as they go up and down each day. Currently we are contributing 20% towards them.
Financially things are looking pretty good but I still will not feel that true feeling of freedom until the mortgage is paid off completely.
It is only through a combination of Simple Living, Minimalism and Hard Work that we are able to make such great strides toward financial freedom. Although we still have years to go before reaching this goal I can already feel the security of knowing that retirement is going to be OK.
I can’t tell you that we have in any means been perfect in our spending habits. There are probably many area’s where we could cut back even more, but of the purchases we did make we made them with long term thoughts in mind. In other words we purchases quality items that we actually need and will use that will last a long time. We spend a little more on higher quality food also with the thoughts of long term health benefits versus low quality, cheap food.
The one area I believe we spend the most on is travel. With grandchildren all over the country and weddings and important birthdays we find ourselves dropping a few thousand dollars for each occasion. This year my daughter is getting married and I almost have the wedding paid off, so next year we should have a little less restraint on reducing our debt even more.
It wasn’t easy reaching this point as we have put in a lot of hard work over the last 7 years but it is finally starting to feel like we will reach our goal of being debt free.