Still Working the Debt Free Plan

financial-freedomWhile 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.

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 Still Working the Debt Free Plan

  1. gitfitsite says:

    That is just awesome! I can’t tell you the number of folks we know who are over 50 and still so short-sighted when it comes to their finances!

  2. geekkat says:

    Way to go!! It is amazing what can be done with a little effort and planning. We have found out as well and like have made great strides as well this year.

  3. kkeevins says:

    BRAVO!!!!! KUDOS!!! CONGRATULATIONS! That’s wonderful, Bill — proof that hard work and focusing on a goal really pays off. I’m green with envy. I’m downsizing, so I’m not bothering with my mortgage on this house, and the next one will be much smaller. But, I have paid down my other debts, including my car — yea! It feels wonderful to have some of those monkeys off my back. Try it folks — he’s right!!!
    –Kathy from:
    diaryofadedicateddiabetic.wordpress.com

  4. You’re doing awesome! 😀 We managed to get completely out of debt and get some savings. But then we finally bought a house almost 2 years ago, I had to move away from my piano students, got in a car accident when I was 8 months pregnant (on top of a miserable pregnancy), and the financial stuff just isn’t going well right now. Hoping to get on top of it soon!

  5. Pamela says:

    This is great. It looks like you are making great progress in getting the mortgage paid off. It must feel like a big relief with every amount you chip away at the mortgage. that’s pretty cool, way to go!

  6. Fantastic goal. We are hoping for mortage free living at some point – makes so much difference!!

  7. New Journey says:

    Good for you…..if people could just see the end results of sticking to a long term plan…..it really is a feeling of freedom to hold the deed of your house in your hands…..congrats my friend….on the road to freedom….k

  8. webbermd says:

    To achieve the last hurdle of becoming debt free, we had to sell our home on the Oregon Coast. This was a mixed decision. I knew I was doing the right thing to achieve living debt free. We now own 10 acres and an off grid home in N. Idaho debt free, but I loved my previous home and location. However, I don’t miss the house payment and the upkeep of a coastal home.

  9. I am happy for you. Talking about health, finances cause stress and so paying off debt is good for your health, big time. People tell me always to eat cheaper food instead of organic, but not one has produced me with the proper contract that they will cover my medical expenses down the line. Hmmm.

  10. Sounds like a plan in action. Keep up the good work. I know the feeling, I’m currently debt-free and my credit score is over 800

  11. pruninglife says:

    That is really fantastic! Great work! We too are working toward debt-free living. I look forward to updates.

  12. Bonsai says:

    Great job! We’ve been working the Ramsey plan for 6 years. We doubled our wealth while putting 4 kids though college. It was a bit of a God thing too as we increased our giving.

  13. handsforgood says:

    This is a very good article. My husband and I are currently in the process of being debt-free. This is motivation!

  14. aamiller6758 says:

    #goals You are doing great! I can’t wait to be debt-free. We have been doing the Dave Ramsey plan for three months. We have paid off almost 10K! We still have a long ways to go. We have about $134K in debt (we don’t own a home) Follow our journey and we always appreciate advice! https://youngandbroke2017.wordpress.com/

  15. TheRoadToUnemployment says:

    Great read! We believe strongly that the first step to freedom is being debt free, and it’s defiantly the least fun part of the process! Keep up the good work and you’ll be there before you know it!

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