Last time I left you hanging in suspense wondering just how I was going to come up with some extra cash to get our house paid off. Here is the rest of the story.
As I mentioned in my last post, our new loan payment of $2,000 a month was great, but it would still land us short of reaching my goal of paying off the house in 30 months. In fact it was about $1,500 per month short of what we needed to pull this off. You can imagine my wife’s response. Luckily, I came prepared. “It would be simple” I said. Every year we get some extra money from the following sources: (Roughly)
~ $2,000 tax return in March
~ $3,000 work bonus in April (if Melissa was lucky, teachers don’t get bonuses)
~ $2,000 in summer jobs (I was a teacher)
~ $2,000 from two triple pay months for me (I was paid 26 times a year, but budgeted for 24)
The problem was that’s all I could come up with. $9,000 a year – leaving us another $9,000 a year short. Luckily, instead of quitting because the numbers didn’t quite work out we went for it. The funny thing about a big goal like this was it became our central financial focus. We would worry about everything else later. Now was all about the house. Low and behold we somehow managed to pay an extra $2,000 a month on top of our $2,000 mortgage payment for two years straight (yes you are reading that correctly – we paid $4,000 per month total). I still don’t totally know how we did it, but I do know that we did.* April 1st, 2016 will forever be our debt freedom day (next goal – financial freedom day).
I wish I could tell you this was easy. But I can’t. In fact it was very hard to take a couple thousand dollars and not spend any of it. Especially over and over and over. I certainly couldn’t buy anymore new bikes during this time frame. However, in the end I can tell you it was more than worth it. Without any debt we are now free to live as we wish. I certainly couldn’t have Retired2Ride if we still had a mortgage. I don’t have a shortcut for you to miraculously be debt free. What I can tell you is that patience, perseverance, and determination go a long way towards setting you on your way to financial freedom.**
Enjoy the ride,
*In all transparency there was one final factor I forgot about. During this time frame Melissa switched her position at work and got a nice raise. Luckily she was willing to put her entire raise towards the mortgage which isn’t as easy to do as I make it sound.
** You could also read this as – stop whining about your money problems and instead set a goal and stick to it.