Victory is sweet.
Well, after almost three long years, and lots of dedication, the moment has come. We sent the last payment in to Chase bank and we are now completely debt free. It is such an amazing feeling. Honestly I don’t think it has completely hit me quite yet. As I write this it is March 1st, 2016 and today would normally be the day another mortgage payment would need to be made. Now, the next time we get paid, much less of that money will be going toward the usual expenses – it’ll just be a pile of good old cash.
Our total time to payoff the mortgage was 995 days. Honestly I did not think we were going to make the 1000 day mark. A bonus came through at the perfect time and we also pulled a little money from savings to make that one final payment (hence the 100%+ percent of take home pay in the graph below). Check out the final graphs below:
The moral of the story? Long, consistent positive actions eventually lead to awesome results. Looking at that graph above makes me happy but it also makes me sigh and shake my head – it felt like forever! I know it was only a little less than three years, but it felt like we were constantly shoving money at this thing and that it would never end.
I think around the halfway mark was when things started to click that we were actually doing something meaningful. The mortgage balance was down considerably, and we were starting to see real progress. At the beginning of this year, the light was at then end of the tunnel. Thankfully, throughout the entire month of February the stars aligned and we were able to combine: a bonus from my job + some extra cash in our accounts + radically reducing our spending temporarily, in order to make one big final payment.
Wow, this feels great, I guess I don’t know what else to say. It’ll all probably hit Mrs. Mase and I later this month. As for now, we’re going to go to bed in peace – finally a debt free household 🙂
Although I haven’t mentioned it in a while, we’ve been faithfully attacking our mortgage debt, little by little, every month. Quite frankly it hasn’t been that exciting. It really just feels like we pay one huge bill every month and then do it again and again. This, my friend, is the unglamorous side of building wealth. You take small, consistent actions every day, and eventually you wake up and find yourself in a position where you’ve actually done something big.
We’re almost at that point. I can feel it. Our mortgage just crossed the $30,000 threshold as of a few days ago. Thanks to the ability to make some unusually large payments this month, we’re quickly approaching the $20,000 threshold as well. Here’s the data, from when we moved into our place in July 2013 all the way up to now:
Looking at that last data point kind of boggles my mind. We actually put 70% of our take home pay in June exclusively toward mortgage payments. Due to the circumstances of our income this month, this was a one time thing, but we’re very thankful we were able to pay that much this month.
As of this writing we’re only $26,196.49 away from complete debt freedom. That feels good. It’s less than a lot of people’s student loans. It’s pretty much equal to a year of sending your kid to a state university. It’s less than a brand new 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid.
We’re almost there. The end is near. It’s moments like this when I start to get anxious, because the goal has almost been achieved. Almost there!
Some more exciting progress on the debt-payoff front! We’ve successfully gotten 50% of our mortgage paid off! Woohoo! This is a big milestone for us. Since the last update in September, we’ve consistently put money toward the principal pay down of our condo.
It’s crazy to think that we bought the place in May of last year. Here we are at the end of 2014 and we’re that much closer to achieving our goal of having a completely paid for home. I stood in the middle of our unit, put my arm up as a dividing line and joked with Mrs. Mase that, “this half is completely ours, the other half still belongs to the bank, but not for long!”
Here are some visuals to show our progress. Nothing terribly exciting as far as the data goes – just unwavering consistency in paying the loan off as quickly as possible. Notice that the month isn’t quite over yet, so the percentage of take home pay looks a little lower than for previous months.
Hopefully we can put a little more income toward the principal before the year ends, but that might not be a possibility considering the inevitable travel, entertainment, giving, etc. expenses that have come around this time of year. The good news is we’ve budgeted for everything, and hopefully that doesn’t impact our principal pay-off too much.