So last week I wrote about how I had paid off our car and credit cards. It took out a good chunk of our cash flow, but it also got me thinking about larger financial goals. For example, I wrote about 4 years ago that I had wanted to be debt free by the time I was 45. Now what I meant by that is that I would be done with consumer and student loan debt (at least my portion by the time I was 45).
As time went along I admit I backed off of that goal. Part of that was because I tried to focus more on saving and investing rather than paying off debt. I was still paying off debt, but not as a rapid clip as before.
Well, if I receive (and that is still a big “if”) the public service loan forgiveness then I will be debt free (except our mortgage) by the time I am 45. What a great birthday present that would be.
So that got me thinking. I need another big financial goal. I already put out that I want to be part of the two comma club by the time I am 50. But that isn’t enough. I want something even more tangible because the former goal is dependent, in many respects, on the stock market. If the market performs like it has over the past decade then I should get there pretty easily, but if it doesn’t than I won’t hit that goal, no matter how much I save (I don’t make that much money).
So why not put out the goal to pay off the house. Why not? I mean what is the worse that can happen.
As of this writing I have $129,092 left on the mortgage. My birthday is in August when I will be 45. By that time the mortgage will be about $127k.
My mortgage payments are bi-weekly and I pay off about $13k in principal each year. In order for me to hit the goal I basically have to pay an extra $1000 a month toward the principal.
That, of course, is a lot of money.
Do I have an extra $1000 laying around in my budget?
NO, not necessarily, particularly when we are saving for other things.
So how will I do this?
I have no frickin clue. We do have a little slack in our budget, but five years is a long-time not to get a new car or take a vacation or cash flow other things. I am sure there are items we will have to pay for in the next five years and those items might be big. The good thing is that we have a newer roof on the house. Everything seems to be in working order. We don’t have big plans for any major remodels.
But you never know what might happen and it always seems to happen to us every year (e.g. our moldy bathroom).
Another wrench that could throw this plan off is that this isn’t our forever home. I don’t think there is such a thing, but I don’t necessarily like our house that much. If we are able to have a child soon (here’s to hoping) we might want to move to a better school district. That might mean our housing costs go up or down. I don’t know. It will depend on the house and what we decide to do.
So there are a lot of “what-ifs” in the air for this goal.
Nonetheless, I am putting it out there. I am going to pay off our mortgage by the time I am 50. I have five years to do it. I don’t know how I will do it, but I am darn tooting going to try.