Friday, April 24, 2009

One down and two to go!

Card number one is PAID OFF!!!!!! Yay! This is the only one that was charging interest at this point. It is such a great deal to pay the stupid thing off, but it will be even more of a big deal to KEEP it that way. The card WAS paid off last fall and just from those four or five months, it took another four months to get those charges taken care of. I really plan to accelerate my debt pay off now. I am caught up on contacts and glasses, and I have signed up to be a cook at the Bible Camp where my children go in the summers, another "big ticket" item that was coming up. So I should be able, Lord willing, to devote the majority of my paycheck to debt pay off in the forseeable future.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Brenna!

My oldest daughter, Brenna, is 18 years old today. Everyone should be blessed to have such a kind, caring, hardworking, and fun daughter. I am truly blessed and wish her all the best God has to offer for her in her adult life.

Seventeen Years!

Well, it looks like it will not be worth it to refinance at this time. But that's actually GOOD news, because our mortgage is in better shape than I realized. We took out our mortgage in 2004, $102,000 at a rate of 5.75% for 30 years. We put it on a bi-weekly payment schedule right away, which made sense because our paychecks are bi-weekly. We time the mortgage payment with my husband's paycheck, so we know the money will always be there. Just putting the mortgage on a biweekly schedule has our mortgage paying off about 5 years sooner, basically giving us a 25 year mortgage. But here is the good part. Some time back, I don't even know when, I added $30 to each mortgage payment. It was barely noticeable to us because our insurance payments went down at this time, so the payment is nearly the same as it had always been. According to the mortgage man, this small extra payment means our mortgage will pay off in 17 years! WOW. I had no idea we had made that much progress. This motivates me to put as much on that principle as I can in the next year, before I hope to cut back on working. You save more interest by paying extra principle earlier in the loan, when the interest payments are higher. So who says $30 doesn't buy much these days?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Some hopeful news today....

I have been watching the mortgage rates for awhile now, to see if it would get into the territory where it would be beneficial to refinance. We already have a good rate, 5.75% on our 30 year mortgage, and we have 24 years left to pay. To refinance to a 20 year mortgage and get about the same payment, our rate would have to hit around 4.62%. 30 and 15 year mortgages have been in that territory for awhile, but the 20 year rates have hovered above that.

So today I was discussing the options with a mortgage guy who wants our business. He said that for what we still owe, $89000, the rate would most likely NOT hit the target we were hoping for. So I mentioned, "Well, we DO have this little debt." When we roll the $10,000 credit card debt on there, we can hit that target rate! So, for a payment only $75 more per month than what we pay now, our credit card and part of our other debt goes away and we pay our mortgage off 4 years sooner. Then I can take the money I was going to pay on our debt for the next year and pay down the mortgage, so we can be paid off even sooner than 20 years. Any way I pencil it out, it comes out to a good deal to me!

Our mortgage man is putting together the numbers for us, and I have also contacted two other companies. But hopefully VERY soon, you will see that column to the right drop by at least $10,000!