Even with the Hubby and me separated earlier this year, my main financial goal of paying down the mortgage has remained unchanged.
Before the separation, we pretty much lived off of one income, while the other income was applied to the mortgage, paying off the principal as quickly as possible. With that strategy, we were able to have a $115K balance from fall 2004 become $40K before the refinance in spring 2010.
The new mortgage had a much lower rate (nearly 2 percentage points lower from the FHA loan that got us our house), and a much lower monthly payment (from $1000 to $600). So having the mortgage refinanced before the separation was an immense help in having a monthly payment that I could pay by myself.
Unfortunately, the added points and whatnot for the refinance fees bumped up the new balance to $45K.
But by applying extra cash I had on hand, as well as paying ahead several months’ worth of payments, I whittled down the balance. It felt painfully slow to me, who was used to applying a couple of thousands of dollars to the principal with each monthly payment over the years, but I adjusted to my new financial normal. And, happily, with the payment that just cleared today, I can look at the new balance and go: HOOYAH!
I know — it’s only a few bucks shy of $40K. But seeing that “3” there makes the “9,965” oh-so-within reach.