Author Topic: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014  (Read 16130 times)

Xavier

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My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
« on: August 12, 2013, 06:01:57 PM »
Hi,

A large part of the reason I took the leap from one of the legion of MMM lurkers to a card-carrying active member was so that I could post my little goal, for the whole MMM community to see and thereby try to ensure that I kick my own ass into accomplishing it.  Life can throw curveballs, and my own assumptions or math could also be just dead wrong, so, errors and omissions excepted and all that jazz, but I'll know in my heart of hearts if I go off the path on this one and I have a feeling that the community as a whole will probably have a good sense of whether a change to the plan part way through is an intelligent re-calibration or wussing out.

Here's the dealyo: I currently owe $36, 827.30 on my mortgage.  This is after recently making a balloon payment of around $22k. (the max I could pay without penalty).  Suddenly my remaining amortization was down to 4 years, 6 months and I decided I should just go whole hog, bite the bullet a bit and try to wipe this PITA out.*

At least for now, I'm not going to do a detailed breakdown of my income and expenses.  I'm not looking for a helpful critique of this...yet.  This might be phase II.  For now, suffice it to say that things will be tight.  I should move into a new position next month which will give a bit of breathing room, but I haven't yet seen how much in terms of actual take home pay.

My plan is to add $700 to my present stash of $19450 (edit: every bi-weekly pay period).  In the meantime, my admittedly poor math should be dropping my outstanding mortgage balance by about $200 or so every two weeks.  If things go as planned**, sometime in June 2014 my mortgage-fund that I've been adding to should be greater than my outstanding balance and even with a prepayment fee I should be able to wipe the slate on this.  I factored into this schedule two times where I make the required mortgage payment, but not the $700 contribution to the mortgage fund.  I wanted to factor in some flex room to account for Christmas nonsense, winter electric bills (my heating is baseboard electric) and other things which I don't presently see, the 'unknown unknowns'.  When I reach these dates I may plow ahead and make the payments but at least for me, I like my plans to be able to accommodate the odd bump in the road both foreseeable and unexpected.  I understand that this will be frowned on by others, but hey, it's me that bears the consequences of my actions.

Every two weeks I'll try to check in and indicate how my plan is going and whether any re-calibration was necessary.  I think I can do it, but perhaps not.  I may need to lean out my expenditures more and/or reduce my savings contribution. 

Using my schedule, I figure it will take about 22 bi-weekly pay periods.  Here's my first entry:

Date: August 2, 2013
Pay periods to go: 22   
Mortgage balance: $36827
Savings balance: $19450   
Total balance left to close: $17377.30


*Yes, I'm aware that there's a strong argument that I'm a dumbass for deploying capital to wipe out a debt at 3.15% when I could be earning double that in a whole of market index fund.  Why then?  This is my own little personal challenge and sometimes it's not just numbers, there's a psychological element to it as well [cue John Lennon's 'Imagine' in the background].

**Things may definitely not go as planned.  Especially given that this plan was concocted by someone who might generously be described as mathematically impaired and who my grade 9 math teacher would probably be surprised to see gainfully employed at all.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2014, 11:07:15 AM by Xavier »

Another Reader

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Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 06:23:58 PM »
What is the prepayment penalty/fee and when does it expire?

Xavier

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Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2013, 06:53:48 PM »
What is the prepayment penalty/fee and when does it expire?

I can't answer that with any precision right now, I just don't have the exact information.
I would need to make a call to the bank to get an exact figure on what the prepayment penalty/fee is presently based on current interest rates and my present outstanding balance.  IIRC there is a bit of a calculation which involves a few elements including the amount outstanding, the size of the balloon payment and the spread between prime rate and the mortgage's rate...I think.  I didn't absorb it all beyond getting the basic idea that  I would be looking at 100's not 1000's in penalty fees at that time.  I think it was about $400 but it was very much napkin math on his part since I was just asking to get a sense of things.  Having shifted the numbers significantly since then via my last payment I imagine the penalty would be less still.

I exhausted this year's prepayment privilege entirely, so unless I'm mistaken, I'd need to wait a full calendar year to be entitled to make another penalty-free balloon payment.

All of this is a bit in the abstract for me right now since:
-I've already exhausted this year's penalty free payment
-I won't have enough scraped together to pay the whole thing off with or without penalty for many months

This is a piece of information which I will need to get a better sense of as the target date approaches.

Is the purpose behind the question the possibility that it might work out in my favour to make a few payments as I go along, even with the penalties?

Sorry for the lack of definite info.  You've highlighted some areas where more light/information will need to be shone to keep me off the rocks of dumb decisions.


Another Reader

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Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2013, 07:01:28 PM »
I just noticed you are in Canada.  The rules are different than in the US.

You should find out how much you can prepay without penalty and how often.  The information should be in the loan documents or the lender should be able to tell you.  I know you want to be rid of this monkey on your back, but in your shoes I would do it in a way that costs me little to nothing.

I assume you continue to make regular mortgage payments while you accumulate the money, correct?

icefr

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Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 08:32:42 PM »
Are you able to increase your regular payments? And/or set up a biweekly pay schedule? I've heard that you can switch to a biweekly pay schedule AND increase the payment by 20% without penalty on some Canadian mortgages.

Xavier

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Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2013, 08:07:28 PM »
I just noticed you are in Canada.  The rules are different than in the US.

You should find out how much you can prepay without penalty and how often.  The information should be in the loan documents or the lender should be able to tell you.  I know you want to be rid of this monkey on your back, but in your shoes I would do it in a way that costs me little to nothing.

I assume you continue to make regular mortgage payments while you accumulate the money, correct?

The Rules
For each of us, there will be a set of rules set out by our relevant regulatory systems.  I can't claim to know much about bank law (dodged that bullet in school), but a quick google confirmed that its looked after at the federal level here.  We have a, and I'll use the technical term here GINORMOUS Bank Act and a slew of regs under it which would presumably set out the base rules of the game.  Within bounds of what's legal though, I would hazard a guess that you'll see different banks even within Canada or the U.S. going about things in different ways.  I suppose competition between them would probably encourage a bit of uniformity but there's probably 1000's of different sets of mortgage terms here just in Canada depending on the institution and the type of mortgage.  This is a long-winded way of me saying that yeah, there'll likely be differences between our countries, but also lots of variation in the terms within each of our countries as well.

The Terms
Yeah, you're right.  I just put the issue aside because it was more of a distant than a near-term pressing issue.  I knew I'd maxed out this year's prepayment privilege and I don't have the coin to clear the balance off anytime soon, so I just mentally set this aside.

I've pulled out the docs and can offer a few tidbits.  From my handwritten notes from my conversation with the bank rep, it sounds like I would have been looking at around $468.00 penalty to clear off the balance in two years based on the balance just being chipped away at via regular payments.  I'm pretty sure that an element of the calculation was the spread between the mortgage interest rate and prime at that time, so I assume he just used prime as of that time.

I dug out my paperwork and the actual terms run about 5 pages.  Yikes.  There's no way I'm typing all that out, but here's some of the highlights of my terms on this:

-lump sum payment without a prepayment charge:
Can do more than one, but limited to 20% of the original principal, must be over $100, can't carry it forward and doesn't apply to a payment which pays the whole balance off entirely.

-lump sum with a prepayment charge:
Anything over the 20% is subject to prepayment charges.
At this point, this is where it starts getting complex. 
Here's one of the key sections:
'If you want to prepay more than 20% allowed in a mortgage year, a prepayment charge will apply.  This prepayment charge will be payable in addition to regular interest at the rate specified in your mortgage.  The prepayment charge will be the higher amount of the following two amounts:
- three months interest costs on the amount that is subject to a prepayment charge, calculated at your existing annual interest rate, plus any discount you received on your existing annual interest rate; or
- the interest rate differential amount which is explained below."

There's then literally pages of text and examples explaining the calculation of the 3mo. interest vs the interest rate differential amount depending on whether it's a partial prepayment or discharging the whole shebang.  The examples were a little shocking in the difference between the two calculations and being stuck with the higher one.  In the examples, paying off a 100k on a 2 year term with a 7% rate yielded 1749 and 4036.  So the person would be stuck with the 4036 fee.  Yikes.

There's also a page of non-interest charges and the 'discharge fee' for my province is $260.00.

My 3 mo interest calculation (the simpler one) had me paying $312 (plus presumably the 260 discharge fee).  I'm less confident of my calculations on the differential and this was the more expensive one in the examples, but if interest rates rise I think I'll escape this one based on the example.

I think this is about as much numbers as I can handle for the moment.  They sure made this nice and simple... :(  Did I mention I don't like math?

Tonight's take away:
- I have some serious homework to do come discharge time.
- I should give myself more cushion to deal with discharge costs than I originally anticipated.  This might add on another pay period or two from the existing cushion.

My head is full and dinner preparations beckon...

Xavier

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Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2013, 08:15:45 PM »
Are you able to increase your regular payments? And/or set up a biweekly pay schedule? I've heard that you can switch to a biweekly pay schedule AND increase the payment by 20% without penalty on some Canadian mortgages.

I'm already on a bi-weekly schedule.  I'm a bear for punishment.  So, while this won't help me out it might be a real useful trick for others to use as it looks like a far cheaper way to accelerate things for someone on a 'regular' 12 or 24 x a year plan.  For my bank, it's 'only' $75 to make a payment frequency change.  A pain, but so much less than some of the fees that could apply for making a payment above and beyond the 20% freebie.  This might really help some folks out.

This stuff has been eye opening.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 08:18:04 PM by Xavier »

tomsang

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Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2013, 08:30:07 PM »
If you have a 3% loan and you are going to get hit with a $500 penalty to pay it off early, then I would have say your challenge is Anti-Mustachian. I think you should consider a challenge of having the equivalent of your mortgage in a Vanguard account at the date you set vs. a paid off mortgage.

Xavier

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Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2013, 04:05:50 PM »
If you have a 3% loan and you are going to get hit with a $500 penalty to pay it off early, then I would have say your challenge is Anti-Mustachian. I think you should consider a challenge of having the equivalent of your mortgage in a Vanguard account at the date you set vs. a paid off mortgage.

I can't argue with that.

When I set out on this I knew there was an element of the irrational in it.  I will mull this over, because based on just the numbers and not the human element of my own personal goals, I think you're right.

Admitting that yeah, I think you're right on this, there's a few elements which make it a bit more palatable despite this:
-it's not a huge amount of money being tied up (about 20k now and about 33k at goal)
-it's not being tied up for a long period of time (less 1 year)
-it is earning some interest, albeit much less than the likely amount in a Vanguard account
-it's been temporarily insulated from basically any risk, aside from inflation erosion during the short time period that I hope/plan to accomplish this.  I could throw this into a Vanguard account and probably would do better over the next 10 months or so than letting it sit stale in a bank account, but the trade off is a risk that the market could tumble a bit and I'd be down from where I was 10 months earlier.  As my time horizon got longer I think I'd be more inclined to stick the money in an index.
-all of these points are predicated on my mega-assumption that I want to pay down the mortgage completely in 10 months, torpedoes be damned, I think your point was just to let the mortgage ride and put the extra in an index and come out ahead in the end.

Despite my above half-hearted defence, you've certainly given me something to mull over.  You've also reinforced for me the importance of setting up an index fund at Vanguard.  I skimmed through an article today or yesterday which mentioned a Mensa investing club which got absolutely 'schooled' compared to the market returns as a whole over I think it was 35 years.  If the literal geniuses can't beat the market, I sure as heck can't and will run with an index once I set up an investment account again.

I do appreciate your and everyone else's thoughts.

I'll have to wrestle with this one a bit in terms of whether or not to shift the goal.


Xavier

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Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2013, 04:26:20 PM »
Status Update:

Date: August 16, 2013
Pay periods to go: 21   
Mortgage balance: $36530
Savings balance: $20150   
Total balance left to close: $16380

Total movement towards goal thus far since start: $997

Comments:
-still to early to tell how tight of a squeeze this will be for me, I'll know by around 26th or 27th ahead of my next pay, how pinched I feel.
-things will also be in flux a bit for the next while because there'll be a bit of a bump in income starting in Sept.  So, even if it is a little pinched now, I will probably stick it out a bit till mid-Sept to get a sense of how tight the next year will be.
-if necessary next week, will pull back into my 'daily use' account some $ which gets automatically transferred into a sub-account for things like bigger purchases, utilities etc.
-there may not be any drastic cuts necessary if I just cut out the dumb-ass purchases I used to make of unreasonable expenses on hobbies, restaurants etc.  I think I may need to swear off eBay in terms of purchases and use it instead to clear out some unused stuff.
-I knew my math on the mortgage calculations for my plan were rough and this week's info from the bank confirmed that I was off by a bit, but in a good way.  I think this will continue to shift in my favour as the percentage of principal vs interest paid each payment shifts more and more towards principal.  I think.
-I'm going to create a visual graph for myself to keep on the wall and track my progress.  Childish?  Yes.  Motivating?  For me, yes.  I think this will be a bit of a psychological game so I'm going to try to game myself in a positive way.

Intend to post again here in two weeks on September 1st, 2013.

ender

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Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2013, 04:43:30 PM »
For the record, I completely understand where you are coming from with "there's a psychological element to it as well" causing you to be motived.

Go for it! :D

Xavier

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Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2013, 01:54:45 PM »
    Status Update:

    Date: September 1, 2013
    Pay periods to go: 20   
    Mortgage balance: $36234
    Savings balance: $20900   
    Total balance left to close: $15334

    Assuming I do this in 22 pay periods: 13.6% complete
    --------------

    Comments:

    -Thanks Enderland!  It's nice to have some encouragement.  I expect this thread will become a bit of a snoozer for all but me as I slowly plod onwards so I do appreciate the positive vibes.

    -I have decided to plow ahead with my original goal of paying off my mortgage by the end of June 2014.  Comments here raised some interesting points and gave me pause to reconsider, but Iíve decided to stick with my original goal.  Does this mean I think that these alternate points of view are Ďwrongí?  No.  Rather, as my very first post indicated, I have taken a deliberate individual decision on this particular path, recognizing that from a strictly mathematical perspective, a good argument can be made that itís a less efficient one: ďYes, I'm aware that there's a strong argument that I'm a dumbass for deploying capital to wipe out a debt at 3.15% when I could be earning double that in a whole of market index fund.  Why then?  This is my own little personal challenge and sometimes it's not just numbers, there's a psychological element to it as well [cue John Lennon's 'Imagine' in the background].Ē

    -Looks like there was a helluva debate on this exact issue already:
    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/throw-down-the-gauntlet/mortgage-payoff-club!!/
    I had some further thoughts on this debate, but I'll leave them in my backpocket for now. 

    -At present, Iím slowly working through the old MMM posts in two directions, from the oldest forwards and also the newest as they appear.  In doing so, Iíve run across a few posts which are roughly on point on the 'payin' down the mortgage' discussion:

         "And, of course, the best guaranteed no-volatility place to invest your money may be paying off existing debt. Your mortgage, your student loan, or if you still have superbad loans like car or credit card debt, you need to get on those, emergency style, before you consider saving for anything else."
    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/06/07/where-should-i-invest-my-short-term-stash/

         "Also, by wiping out your debt (including mortgage) early on, you are effectively investing in some guaranteed bonds: paying off a 5% mortgage guarantees you a 5% return forever*. With no mortgage or other loans, my familyís fixed costs are only a tiny fraction of what the typical indebted person needs to pull in. So there is lots of flexibility in when to sell off portions of the index fund for future living expenses. And the dividend checks keep coming every quarter, rain or shine."[/li][/list]
    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/26/why-hardcore-saving-is-much-more-powerful-than-masterful-investing/

         "So before treating yourself to a house, Iíd suggest you go about it the old-fashioned way: save up a 20% down payment, then make it a priority to pay the rest of the balance off much sooner than the 30-year period implied by modern mortgages.  The idea of having a house mortgage-free might shock some youngsters who have been conditioned by marketing to think that debt is normal, but seriously Ė give it a try. The challenge of thinking about saving larger amounts of money Ė a $50,000 downpayment on a house Ė is exactly the type of exercise you need as a new MMM reader. If I could do it as a 24-year-old bachelor fresh off the boat after arriving in America, you can too!"
    http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/05/11/the-elephant-in-the-room-housing/[/li][/list]


    -Iím firmly in the camp that places a high importance on both the human part of the equation, as well as the numbers.  This was important for me in setting this goal, and I can already see that the psychological part of this will be important if Iím to accomplish it.  I made a bar graph to chart my progress, but at this early point in the journey itís not particularly encouraging.  Even over just about a year, it appears to be a long, slow battle.  What does seem encouraging to me is to look at it in terms of how many Ďstepsí Iíve completed of the anticipated 22 pay-periods (or so) I may need to complete it.  Looking at it this way, Iíve already completed 13.6% of the journey.  This feels like progress to me.  So, a post-it note of % of the journey completed will be updated on my graph at home every two weeks.  I'll take stock near the end of the journey as 'I head into port' so to speak on whether or not additional time is necessary based on extra fees etc., but at that point, I don't think motivation will be an issue near the end. 

    -Iím feeling the pinch a bit.  After all my automatic transfers and payments get made I'm not left with a whole lot, but the satisfaction of moving forward on a financial 'project' is kind of cool.  Electricity and bus pass both got paid in the last few days and I also did a run out to Ikea for a few things.  Things will be tight for the next two weeks.  Looking forward to my new level at work taking effect and hopefully seeing that reflected in Septemberís first pay. 

    -My savings were topped up a bit more than planned by about $27 in interest and an extra addition by me of around $22 to bring my savings total to a round $20900.  It was only about $50, but over the next 10 months this could have a cumulatively significant effect.  I'll try to add in a top up to the interest each month to bring it up to the next round $50 or $100 figure.

    -Looking ahead, I anticipate dipping into my mortgage savings in late October to pay off business travel expenses on my credit card which Iíll later get reimbursed for.  So long as Iím disciplined this shouldn't derail me though it will temporarily put my numbers off.  Perhaps Iíll add on some detail to my bi-weekly stats which indicate where the numbers *should* be until they get put back in line.  Based on my time for reimbursement, this could leave me derailed till the end of November.  If thereís a near-term chance of me falling off the wagon, it will be here.
    « Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 02:03:39 PM by Xavier »

    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #12 on: September 15, 2013, 11:39:56 AM »
    Status Update:

    Date: September 15, 2013
    Pay periods to go: 19   
    Mortgage balance: $35936
    Savings balance: $21600   
    Total balance left to close: $14336

    Assuming I do this in 22 pay periods: ~18% of the 'steps' complete

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dear Diary....

    Comments:

    -Last week was not easy.  I coasted into my payday with under $10 in my regular 'spending money' account.  Granted, I have a number accounts where monies gets siphoned into, including my growing savings account so I wasn't ever in danger, but it was still a little tight.  A few 'extra' expenses really tipped me into the red zone: electricity bill, bus pass, and a completely not necessary but I did it anyway expense of a night on my dime in a hotel overseas for a coming trip.  Life is for living and I wanted to make use of some time in an interesting place with an extra day of free time.  The last few days there was some creative cooking going on at home and just that shitty poor feeling I've lived with for so many years of my life, despite the fact that I'm moving step by step in the direction of my goal.

    -I've started my new level of position.  In a perfect world, my last pay would have captured the time spent in the new position already.  It looks like it will be another two weeks before I see things click through, but I should get a small amount extra still for the amount I should have already been paid the last two weeks.

    -It's becoming clearer to me that while this challenge is a big deal to me, others here are managing to save greater portions of their take home pay without the need of keeping a public journal to hold them accountable and keep them on track.  As I said earlier, this thread may become a snoozer for many of the more advanced folks, but it's useful for me.

    -Not connected to my own discrete goal, but I do see a difference in perspectives already between many of the people  I chat with and my own views.  I bite my tongue when I listen to some of their decisions.
         -[Edited here to remove some unnecessary details that could bite me later].

    -Splurged on two pieces of winter wear this weekend.  I'll spend probably about an hour of time walking outside every day (to and from the bus) so this is an expense, and a discretionary one, but by my reckoning it will give me a little more flexibility in some of the options I have for bundling up in fall/winter.  This shouldn't tip the balance out of whack for me in terms of making it to next pay without touching my savings stash, but if so, I'll know who to blame...me.

    Onward Ho!
    « Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 07:27:01 PM by Xavier »

    KimPossible

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #13 on: September 15, 2013, 04:57:26 PM »
    Congratulations on your progress.  Don't worry about this becoming a "snoozer" for others--it's your journal and your goal!  Seeing what other Mustachians are doing is very inspirational.  Thanks for keeping the story going :)

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #14 on: September 28, 2013, 07:31:25 AM »
    I'll give you a little bump, I'm assuming you will have an update this weekend on your progress which has been impressive.

    We are targeting December 2014 as an early payoff date for our mortgage.  A total of 30 months from the first payment.  As a note, all of my dollar numbers include the rolled in property taxes and home insurance.  So total dollars paid will be greater than simply principal and interest.

    Our mortgage vitals
    Mortgage origination: June 2012
    Current balance: $36,763.24

    Our house was purchased for a grand total of $55,700, 5% down on a 30 year fixed at 4.125% (knowing what I know now I should have gotten the 15-fixed and really pushed for the 20% down).  I like to say that it has four walls, a roof, and isn't falling down, it was just a cheap house in a less popular but not too dangerous city neighborhood that was well maintained if not recently renovated.

    Our strategy has differed from yours mostly because we can make prepayment without any penalty. 

    For the first year of the mortgage we were paying my remaining student loans aggressively.  So our mortgage payment was $300/bi-weekly, while also setting $200/bi-weekly aside into a savings account and making a $2600 lump payment every six months in June and December.  The lump sum payment was done as a concession to my wife to keep some money liquid every so often as a just in case strategy, but so far we are two for two on making those payments.

    In June of this year, we had paid the balance down enough to drop the PMI, a savings of 41.45/month as well as making the final payment on my student loans.  So we activated phase 2.

    Currently we pay $1000/bi-weekly to the mortgage, while also setting $200/bi-weekly aside into a savings account for the bi-annual lump sum additions to the balance. 

    Here is what is remaining

    $1000 bi-weekly payments: 32
    $2600 bi-annual payments: 3

    ender

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #15 on: September 28, 2013, 09:09:09 PM »
    It's fun to see others so eager to pay off a mortgage.

    I know if/when I buy a house, if I have a mortgage, I'll be pretty eager to pay it off ASAP - nice to see others doing the same :)

    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #16 on: September 29, 2013, 11:35:22 AM »
    I'll give you a little bump, I'm assuming you will have an update this weekend on your progress which has been impressive.

    We are targeting December 2014 as an early payoff date for our mortgage.  A total of 30 months from the first payment.  As a note, all of my dollar numbers include the rolled in property taxes and home insurance.  So total dollars paid will be greater than simply principal and interest.

    Our mortgage vitals
    Mortgage origination: June 2012
    Current balance: $36,763.24

    Our house was purchased for a grand total of $55,700, 5% down on a 30 year fixed at 4.125% (knowing what I know now I should have gotten the 15-fixed and really pushed for the 20% down).  I like to say that it has four walls, a roof, and isn't falling down, it was just a cheap house in a less popular but not too dangerous city neighborhood that was well maintained if not recently renovated.

    Our strategy has differed from yours mostly because we can make prepayment without any penalty. 

    For the first year of the mortgage we were paying my remaining student loans aggressively.  So our mortgage payment was $300/bi-weekly, while also setting $200/bi-weekly aside into a savings account and making a $2600 lump payment every six months in June and December.  The lump sum payment was done as a concession to my wife to keep some money liquid every so often as a just in case strategy, but so far we are two for two on making those payments.

    In June of this year, we had paid the balance down enough to drop the PMI, a savings of 41.45/month as well as making the final payment on my student loans.  So we activated phase 2.

    Currently we pay $1000/bi-weekly to the mortgage, while also setting $200/bi-weekly aside into a savings account for the bi-annual lump sum additions to the balance. 

    Here is what is remaining

    $1000 bi-weekly payments: 32
    $2600 bi-annual payments: 3

    Hi and congrats on your own strategy and implementation of it!
    Things feel more 'possible' when I see others making things happening for themselves that even a year ago I would have thought unrealistic.

    Bit of a tangent, but I'm jealous with the home price you managed to snag.  I bought a not very big condo in a not very good part of town 10 years ago for 114k.  It was one of the least expensive options that still put me close to transit lines and access to groceries etc. by foot or bike.  It's only worth about 150k right now by my estimates.  By contrast, my parents bought a property in the country for around the same price as my condo 20 (edit ~25 )years ago or so, and it's now gone up to 8 or 9x its purchase price.  I think they mucked up their retirement planning and will be cashing this in for retirement funds.  Good for them, but we (younger generation) live in a different world.  I read a post this past week which was a link from one of our newspaper financial writers up here.  It pretty much summed up my experience vs my parents and how boomers were able to insulate themselves from the effects of their lack of savings.  Here's the blog post the writer linked to: http://www.greaterfool.ca/2013/09/24/juiced-2/

    I think my generation has been dealt a different set of cards than those before us.  Whether it's better or worse, all we can do is play them the best we can.  There's proof here on this forum that there's still plenty of opportunity for abundance and escaping the rat race early.  The finger wagging from older generations on their expectations for us to be in line with what they had accomplished at our age is a bit off-putting though.

    I know everyone has their own strategies and tolerances, but I really like the idea your wife insisted on of building a margin of safety into the plan.   Plans on paper don't always behave as we'd like them to when put into action.  One of my favorite quotes: ďIn theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.Ē ― Albert Einstein. 

    Good luck and keep at it.  I found the first few pay periods the most discouraging.  The goal seems just so far off in the distance as to be near-impossible.  Breaking it into % of the journey completed based on 'steps' towards the goal helped to overcome that psychological hurdle.

    X

    edited for:
    -spelling,
    -to correct a number.
    « Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 12:36:04 PM by Xavier »

    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #17 on: September 29, 2013, 11:54:47 AM »
    Status Update:

    Date: September 29, 2013
    Pay periods to go: 18   
    Mortgage balance: $35639
    Savings balance (to discharge mortgage): $22311   
    Total balance left to close: $13328

    Assuming I do this in 22 pay periods: ~23% of the 'steps' complete

    Comments:
    -Thanks KimPossible, Enderland and others for reminding me that there are people out there and offering encouragement.  If I didn't keep posting it would be a lot easier to go off the path.

    -Ok, whinefest: that bump in levels at work with the ol' concomitant rise in pay has happened in terms of the work part, but not the pay.  STILL waiting for backpay on the rise to kick in and now add to that some 'acting' pay and a bit of overtime I'm now doing.  Based on the speed these things are processed, it could be Nov/Dec before this is squared away.  I had thought it would kick in right away.  Nope.  This sounds like it has nothing to do with my larger mortgage goal, but it would have really helped give a bit more of a safety cushion.

    -Coasted in very close to 'on fumes' again this past week.  I had been automatically transferring a bit of money to a very small sub-account for spending money for any unforeseen expenses, bit of cash for my coming Oct trip etc.  For the time being, I need the cash in my actual 'usable' account, so transferred a bit back to my regular account and cancelled the automatic transfers to this particular sub-account for the time being.

    -No major discretionary purchases the past two weeks, but bus pass two days ago and paying off some bills has made things lean.  I will have to admit, I have had doubts about my little masterplan these past two weeks, but I'm just going to stay focused on one step at a time and not throw in the towel unless I actually need to.  Right now, I can keep going.

    -I ran across (searched for and found) this during the past two weeks and thought I'd share it:
    http://www.hughchou.org/calc/pvi.php
    It sums up my thoughts on why it's difficult to say, 'You should do this' and more appropriate to say 'If I were you, based on my risk tolerances, and making the following assumptions____, I would do this: _________' in the context of the invest vs pay off the mortgage debate.

    Cheers,

    Xavier

    Zaga

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #18 on: September 29, 2013, 02:43:49 PM »
    I think you're doing great, and also I think that there is an intrinsic benefit to paying off any debt, even if there is no interest at all.

    Just remember, even if you miss your goal, you've still made huge progress!

    One idea/thought, with the understanding that I live in the US so I may be totally misunderstanding your Canadian mortgage.  Is the prepayment you can make yearly on a calendar year basis?  If not, when will the next payment be allowed?  I was thinking that you could make your next payment of $22K in January, reducing total interest paid.

    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #19 on: October 06, 2013, 12:32:55 PM »
    I think you're doing great, and also I think that there is an intrinsic benefit to paying off any debt, even if there is no interest at all.

    Just remember, even if you miss your goal, you've still made huge progress!

    One idea/thought, with the understanding that I live in the US so I may be totally misunderstanding your Canadian mortgage.  Is the prepayment you can make yearly on a calendar year basis?  If not, when will the next payment be allowed?  I was thinking that you could make your next payment of $22K in January, reducing total interest paid.

    Hi Zaga,

    I agree 100% that this would be the way to go if I could.  I just cracked out my mortgage papers again to double-check on the definition of 'mortgage year' which they use.  It's unfortunately tied to the 'interest adjustment date' which in my case is I think, the date of my renewal this past June (2013).  So, I don't think the slate gets wiped clean again for me in terms of penalty free prepayments till June 2014.  This is too important not to check on so I should and will give them a phone call sometime in (or before) January to verify and appreciate the kick in the pants on this.  I'm putting this in my calendar as a to-do that will pop up for me as a reminder.  If I can, I will definitely pre-pay what I can penalty free in January!

    Following on this, I will look at waiting for my new 'mortage year' to click into effect in June 2014 (to be verified on/before Jan 2014), then pay the maximum I can penalty free and THEN just pay off whatever difference is left when I have the funds.  The penalty itself should be reduced, I think, by the lower numbers I'd then have in play.  I think...

    Thanks for the suggestion, as it's set off my wheels considering whether a two-stage pay-off might work: penalty-free portion and then just the remainder, rather than a single big payment at the end.  It's also good to take in the positive vibes here, helps me keep going, so thank you!

    Xavier

    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #20 on: October 13, 2013, 04:50:21 PM »
    Status Update:

    Date: October 13, 2013
    Pay periods to go: 17   
    Mortgage balance: $35341
    Savings balance (to discharge mortgage): $23050 
    Total balance left to close: $12291

    Around 27% of the journey for this goal completed.  Even with some possible future pay periods where I don't contribute, things look on-track so far.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Some days I'm finding the 'little sacrifices' difficult and other days, it's a breeze.  The next week or two will be a bit odd because I'll be on the road.  I just need enough cash in my normal daily account to last till next Sunday.  After that, I'll be running on a bit of travel cash which was already squirreled away in a separate account and which I'll get reimbursed for all the reasonable stuff.

    I'm proud of the progress I've made so far, but when I look farther up the 'Mountain of Future Goals' at say, trying to have a total net worth of 600 or 700k it seems impossible.  One thing at a time I suppose.  I imagine things don't start accelerating until you can turn loose a chunk of money into something that starts really feeding back into the system, like an investment property on top of what you're already saving.  I'm still just in the land of 'simple saving' so every step is a bit of effort.  I know that things will get easier once I can put the money to work for me and get a bit of financial inertia behind me so that I start 'surfing the financial curve'.  I think this was a MMM metaphor, it was lodged in my brain from somewhere.

    Happy long weekend to all my fellow North Americans,

    Xavier

    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #21 on: October 27, 2013, 12:41:59 PM »
    Status Update:

    Date: October 27, 2013
    Pay periods to go: 16   
    Mortgage balance: $35043
    Savings balance (to discharge mortgage): $23750 
    Total balance left to close: $11293

    Around 32% of the journey for this goal completed.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Short and sweet commentary this week.

    Arrived back from my travels yesterday.  As previously mentioned the effect of this may temporarily muck up things until my reimbursement comes in.  I may temporarily transfer a chunk of the savings balance to my credit card to pay it off, and then put the reimbursement back into savings to repay these monies.

    I was at times non-Mustachian during my trip with a few purchases, but also able to work things in my favour a few times.  I know it's not ideal, but I'm ok with this if after it all shakes out, I break even on it and can still truck along and meet the basic goals I've set for my myself.

    Oh yeah, I'm still owed a now building pile of money from my work.  Funny the difference in urgency on payment depending on whether one is the payer or the recipient...

    X.

    medinaj2160

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #22 on: October 29, 2013, 06:32:18 PM »
    good job!

    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #23 on: November 10, 2013, 04:16:51 PM »
    Status Update:

    Date: November 10, 2013
    Pay periods to go: 15   
    Mortgage balance: $34744
    Savings balance (to discharge mortgage): $24500 
    Total balance left to close: $10244

    Around 36% of the journey for this goal completed.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    -It looks like I should be well on track for my somewhat arbitrary goal date, even with no contributions a couple of times.  I'm still thinking about exercising this in Dec.  If all the various extra pays my employer owes me come in soon, I think I'll still contribute, otherwise, I may sit it out for a pay or two.

    -For honesty's sake: I've got about $1500 sitting on a credit card now.  I rarely carry balances, and this will get wiped clean once my travel claim comes in.  This should happen this coming week or next. 

    -I've tried to let a few people know about MMM and the results were disappointing.  As soon as you start talking about a more efficient way of approaching things, people's B.S. detectors go on high alert and they act like it's some kind of a scam.  I am pleased that the one person I did help didn't do a complete life turn around, but after reading just an article or two went out and saved herself a crap load (I think it was over $1000) on her cable/internet/phone plan by paring it back and she's now doing regular trips to the library for dvds, music etc and loving it.  People are bombarded there whole lives with people trying to separate them from their money, so when you do try to even just recommend some reading, some people seem to go into this defensive mind state.  Too bad.

    -We had snow here yesterday, so when I finish this, I'll start into my annual 'plasticing' up of all my windows.  Love winter, hate the electrical bills.

    -I'm still seesawing on my perspective on things.  Some days I'm extremely pleased with the progress on this little plan, other days I get bummed out looking at it through the wider lens of what financially would be required for me to build a little ladder out of the rat maze.  One step at a time I guess.

    X.

    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #24 on: November 24, 2013, 08:52:58 AM »
    Status Update:

    Date: November 24, 2013
    Pay periods to go: 14 or less   
    Mortgage balance: $34445
    Savings balance (to discharge mortgage): $25400 
    Total balance left to close: $9045

    Around 41% of the journey for this goal completed.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -Paid off that credit card balance that was hanging over my head.
    -Put a bit extra into my payment this time.
    -Short and sweet this time...

    X.

    Maltipoomoney

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #25 on: December 03, 2013, 07:58:52 PM »
    You are doing amazing! And so inspiring. I am building a fat emergency fund myself in 14 then paying my mortgage down ASAP after that. Keep up the great work....

    Norrie

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #26 on: December 04, 2013, 08:37:34 AM »
    Nicely done! I'm following along, as our completely arbitrary mortgage payoff goal is also June of next year. We're sitting at $65,000 right now, so it may be a bit of a stretch, but not impossible.

    And yeah, totally agreed that people immediately think 'scam!' when they hear about something like this.

    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #27 on: December 08, 2013, 10:23:13 AM »
    Status Update:

    Date: December 8, 2013
    Pay periods to go: 13 or less   
    Mortgage balance: ~$34150
    Savings balance (to discharge mortgage): $25500* 
    Total balance left to close: $8646

    *Per my original plan I'm not making any significant savings contributions this month.  I'm also skipping the '% of the journey completed' bit here because I'm taking chronological 'steps' but not topping up the savings pot this month.  I should still be on track to finish ahead of my original goal and I have a whack (to me at least) of money owed to me which I will largely put into the savings fund when it comes in.  This should accelerate things further.  I'm not going nutty with the holiday consumerism but I wanted to cut myself some slack during this period and give myself a breather.

    ------------------------

    Comments

    Thanks Norrie and Maltipoomoney.  It's nice to hear some kind words along the way and I'm wishing you both well on executing your own plans.

    I've been otherwise occupied of late, so I've got some MMM articles to get caught up on... 


    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #28 on: December 22, 2013, 11:18:38 AM »
    Status Update:

    Date: December 22, 2013
    Pay periods to go: 12 or less, May looks like a definite possibility.   
    Mortgage balance: ~$33840
    Savings balance (to discharge mortgage): $26000* 
    Total balance left to close: $7840

    *Had one piece of some monies owed to me come in, so I ended up making some savings contribution this period despite having planned for a nin-contribution 'breather' here.

    Some ramblings
    Despite the very incremental step-by-step nature of this slog, I feel better about things after reading this:
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/canadian-consumers-to-take-on-record-debt-levels-next-year-report/article16052294/
    Average non-mortgage debt for Canadians is about $28,000!  I found this baffling at first.  It couldn't all be student loans and surely the average person doesn't have $25k on credit cards?  Turns out the number is bumped up by installment loans for large purchases like cars and appliances.  I make a decent salary and always find it odd seeing so many vehicles on the road when I don't really feel like I can afford a vehicle myself. The numbers explain a lot for me.  I want to get a vehicle at some point, but not now and not by putting myself significantly in debt.

    lithy

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #29 on: December 22, 2013, 05:44:37 PM »
    I hope you don't mind if I just post my update in here.  I'm not as devoted to keeping a step by step update, but might make me feel better about this choice to post it every few months.

    Keep it up Xavier, great work so far.  I thought we would be a little tight through the holidays and might have had to back off a payment just slightly, but instead I got a holiday bonus equal to an additional paycheck. 

    We are still targeting December 2014 as our early payoff date.

    Current balance: $28,940.58

    We just made another $2600 lump payment on Friday and have continued to pay $1000 each pay period.

    Here is what is remaining

    $1000 bi-weekly payments: 26
    $2600 bi-annual payments: 2

    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #30 on: January 05, 2014, 11:55:15 AM »
    Date: January 5, 2014
    Pay periods to go: 11 or less.   
    Mortgage balance: ~$33550
    Savings balance (to discharge mortgage): ~$27000 
    Total balance left to close: $6550

    ------------------------------------------------

    Comments
    I may have bit off a bit more than I can chew this week and have to either transfer a bit back into my spending account or pull a bit out of another account.  This'll be a relatively tight two weeks coming up.  I still have a fair amount of monies owed to me, so there's at least a possibility of some of this coming in during this period as well.


    I hope you don't mind if I just post my update in here.  I'm not as devoted to keeping a step by step update, but might make me feel better about this choice to post it every few months.

    Nah, come on in, the more the merrier!  It's helpful for me to see others on the road alongside me.  A bit of mutual support and accountability is a good thing.  On that note, congrats on setting your own target goal and the progress you've already made.  I found the first few months particularly frustrating, but taken day by day that distant goal soon starts to sharpen on the horizon, and then it starts to shift from optimistic possibility to realistic probability. 


    X.

    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #31 on: January 19, 2014, 11:49:31 AM »
    Date: January 19, 2014
    Pay periods to go: 4 pay periods to have the simple amount, longer to have enough to cover the fees. 
    Mortgage balance: ~$33250
    Savings balance (to discharge mortgage): ~$29500
    Total balance left to close: $3750

    Comments:
    -Finally, a large chunk of the monies owed to me came in and a large portion of this was plowed directly into my savings.  It might not count as a true 'windfall' because it's been expected for a long time, but it still felt like it.
    -Taking another look at progress now, my own savings should surpass what's left of the mortgage on March 14th.  At that point, a call to the bank will be in order to figure out penalties.  I'm planning on at least another two weeks or so of saving, but we'll see.  Spring 2014 anyways.

    Ran across this article, which is another voice, backed up with some math, that my approach is inefficient:
    http://www.freedomthirtyfiveblog.com/2012/02/paying-down-the-mortgage.html
    I think the conversation in the comments section captures my thoughts that it's about personal choices about risk and not an absolute right/wrong decision in terms of the approach people take.  Looking farther ahead at a possible future real estate investment with longer time horizons to clear it off I think I will shift things so that I'm attacking both sides: both mortgage investment and everything else.

    jrhampt

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #32 on: January 23, 2014, 09:57:36 AM »
    Great job!  I have us on a schedule where I think we can get rid of the rest of our mortgage in 23 more payments.  For inspiration, I've been reading through some of the older posts on mutilatethemortgage.com.

    Shor

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #33 on: January 23, 2014, 10:32:19 AM »
    So close you can almost taste it! It's right there in front of you, all you need to do is coast in to the finish line!

    What's the next step once you're finally free of this debt? What will you do with the freed up cash flow?

    SunshineGirl

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #34 on: January 23, 2014, 10:55:33 AM »
    Way to go, Xavier! You're almost there.

    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #35 on: February 02, 2014, 10:47:35 AM »
    Date: February 2, 2014
    Pay periods to go: 3 more pay periods to have the simple amount, longer to have enough to cover the fees. 
    Mortgage balance: ~$32950
    Savings balance (to discharge mortgage): ~$30500
    Total balance left to close: $2450

    Comments:

    jrhampt, Shorlan, SunshineGirl: Thanks for the encouragement, definitely helps keep me going. 

    Shorlan, in terms of what my next steps are, that's a damn good question which I should know the answer to but don't.
    In the next year I'd like to sell my current place and move closer to work in a nicer neighbourhood.  At the moment I'm keeping my mind open to both renting and buying.  One thing I do want to do with some of the proceeds is max out my contribution limit in my Tax Free Savings Account (it's a Canadian thing).  I have contributed 0 dollars to that so far and that's not a wise move on my part.

    I'd also like to look at a little vacation or something, we'll see. 

    For many years I took my January goal setting very seriously.  I haven't done it in a few years and it's time to spend some quality time mapping things out again.  I have some goals I'm continuing to work towards, but not a broad plan for everything.  Time to fix that.

    I squeezed myself a little tight on this week's contribution.  In a week or so I'll probably be raiding another account which is currently mentally designated for a winter road trip.  I might be getting a bit too ambitious as I close in on the final stretch.

    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #36 on: February 16, 2014, 11:47:50 AM »
    Date: February 16, 2014
    Pay periods to go: adjusted again, ~ 1 more pay period to have the simple amount if I keep up my current contribution rate of $1000, longer to have enough to cover the discharge fees. 
    Mortgage balance: ~$32650
    Savings balance (to discharge mortgage): ~$31500
    Total balance left to close: $1150
    ------------------------------------------------------

    As predicted, I ended up raiding my vacation fund last week.  Things are still on track though, for both the road trip next week with a friend and the mortgage goal.  The last of the monies I had owed to me came in, so I can't count on any little extra lifts in the near future.  It's been an anomalous year for me financially when a lot of one-time miniature windfalls clicked through.  90% of these were plowed back into savings, but I can't count on these in the future.

    I've also spent some time working on my goals.  Further work is required, but the broad brushstrokes are there now.

    Off to read the 'clean up' thread now and get inspired to tackle a room this afternoon.

    Cheers,
    X

    Zaga

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #37 on: February 16, 2014, 12:09:28 PM »
    You're rocking it!  And well ahead of your June goal, way to go!

    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #38 on: March 02, 2014, 05:31:11 PM »
    Date: March 2, 2014
    Pay periods to go: adjusted again(!), 1 more pay period to wipe the mortgage clean.
    Mortgage balance: ~$32350
    Savings balance (to discharge mortgage): ~$32000
    Total balance left to close: ~$600* (see below)

    Comments:
    Ok, things are now formally in the home stretch.  After a call to the bank this past week, I'm now officially set-up to discharge the mortgage in its entirety in about two weeks.  Here are the ballpark figures I'm looking at: ~$270 in prepayment penalty (this figure could vary slightly depending on any interest rate changes in the next two weeks), ~$260 in discharge fees (applies only to situations of full discharge of the mortgage), ~$70 for transfer of the provincial electronic property registration to me.

    However, I also have a credit sitting with the bank in the form of a credit for my municipal taxes.  As part of my mortgage set-up, the bank automatically pays these taxes from money they collect from me.  Since they over-collect a bit, perhaps as a safety cushion, the credit can be used against the discharge costs.

    So, in two weeks my contribution will be the 32k saved, 1 regular mortgage payment for that last period (~$400) and about $200 extra to make up the difference.

    I had some extra expenditures this past month, including both necessities and some non-mustachian expenditures, so my saving contribution went down this past week.  Also, to be completely truthful, I'm presently carrying a few hundred on a credit card.  I intend to clear this too in two weeks time, but wanted to be honest.  I've been disciplined about wiping the card clean asap in recent years, but this has been a lapse.  Not a lot of money left in my regular account right now but I have food in the fridge, current bills paid and should be able to coast into the next pay period without any undue hardship.


    Zaga

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #39 on: March 02, 2014, 05:56:24 PM »
    Wow, you did this really fast!  Way to go!

    NinetyFour

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #40 on: March 02, 2014, 06:59:50 PM »
    Excellent, Xavier!!  I'm very happy for you!  (Not to mention a bit jealous!)

    homehandymum

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #41 on: March 02, 2014, 08:37:48 PM »
    Wow!  I just read your journal for the first time today and have to say I am impressed!

    We also have paying off the mortgage as our highest priority - for intangible psychological benefits, but also because mortgage interest rates in this country are sitting at about 6.5%, which places it in the hair on fire emergency realm for us.

    At present our target date is mid next year, which will feel awesome.

    Congratulations on making such good progress so swiftly.
    « Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 04:02:11 PM by homehandymum »

    tomq04

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #42 on: March 03, 2014, 03:56:05 PM »
    Just read this for the first time today too, and woo hoo!! Great job!  Can't wait to pay off my mortgage, but I have a long ways to go, and a few other goals ahead of it!

    Congrats again!

    Xavier

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #43 on: March 16, 2014, 11:05:26 AM »
    Thanks everybody!

    Date: March 16, 2014
    Status: Mortgage Cleared!*

    ------------------------------------------

    *The mortgage was to be discharged this past Friday.  At present, my mortgage information has disappeared from my online banking but the funds transferred in for the final discharge still appear to be there.  It will be official when I get the paperwork in the next week or so, but for now, I'm counting it as done since the only call I had from the bank was a final heads-up that there was a $7.00 difference between their earlier estimate and the final number on 'calculation day'.

    Homehandymum.
    For myself, I found the following really helpful:
    -making it a habit to do a progress check here on an established schedule.  It keeps the goal real, in focus and accountable.
    -perhaps a bit over the top, but I had progress tables, a crappy hand-drawn graph of savings vs mortgage and other motivational notes posted where I could see them every day and fill in the details every two weeks as things progressed.  I took the cue on this from things others have done.  For me, it helped.
    -I might take some heat for this, but I found it good for me to build some wiggle room into plans to just have a bit of fun here and there or deal with life's little unexpected bumps.
    Just my two cents, and everyone's situation is different, as I ramble on about below.


    Next Moves
    I'll be looking at selling this place this summer and I'm really thinking about putting the money to work in investments and just renting for awhile. 

    I had so little for so long that I think I have a tendency towards hoarding a bit, so in the near future you may see me popping into the decluttering threads for guidance, inspiration or an asskicking.

    Final Thoughts
    I quite literally never would have even attempted this goal had I not started reading MMM.  I owe that man a beer.  Without the benefit of the forum as a self-discipline tool, it's quite likely I would not have followed the goal through to its conclusion.  So to everyone, thank you.

    I recognize this past year was an unusual one for me.  There were a number of one-time windfalls that landed in my lap.  I did my best to put everything back into my savings, but that's about it.

    I don't do a tonne of reading on the forum, but what I have done has really hit home how unique each of our situations are.  This was a big deal for me, but for others it could be something they wouldn't choose to pursue, wouldn't be in the cards for them right now or even be something they moved beyond years ago.  I've read stories here about one fellow who was basically caught in a downward spiral towards homelessness and another of a former Wall Street mover and shaker who is working with sums that at present I could only dream about.  All this to say, I'm pleased with my progress because I know what it took for me, but we're each in our own situation on our own paths.

    Onward Ho!

    Xavier

    homehandymum

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #44 on: March 16, 2014, 01:49:11 PM »
    well done!!

    I've been thinking of starting a journal for visible accountability reasons.  Maybe I'll do it at the end of the month when I've got some more figures in. 

    Excellent progress!!

    Zaga

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #45 on: March 16, 2014, 02:08:26 PM »
    Awesome job, congrats!  If you go at all of your life goals like this one you are going to kill it!

    avonlea

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #46 on: March 16, 2014, 02:10:30 PM »
    Congratulations, Xavier!  That's big news. :)

    P.S.  I like your username pic.  Roger Hargreaves' Mr. Men and Little Miss series are much loved in my home.

    happy

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #47 on: March 20, 2014, 03:43:54 PM »
    Congratulations, great work and I enjoyed your thread.

    Please please please make sure you don't relax your savings rate too much. It sounds like you were pushing pretty hard, and to be sustainable maybe you need to relax it a little. But just don't do what I did years and years ago and celebrate, let it all go and go backwards. Not sayin you will do this but you worried me when you were a bit unclear of your next move.

    lithy

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #48 on: June 14, 2014, 07:56:13 AM »
    I know Xavier is done with his thread here, and I never did congratulate him on completing his challenge, so I'm going to bump this since I put a couple of my progress updates in here already.

    We just made another large payment of $3000 instead of the planned $2600 since I had managed to move a bit extra into that fund.

    We are still targeting December 2014 as our early payoff date.

    Current balance: $15,473.00

    Here is what is remaining

    $1000 bi-weekly payments: 14
    $2600 bi-annual payments: 1

    Rezdent

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    Re: My first challenge: pay off my mortgage by June 30, 2014
    « Reply #49 on: June 14, 2014, 09:54:20 AM »
    Go Lithy Go!
    December will be here before you know it!