You know how when you’re a kid, it feels like you can physically FEEL Christmas, like electricity in the air, but when you grow up, it’s kind of just another day? I thought I’d feel lighter now, but today feels the same as the day before. We closed on the sale of the townhouse yesterday and have again made a substantial reduction in our debt-load. What a relief! We feel elated and excited, but also a little bit sad.
In the past two years, I had repeated many positive affirmations about the sale of our home, even changing my passwords to the effect that the house had sold, so every time I logged in for months, I repeated that idea as fact, that perhaps when it was actually true yesterday, it was still “just a fact” in my head. As much turnover as we see in our neighborhood, I never dreamed it would take nearly two years to sell our beautiful townhouse.
Maybe, too, it’s just the bittersweet taste of saying goodbye to the home my husband proposed in, where we brought both our boys home from the hospital, where my firstborn learned to walk; there are just so many sweet memories.
Even so, having worked so hard to get it on the market in mid-2015 and struggling through two realty companies, then re-listing it For Sale By Owner over the course of the next 21 months, what a relief that the financial struggle of the dueling mortgages is over. The strain of paying two mortgages and having two children in full time daycare, despite being a dual-income family negatively impacted our relationships and any growth in our business.
We had to visit the townhouse regularly, thirty minutes out of our way round-trip, to check for leaks, vandals and squatters. We used one gallon of gas in mileage each trip. I cleaned the two toilets and replaced air fresheners just in case someone stopped by to see the home. It was as if I could see the meter running every single day: $29.51. $29.51. Another $29.51 gone today. Agony.
When we accepted the offer, we were stoked that it was a cash offer, which meant no mortgage company hoops to jump through, as well as an earlier closing.
However, we couldn’t help wondering, couldn’t help holding our breath. What if it fell through? What if it didn’t pass inspection? What if he changedhis mind? We didn’t want to spend a cent before we reached the closing table, just in case we didn’t make it to the table. The anxiety was overwhelming and it just didn’t feel like we were going to have any relief.
Earlier in the month, we received notice from the mortgage company that the monthly payment would increase AGAIN by $135 per month, effective April 1. Had we not already accepted the offer on the townhome, this might have sent me over the edge. But my husband and I, after so many struggles straddling these two mortgages, had a great, laugh over this.
“No, it won’t!” we giggled.
Check out these apples, y’all:
|Total Debt Payoff Percentage:||38.67%|
Did you see that?
Thirty percent of our debt, GONE in one month!
I need to do another happy dance. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, positive thinking! Thank you to my husband for knuckling down with me! Thank y’all for keeping us in your thoughts.
Hey, have you ever noticed how Nick Saban never really seems to celebrate on Saturday nights, even after some of the biggest wins? He’s already focused on the next step toward the goal. Maybe that’s what the feeling was for me on Monday. FOCUS.
You know, I was doing some calculating last week, and I figured out that it is possible for my husband and me to not only pay off the house by 2026, but also to retire in 2027, when we are fifty years old. That’s even with the understanding that Social Security will pick up when we’re 67.
Let me say that again: It is wholly possible that we can retire when we are fifty years old in TEN years.
Now, I know you hardcore debt-destruction folks must be wondering why we didn’t pay off that last credit card. Well, I’ll tell you. It’s got a zero percent interest rate until the end of 2018. And we’ve been scrimping for nearly two years.
There’s something to be said for giving yourself a carrot every now and again.
This isn’t a new truck that will depreciate ten grand when we drive it off the lot. This isn’t a tattoo that’s just for looks and benefits one person, but that we cover up every day. We are investing the money we had to put into the mortgage for the last year back into our family. So the things we are buying now, are the things we likely would have saved for and splurged on last year, had we not been paying two mortgages.
We have earmarked some of the money for these special purchases:
$1,000 – Lawn and Garden equipment.
We want a Tiller. Yes, we are looking into the real workhorses, not just a little cultivator. We have our sights set on a huge garden and will need some help grinding up these weeds and roots up on the mountain. We also want to be loosening up this compacted soil as deeply as possible so I can surely grow the most delicious tomatoes ever. The tiller will be about $800, and we expect to squeeze in a weed-whacker and a leaf blower, too. If we get a good deal and have some cash left over, I think a pressure washer would be a good investment for us.
$2,000 – Summer Vacation.
e won’t spend all of this on the vacation, but it’s nice to know it’s all paid for with cash, and we can do whatever we want. Any money left over will likely be assigned to a “mad money” type of petty cash fund for impromptu off-budget items like unexpected birthday parties, ice cream runs, etc.
$600 – Vet visits for our two cats and the dog.
This is non-negotiable. They need shots and general check-ups. We usually use our tax return money for this expense, but this year, that money went to, well, paying taxes.
$3,000 – Credit Cards.
Those are living expenses that have been put on low-interest cards over the past few months. This is all our cards minus the one.
$3,500 – Savings Restoration.
This will bring our emergency savings account back to the $10,000 we had when we bought the farm house. That’s how I spell RELIEF.
$30 – Pens. Yes, pens.
I’m totally buying two boxes of my beloved G2 Bold Blue Ink Pens. They just make my day. And I didn’t allow myself to buy them while the house was on the market. Ok. Maybe just that once. I’m an addict.
We are so excited to be at this stage in the game. Now that the great sale is over, we can turn our attention back to Burton Farm. The last of our seed order arrives this week, just in time for our big planting weekend. I can’t wait to tell you about all the awesome heirloom plants we’re putting in the ground this year!
Have a great week!
This post was edited March 1, 2017.