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  • FIRST POST
    • LeighofMar
    • By LeighofMar 17th Jan 19, 3:38 PM
    • 94Posts
    • 220Thanks
    LeighofMar
    Cottage Countdown
    • #1
    • 17th Jan 19, 3:38 PM
    Cottage Countdown 17th Jan 19 at 3:38 PM
    I stumbled upon this forum a while back and was so excited to read about other people's mortgage-free journeys. Strangely enough, I haven't been able to find a similar forum based in the US no matter how much I've searched. I'm not sure if that's a sad commentary on the state of affairs of my fellow Americans, but I digress. So, I am a 41-year-old American. It's just me and my OH, my best half, living in the Southeast United States in a very low cost of living area. We bought our last house three years ago and have decided since it was so cheap, to just knock it out so we can be mortgage free by the time I'm 45 and he's 60. We have no debt. Our only child moved out last year so we are also new to the whole empty nest thing and fixing up our adorable little cottage/bungalow as we go along. It's the perfect size for us, 3 beds, 2 baths, but no garage which we may build something in the future to appease OH. Not too big, not too small. It's perfectly functional. Things that need taking care of are typical in a home built in 1945. Roof will need replacing soon. HVAC was just replaced. Carpets in the 3 bedrooms need taking up and just cosmetic paint. Kitchen could do with a redo of cabinets and countertops, but works for now. We bought it for 67K and received a mortgage of 64,655.00. I know we do things slightly differently here in the US. Our 30-year mortgage is fixed at 4.25% so with property taxes and insurance, the monthly payment comes in right under $500.00. That's absolutely crazy cheap for almost anywhere. We got really aggressive last year and paid $10,000 off principal and our balance now stands at $50,470.00. I hope to break into the 49K bracket by early February. I OP every single Thursday. I've taken inspiration from several diaries that have recommended paying to get the numbers to 0.00 so if I don't have a full P&I payment, I would make an OP of $70.00 and then my balance would be $50,400.00, etc. I really like doing it that way and marking my progress on my amortization schedule. Right now, we are 7.5 years ahead of where we're supposed to be on payment 127 out of 360 when we should be on payment 38. I'm very proud of our momentum and hope we can keep it up.
    So with that said, I made an overpayment today of $79.00. Looking forward to knocking out this mortgage in the next 4 to 5 years. Thanks for reading.
Page 3
    • LeighofMar
    • By LeighofMar 23rd May 19, 8:07 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 220 Thanks
    LeighofMar
    Today's OP was 81.40 to bring the balance to $47,400.00. I would have liked to be in the 46k bracket by the end of this month, but it doesn't look like we'll quite make it. It has been very spendy, so it's better to do the best I can on the mortgage but concentrate on paying off the dishwasher and my car registration, both put on my credit card. Hopefully, that balance will be finished no later than next month and we can get back to our plans of putting a front picket fence and getting the landscaping done to stop the water from entering the crawlspace.
    It is and will be hot, hot, hot for the foreseeable future which hasn't motivated me to do any side work. My usual work is always done by Wednesday and I'm free to do side work all the other times, but I've been so unmotivated with the beautiful weather and cleaning up my front and backyards. Now with this heat, I guess I'll have no choice but to stay inside so might as well get some work done . I do transcription on the side, just to keep my skills fresh as I can't do it full time anymore because of lovely repetitive motion syndrome. But I'm grateful that I get to work from home all the time anyway, so I won't complain on that front. OH had two service calls, both local today, which we were thrilled. One was literally two blocks away, he could walk and the other only a 10-minute drive. I made the deposits for our retirement accounts today so I'm all caught up with finances from work.
    The last meals I made from a recipe roundup of Whole 30 meals have been great. I made zucchini chicken pasta with avocado scallion sauce last night. I had my doubts since my husband doesn't care for green onions. He said Wow on the first bite and kept eating it out of the skillet . And my paleo chocolate pie came out great although the crust was very crumbly. Still good though. We have leftover bbq chicken casserole so I don't have to cook today or tomorrow, which will be nice. And this weekend we will probably grill some drumsticks and have some nice cool drinks. Might as well get outside even if it is blazing hot. Monday's a holiday too, so definitely will be grilling on that day. I love it since hubby does all the grilling, I feel like I get a break from the kitchen
    Time to get back to my budget sheets and make sure I haven't forgotten anything. Enjoy your weekends all.
    • LeighofMar
    • By LeighofMar 30th May 19, 1:55 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 220 Thanks
    LeighofMar
    Another mortgage payment made plus overpayment. Balance should be $47,152.00 by tomorrow. Total OPs for May come to $650.00, which is my minimum if I want to be mortgage free in 4 to 5 years so I'm happy with that. Retirement contributions went in yesterday just in time for the US stock market to start tanking Oh well, it is what it is and I will just look for deals while the market is down. Meal planning has gone great. We have loved everything I've made so far. I made Paleo sloppy Joe's the other day, and my husband was thrilled since he missed having them. I love simple meals that come together since I don't want to be cooking in this heat wave we're currently having with no end or rain in sight. Payday was today and of course 90% of our money's already spoken for since the mortgage and healthcare go out at the same time.
    But at least the house fund received an extra $100.00 and the regular savings received $60.00. We received a $150.00 refund from the insurance company the other day for overcharging us on some diagnostic tests, so that went straight into the emergency fund. I paid $100.00 off of my credit card which has the dishwasher and my car registration/tags on it so now I only owe $886.00. It's a lot, but I hope to pay the dishwasher off by our next check and then the car fees hopefully with the one after that. We also would like to plan a trip to go somewhere we never went before, but sadly, so many different parts of the country are experiencing weird weather. We are in the south and having a heat wave. Colorado is experiencing 16" of snow and hail. And from Nebraska down to Texas it's stormy, flooding weather with tornados. So who knows where we will go? In the meantime, I will keep paying down the debt, putting money in my different savings to rebuild and overpaying the mortgage.
    • LeighofMar
    • By LeighofMar 30th May 19, 5:54 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 220 Thanks
    LeighofMar
    OH lost his wallet today. I know it was just an accident but it's so frustrating. Getting a copy of his driver's license is no big deal, I ordered a replacement online. His credit card will be easy too. But since he had info in his wallet regarding both our personal and business bank accounts, now we need whole new bank accounts and cards. It's such a pain since all payroll, direct deposits, tax deposits, all that is tied to the business account and then to our personal. I've had these account numbers for years and now to change everything is such a hassle. The really annoying thing is it happened while at our friend's mechanic shop. He didn't even leave the premises before he realized it was missing and he had it a minute before when he wrote them a check so it's there on their property somewhere though no one can seem to find it. Very irritating. Oh well.
    I looked at the amortization schedule to cheer me up. Weird, I know. But I'm happy. We are now on payment 150/360 and the payment date is 5/2028. So we are officially 9 years ahead of where we should be . I can do my happy dance at least for this. Then I'll get back to pouting and then I'll be fine. I guess in the interim, he won't be spending any money while we wait for replacement cards, so there's that
    • LeighofMar
    • By LeighofMar 7th Jun 19, 1:39 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 220 Thanks
    LeighofMar
    Got all the replacement cards and drivers license so we are back to normal now. What a pain though. Small op of 51.69 yesterday takes us to $47,100.00. Next payday should take us into the 46k bracket. So excited.
    Plan for next paycheck is to pay off the cc completely. Then we will go ahead and put a weeks vacation on it. We've decided to take a tour of beautiful Virginia in our little travel trailer. We will still have to work but we can get everything done on Monday and have the rest of the week for touring and relaxing. I cant wait. We are budgeting 600.00. Hopefully, it'll be less with all the nature outdoorsy stuff that we can do for free or low cost. I havent been to Virginia since I was a child and hubbys never been so it will be such a nice trip. There'll be mountains, waterfalls, rivers and lakes and quaint historic cities and museums. I am looking forward to peace and quiet. We will need sone odds and ends for our trailer but nothing too pricey. After we get back I want to buckle down and get these house projects done. I want to spend July and August getting them done and paying them off and then hopefully go on a beach vacation at the end of September. We will see how our plans work out.
    • LeighofMar
    • By LeighofMar 7th Jun 19, 7:53 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 220 Thanks
    LeighofMar
    The mechanic found OH's wallet. He accidentally covered it up when he put a panel back on, so it's been hidden in the van this whole time. Oh well, at least we know it's not in someone's hands.
    We just got a call to do a home inspection. Yay. So that will be an extra $330.00 for the business. And I'm typing today since it's storming all weekend, so I can get extra transcription in for a few bucks. Every penny counts especially since the business will pay for the gas on our trip as we'll be working/on call the entire time. Never sure how that works, but that seems safest. And then of course all our personal expenses are paid for by us. And I never write off gas anyway as we instead write off repairs and maintenance only for the work van, so it should all even out. Now to finish some audio files and get ready for the weekend.
    • LeighofMar
    • By LeighofMar 13th Jun 19, 9:42 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 220 Thanks
    LeighofMar
    OP of 110.00 today to break into the 46K bracket. Balance is 46,990.00
    Paid 837.00 to the cc which paid the dishwasher and the car registration so I can put that behind me. But poor DH needed to go to the emergency room this morning at 4 am and they found a kidney stone That visit will cost us 500.00 but for the amount of pain he was in, Im so grateful that he was seen immediately and treated. Obviously vacation is postponed. Thats ok. I just want him to feel better. I ordered grocery delivery for the first time today since neither one of us were in any shape to pick up the groceries with the exhaustion. First 3 deliveries are free so we took advantage of it. It was perfect for a day like this. And I still came under my 100.00 weekly food budget since I have a good amount of chicken drumsticks and pork chops.
    Hopefully my DH will pass the stone quickly so he can recover and then later we will make vacation plans. Itm, tag renewals will be due at the end of the month, auto ins renews early July, and we still need the landscaper to give us the final price for the swale. This summer will be the most expensive on record. I will try not to be too overwhelmed by it all.
    Now to heat some blueberry pancakes for DH. Understandably, he doesnt have much of an appetite but something soft and easy should do it for now.
    • LeighofMar
    • By LeighofMar 20th Jun 19, 2:18 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 220 Thanks
    LeighofMar
    Thank heavens, he passed the kidney stone. What a horrible experience for him, of course, but for me to have to watch him go through that horrific pain. Healthcare being what it is in the US, I'd say we didn't do too bad. ER copay $500.00. Medicines free the first time, $15.08 for the second round. $40.00 to see his primary care doctor to get the prescription for the second round of meds. We'll take it. We are very fortunate that even in our small town, we have two hospitals, all the specialists and clinics within 5 minutes driving. I can't imagine what people in rural communities would do if they had to drive a long distance with that kind of pain. Scary.

    In OP news, I sent a $90.00 payment to the mortgage today. Balance is now $46,900.00. Payment 152/360. And we are inching ever closer to where our principal will start outpacing the interest. I am beyond excited for that.

    After the trauma, my DH said to pack it up and let's go on vacation. The budget is $600.00 for everything, but something tells me we are going to pass that number.
    The water heater element for the travel trailer $78.00
    The first campsite at a state park for the first two nights $100.00
    The second campsite at a KOA campground for two nights $100.00
    Camping stove, odds and ends for trailer $75.00
    The third campsite is undetermined as I don't know how long we will stay there, but probably another $100 to $150.00 for three nights.
    We are bringing 90% of our own food since it saves money plus I'm on a special diet for my medical needs. We will eat out probably once or twice while we're out, but our company pays for a business lunch every Friday, so we will do that as always.
    Gasoline, the company pays for that. Probably won't include that in my budget since it doesn't come out of our pocket.
    I cashed in my transcription earnings this week, $125.00 for spending money in cash and will take an additional $80.00 to $100.00 from our personal account for entrance into parks, souvenirs, small bites to eat.

    Now I've got to prepare most of my food beforehand so I don't have to cook a lot on the road. Must do laundry, pack our things, put a hold on the mail, make sure any bills are paid so we don't have to worry about it while we're gone. I can't wait to get into the mountains and breathe some fresh air. And the nicest thing is where we live it will be unbearably hot and humid in the 90s all week, but where we're going will be cooler and less humid, around 80. I enjoy summer but not melting in the heat. I am ready for my holiday.
    • Moneyfordreams
    • By Moneyfordreams 20th Jun 19, 6:36 PM
    • 1,315 Posts
    • 6,437 Thanks
    Moneyfordreams
    I Love a good holiday.. hope you have great time
    good to hear your OH is beter
    Mortgage restart June 2018 119950
    May 19 mortgage 111600, 4700cc, 6000, 1400, car 6550.
    • LeighofMar
    • By LeighofMar 22nd Jun 19, 10:45 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 220 Thanks
    LeighofMar
    Thanks MoneyforDreams. We are 90%packed. We have 250.00 in cash for spending money. We are so ready to take off.
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