Last year, I couldn’t make up my mind when it came to our debt. At first, it seemed like we had paid off just shy of $20,000. Then, I
remembered came clean about the fact that we still had a car payment. So we clocked in right around $24,000 when it was all said and done.
As someone who is chronically terrible with setting goals, I didn’t really want to do anything other than make at least two times our required mortgage payment each month. I knew we’d achieved that, but I wasn’t keeping too close of an eye on the actual numbers. Where did we land for 2016? $27,143.
Now, before you get too excited, let’s remember a few things:
This is my mortgage
So some of you will tell me it isn’t debt. And you would be wrong. In fact, I would contend that it is the most insidious kind of debt. What makes me say that? Because it took me a good few months of blogging before I even realized we had six-figures worth of debt. Prior to that moment, a mortgage was always something else. A reward for owning a home. American Dream debt. Good debt. It’s all nonsense. Debt is debt. Don’t believe me? Try not paying for a while and see how that goes.
This includes interest
This year, we paid $6,039 for the privilege of
owning renting our home from the bank. The bank is thrilled. I am not. And before you start typing about that glorious tax write off, let me tell you two things: we’re already getting a tax break for two graduate degrees (woof) and LA LA LA, I can’t hear you. Seriously. I don’t care. I don’t want a mortgage.
This isn’t That Different From 2015
What is significant, though, is the fact that none of this money went towards anything else. Not my car. Not Mr. P’s car. It all went straight towards our mortgage. And what’s even more significant is the fact that the amount we put towards destroying our debt is over a third of our net income, excluding some side hustling.
So what does that mean for 2017? To be honest, I don’t know. I still have some money in our savings account that we could have tossed towards our mortgage, but I’d like to pursue investing a bit more aggressively as well. We will definitely max out both of our Roth IRAs for 2016, and that will continue to be a priority for us in 2017. While I’d like to set some grand goal of hitting $30,000–mostly because I like round numbers a whole lot more than I like decimals–, I’m not willing to make that commitment.
Instead, we’ll keep it simple. We will pay at least double each month for as long as we are able. If that means we hit a new milestone, excellent. If we slip down to last year’s payment total, that still puts us well on track to own our home free and clear just after my fortieth birthday.
I may royally stink at setting goals. But there is one thing that I can do pretty well. And that’s destroying this debt.
So Tell Me…How did 2016 shape up for you? Have you started to crunch any numbers? Are you better at goals than me? Let’s be serious. Everyone is better at goals than me.