1. Congratulations on paying off so much debt in the same year you had Baby #1!! I was *not* in the same headspace when mine was born, let me tell ya!

    This year was a great debt payoff year for us. We ended up paying off a total of $36,276 in debt payments (which I hadn’t totaled up until just now–thanks for the inspiration!) on top of paying $14,000 for a new roof, maxing out retirement funds, and other savings. I am hoping that next year we don’t pay off so much debt because we want to invest more! 🙂 But we don’t hate our mortgage as much as you (although we may be selling and eliminating it anyway?!). I am very glad we picked a 15 year mortgage when we bought. I would not change that decision for anything. We’ve been able to pay off the principal so much faster. But if we had a 30 year? Not sure I would refinance. I know what you mean about the freedom it gives you. That’s a big one. And I doubt you’d save *that* much if you refinanced, since you’re prepaying so fast. Great job Penny! Now tell me how you manage to spend just $200 on groceries a month?!!!

  2. Jover

    Last January, I tried to refinance my mortgage to a 15-year fixed from my current 30-year ARM. Unfortunately, the appraisal came back too low, and I was still “technically” underwater on my mortgage after almost 11 years. So that hurt, even more so because of the money I paid out for a worthless appraisal that could have gone towards my mortgage principal.
    But the debt I slayed in 2017 included $15k (plus taxes?) for the car I purchased in August (debt dead by November!!!) and a combined $6k+ in mortgage principal and interest. I’m not obsessive about the mortgage debt, but I do love seeing the balance go down each month. I dropped below $82k at year end, so I’ll be reaching $80k this summer (with no additional payments). Maybe I’ll set a stretch goal of reaching $75k by year end?!

  3. Late December 2016 we paid off our mortgage so now we don’t have any debts to pay down (given we pay off the credit cards in full each month). I’ve definitely gotten used to not writing those checks! And we really didn’t need to refinance even though we had a 4.75% interest rate— our rate of prepayment made it not worthwhile compared to refinancing costs.

  4. I paid off $72,000 of my line of credit last year! A lot of that was the result of taking most of my house fund and putting it on the line of credit, as I realized that I would likely never buy a house until the line of credit was gone. I’m hoping to see the end of my line of credit this year.

    • That sounds like the right move. If the line of credit was a brick wall of sorts keeping you from buying, then it makes sense to tackle the wall first!

    • Thank you! We are so excited. I’m trying to dial it down a little bit because it’s been fun to top our paydown amount each year…but I’m not sure we can keep doing it! I’m trying to remind myself any progress is awesome.

  5. All hail the debt slayer! Congrats on making so much progress last year, especially with the arrival of your little one. While I’ve been adding extra principal payments to my mortgage, I’m also keeping it at a 30-year rather than a 15-year for the flexibility. While we have an emergency fund, I still like the comfort of knowing we could pay less on the mortgage if we had to for any reason.

  6. Well done Penny! We did not shake off the shackles of debt in 2017. We started out the year with zero debt, and by year’s end had a mortgage (see my post, Oldsters Buy a House – not a link). At the moment we own two houses and will be selling one this year and applying the proceeds to the new house, but under the best of circumstances we will still owe some on the new house by year’s end. I intend to work a few more years (because I enjoy it) and intend to be mortgage free by the time I hang up my spurs, so the picture is not too bleak. I also live in an area of Appalachia where property values are reasonable so even if we carried a mortgage into retirement, it would not be the end of the world.

    • You’re always welcome to drop links, Oldster! I’m cruising over to your blog now, though. That sounds like a smart decision to set down roots where you did. Sadly, I’m not sure that our area is really friendly for retirement (property taxes are bananas), but they are great for raising a baby since we are so close to family!

  7. Woot woot! Congrats on the progress given the circumstances! But not really a surprise given you were really well prepared 😉

    And I would definitely not refinance your mortgage. Keep the flexibility and keep making those extra payments when you can!

    As for calculators, I’m guilty of going on Zillow and going through hypothetical scenarios for my first home purchase in 5 years haha!

  8. Slaaaaay that mortgage, y’all! That’s amazing!

    We were able to pay off my $25k student loans last year. At the end of December we were able to slam another $15k onto Mr. Picky Pincher’s loans. If all goes according to plan, we’ll be free of student loans before the end of 2018! 🙂

  9. Great job on paying down that mortgage!

    I’m actually working on my financial update post right now. Our debt payoff was spread out across THE LAST CREDIT CARD (now gone!), two mortgages (our house and the rental property), and student loans.

    It’s a decent number despite buying the bus, going out on disability and maternity leave, and making contributions to the 401(k). The important thing is that we’re still moving in the right direction. This year should be a big one when it comes to debt payoffs 😉

  10. Julia

    We have a 15 year mortgage and I do occasionally wish we had gone with 30 (or 20 maybe??) for a little more flexibility in our monthly costs. Everything has worked out and we are paying it a little faster, and I just keep thinking that in less than 9 years we will be mortgage free! So before my 40th birthday as well!
    All that to say, I don’t think refinancing is necessary or would help you out much at all! You’re doing great!

  11. I’m glad you’ve been able to switch back in to an abundance mindset. You sound like it makes you feel more in control of the finances – even if you would make the exact same choices in either mindset. And flexibility on the 30 year sounds priceless since we don’t know what we’ll want in 6 months. I recall so many couples who thought that they would feel one way as parents who ended up feeling very differently when presented with a tiny human to take care of.

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