This is the third in four posts about goals for 2014.

The rich rule over the poor. The borrower is servant to the lender.

Proverbs 22:7

Take a moment and think about how much your rent or mortgage payment is every month. Chances are, its probably a lot. If you have a mortgage, look at the line items – how much is going to pay interest vs how much is going to the principle.

Now ask yourself – what would you do if you weren’t paying that much in interest every month?

What if you weren’t having to pay that entire payment every month?

What if you weren’t paying that plus a car payment, student loans, and medical bills every month?

What could your family accomplish? What good could you do for others while you are alive?

Back Story

2008 was a busy year for our family. We were preparing for the arrival of our first child. We had been living in our “starter home” for over a year. We both had good jobs, and we were slowly paying off student loans and a car loan.

Knowing that she would be off of work for a while, my wife wisely realized we needed to make sure we could afford living off of just my income, and have enough margin in the budget for all of the unexpected things that occur after having a child.

She read a book from the library about having financial peace, we started a debt snowball, and the consumer and student debt was gone by 2010. We started to make some small extra payments on our 30 year mortgage, but not really anything to make a huge dent in it.

When we moved to Tennessee in late 2010, we were fortunate enough to be able to sell our house as we moved. We rented for about 7 months before buying our current house. We took out a 15 year mortgage, knowing that once we were done paying rent and my wife found a new job
we could start to make extra payments on it.

Fast forward to 2013: no rent, no other payments. Every dollar that isn’t going towards monthly necessities is sent to the mortgage company.

We are just under 2 years from our 10 year wedding anniversary. The 5 year anniversary of being in our house is a few months before our wedding anniversary, and our 5 year anniversary of being in Tennessee is in September of 2015.

2014 Goal

Our goal is to have the house paid off by our 10 year wedding anniversary in mid-2016.

A super-stretch goal would be to have it paid off before either of the 5 year anniversaries.

To meet the primary goal, we need to pay off over 30% of our mortgage in 2014.

So What?

Our family has a goal of being free from debt. We are paying a short-term price, sending a huge check to Chase that we could be using many, more exciting ways. By paying the price, come 2016, the only housing check we write every year is to Maury Country for property
taxes.

But we aren’t doing this to avoid paying Chase.

Go back to the question I asked at the beginning: What if you weren’t having to pay that entire payment every month?

For us? Well, what isn’t private:

  • save for our three children to go to college without the burden of loans
  • travel a little bit more
  • handle the ever increasing cost of health care
  • allow for more flexibility in employment (it’s amazing the choices you can make when you don’t have to worry about making enough to pay the rent)

But more important than those: give