Friday, 27 April 2012

I was raised in a home in which we were not taught about debt.  What I mean by that is, I was well into my 20s before I realized that you could buy something for which you did not have the money.  I didn't even realize my Visa card gave me that capability - all I understood is that I was building credit and creditability for my future.  I didn't understand what "minimum payment" meant - I was taught that when the bill came in you paid it in full.

I was not taught that there were people who would loan you money you wanted but did not have.  I was taught that if you wanted something, you saved until you had the cash in hand (or in bank) and then you bought it.  This upbringing has done me well.  The only thing I've ever bought "on credit" was a second hand car and our home.

Yes, that "mortgage" word.  How I hate it.  How I hate the thought of how much interest we will pay over the years.  We are doing everything we can to avoid it, by making bi-weekly payments, doubling up those payments, and making extra lump sum payments every year with anything extra.  When we got our mortgage we were one of "those people" who got the zero down, 40 year mortgages that caused the housing collapse.  But we absolutely never intended to carry a mortgage for 40 years.  No way.

I read an newspaper article this morning about a husband and wife who paid off their $320,000 mortgage in 3 years.  Headlines like that always grab me, so I clicked in and read on.  Turns out that both the husband and wife were working full time jobs with good salaries, and then took second, third and fourth jobs as well.  It was not uncommon for him to work 22 hours, sleep for 3 or 4, and then head back to work.  Once he worked over 60 days straight, took two days off, and then worked another 60 days straight.  So, yes, they did pay off all their student debt, car debt and mortgage, but the trade off was not seeing their spouse for the first three years of their marriage.

I think I've come to adopt a bit of a simpler mentality.  Yes, I'd love to bring down the mortgage as fast as possible, but I'm not panicked about it.  Mortgage payments is just one of those things I expect to pay during this years of my life.  Yes, I'll hate to look back at how much interest I gave our lender, but I will have enjoyed a happy, balanced life in a home we love.  Some things aren't measured by price tags.  After all, money is just money.  If it's not helping me lead the life I want, what good is it to me?

1 comment:

Lora Holmes said...

Though we have the privilege to loan money, it doesn’t mean that we can splurge all the way we want (this, I believe you know well enough). And you’re right; the sacrifice that the couple you read about in the newspaper made to close the mortgage and their other debts as early seemed too much. Ideally, your mortgage budget should only be at around 20 to 30% of your income.