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The Big Beast

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We celebrated our 3-year debt free anniversary recently. We spent those years building our emergency fund, replacing a vehicle, and buying two trailers (bought one, sold it, replaced it). We traveled. We had fun. When you have two working adults and no debt, it’s amazing how quickly you can do those things.

We committed last December to tackle our mortgage. At the time, our mortgage was $320,000. It’s a Beast but it seemed doable looking at what we were able to accomplish in such a short time the previous years.

Life changed. The construction work we thought my husband would have didn’t materialize and the part time night job went to pay other things.

There isn’t a lot to throw at the Beast and it’s hard to stay motivated.

I was supposed to get a promotion and a raise in June. We’d been holding on to hope we’d be able to start throwing larger chunks then but thanks to the coronavirus, it’s not happening (for now anyway).

We’ve paid the Beast down to $311,800 but it’s nowhere near where we hoped to be at this point and we’ve slammed on the brakes on extra payments since my job is unstable. Adding to the pile, my parents had an emergency plumbing problem they couldn’t possibly afford to fix. My dad had his income reduced by 50%. We covered the cost of the parts and materials and my husband did the work. When they asked how much the parts cost, we told them $100 (my parents would NEVER accept $0 as an answer). They have no idea it wasn’t anywhere near $100. Considering how much they watch my kids, we consider it cashing in on a lot of IOU’s we’ve written them over the years.

The Beast won’t be getting smaller for months.

There is some good news coming from this. I’m gaining perspective. I’ve paid off my debt (TWICE) and I felt a little judgmental of those who couldn’t do it. I mean really, what’s the big deal?!?! Spend less than you make! But as we start to tackle this huge Beast and it feels like I’m gaining zero traction, I’m understanding why people give up. I’m understanding the lack of motivation. The frustration. With a huge debt to income ratio, it’s a hard mountain to climb.

I refuse to quit…but I’m tired right now. Sometimes, you’re going to get tired.

Just.

Don’t.

Quit.


4 Comments

  • Reply Christy |

    Don’t give up! It is frustrating when you’re struggling, but keep working toward your goal. After we paid off our mortgage, I felt like I could breathe again. Lately we’ve been talking about moving to a better neighborhood, and I feel my anxiety rising at the mere thought of a mortgage payment.

  • Reply Cynthia |

    Where I am located, that is a very typical mortgage payment. Plus a couple hundred bucks in monthly HOA’s. You’ve made great choices so far and showed you have self discipline. You’ll get there!

  • Reply Emily N. |

    Gaining empathy is always a good thing. And while things may look bleak right now, you never know what good things might be waiting just around the next corner. You’ve already learned a lot about managing money and paying off debt, so you’ll be in good shape to do the best you can with what you have, whatever that is.

  • Reply Sarah |

    We are in unprecedented times. I know it is disappointing but think of what better shape you are in since the rest of the debt is paid off. If you still had debt, you would be very anxious and concerned about just paying your other debt (let alone your mortgage payment).

    At least with a mortgage, you are gaining equity in your home with every payment. I can’t say that everyone has a house payment but most people do so you are normal. Except they have extra debt on top of the mortgage.

    We think our jobs are secure but are still hoarding cash. Who knows how long this will last and what will be our new normal in the fall.

So, what do you think ?