by Vicky Monroe
Last year, my partner and I had a long stretch of a few months when we weren’t able to make any progress on our mortgage. Luckily we turned things around and have been steadily paying down our mortgage for the past few months. We’ve been averaging about $2400 per month in overpayments.
The next time we make a principal payment (which should be this Friday), our loan will finally hit the $130s. Our loan started off at $179K when we bought our home in January 2021, so I’m pleased that we’ve been able to pay off about $40K so far.
We’ll Probably Make Less Progress This Year
Unfortunately, we probably won’t be able to make as much progress for the next few months. In my last post, I wrote about the dental work that I need, including oral surgery to remove my wisdom teeth and Invisalign, which the dentist said costs $4K to $5K. So a lot of our savings over the next couple months will probably be going toward dental work.
However, I’m planning to get a second opinion about the Invisalign. My partner has the most perfect teeth I’ve ever seen, and the dentist still recommended Invisalign. I don’t really care how my teeth look, so I want to make sure straightening them is medically necessary before I sign up to wear plastic aligners 24/7, which I suspect I won’t enjoy.
After doing some research, I found out that there can be some pain and discomfort with Invisalign. Honestly, I’m a big baby when it comes to pain (especially tooth pain), so I’m a bit wary. I may try a night guard first (I just found out I’m a teeth grinder) to see how I tolerate sleeping with a retainer before I take the plunge and get Invisalign.
If you’ve used Invisalign, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments, especially regarding pain and discomfort while wearing the aligners! I’m still planning to save up for Invisalign even though I’m unsure, because I don’t want to go into debt if I make the decision to get it.
Mortgage Cost Increase
Another reason we won’t be able to make as much progress on the mortgage is that the payment just increased. Our property taxes went up by about $80 per year, which isn’t bad on its own. However, our PMI increased by $230 per year, and our homeowner’s insurance went up by $475 per year. We’re going to try to shop around for a lower rate. But if we can’t secure a better deal, our mortgage payment will go up to $1500 per month.
Our mortgage payment started out at $1350 per month when we bought the house and has gone up steadily over the past two years due to fee increases. We can afford it, and it’s better than the rent increases we had to deal with when we lived in Boston. But it’s still a bigger payment jump than we thought we’d experience as homeowners and will affect our budget.
We’re already pretty bare bones expense-wise, so there’s not a lot of room to cut things out to absorb this increase. As a result, our savings rate will probably go down a bit. Combined with the dental work, we probably won’t be able to make as much progress on our mortgage in the next few months.
But life happens and you just gotta roll with the punches! We may look into side hustling a bit more to help with some of these expenses, but luckily we don’t absolutely need to. And that’s something to be thankful for!
How is your debt repayment going? Let me know in the comments!
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Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.