Progress to Date

  • Original Loan Amount: $204,000.00
  • Balance at Beginning of 5-year Goal (1/1/08): $188,983.82 @ 6.00%
  • Balance at Refinance in February 2009: $148,000.00 @ 4.625%
  • Outstanding Balance: $0.00 (PAID IN FULL!!!)
  • Latest Payment Date: April 2011
  • Latest Additional Principal Amount: $17,623.22
  • Amount Ahead of Schedule (since refinance): $121,462
  • Time Ahead of Schedule (since refinance): 7 years 10 months
  • Interest Saved Last Month: $23,972.48
  • Total Interest Saved: $28,435.55 ($1,037.74 on original mortgage; $27,397.81 on current mortgage)
  • Months Remaining in 5-year Goal: 20
  • Average Monthly Principal Needed to Meet Goal: N/A (Goal achieved)
  • Progress List Explained

Monday, April 7, 2008

Do It Myself

As we prepare to sell our car, I've been trying to do a better job of keeping our bicycles tuned up and in good operating order. I haven't had a lot of experience with mechanical things, so something as straightforward as bicycle maintenance was a bit of a mystery to me at first. Thankfully, there are a lot of How To guides online. One video in particular came in handy recently, after I got frustrated while inflating one of the bicycle tires. I had difficulty removing the pump nozzle on completion, and managed to tear the valve away from the innertube, instantly flattening the tire.

This is something that the "old me" would have fixed by driving the bike down to the bicycle shop and paying the service department to fix the flat (and while they were at it, maybe do two or three other unnecessary things). But the "new, improved, more focused, and goal-oriented me" decided to limit myself to the purchase of $6 worth of repair parts and learn how to replace the flat tube myself. I'm pleased to report that the experiment was a success, and the bicycle rides great on its new, fully-inflated innertube.

I know this was not a major task, but to me it represents a significant achievement, because I managed to learn something new which I can use again in the future. As we continue to attack our debt, I hope both of us can acquire skills like this, so we can save on the cost of other people's labor. The $6 probably represented a small fraction of the repair cost had I taken it into the shop.

Unfortunately, we had another mishap over the weekend. Someone vandalized our car, which means we now face the choice of either spending $250 to have the auto mechanic replace the broken side mirror, or do without and drive a slightly damaged car for a while. Is this a task we can do on our own? Or does it make more sense to leave this to the professionals? Time for more research.


*maggie* said...

what make and model is it?
i've heard it's not terribly difficult to replace a side mirror (same thing happened to me in the city).
really enjoying your posts, keep up the hard work.

The Executioner said...

It's a Saturn, nothing fancy. I ended up having the mechanic do it in the end. Parts and labor were less than $250, which didn't break the bank, but was money I'd rather have used elsewhere.

Thanks for your encouragement!