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

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer Happenings

My wife and I held a yard sale this past weekend. Even though the weather was unseasonably hot, we had reasonable success. For 5 hours of work, we earned around $75, and in the process got rid of a bunch of stuff we didn't want around anymore (including VHS movies, books, and trinkets that I was surprised anyone would ever want to buy). The $75 isn't going to make a huge impact on our savings, but considering that (a) we sold many items for only 50 cents or $1 each, and (b) we got money for stuff we were willing to get rid of for free, I'm pleased with the result. Plus, we got to meet some of our neighbors, which was an added bonus.

The escrow refund check from our lender arrived last week. I used it to buy a money market fund. I then scheduled a monthly purchase into the fund (from my paycheck) to replace the escrow amount that was previously included in our mortgage payments. Our property taxes are due July 1, so I will soon be making a partial withdrawal from our homemade escrow fund to cover that bill. We'll be left with a decent balance in the escrow fund which will grow monthly with each paycheck until the second half of our property taxes come due in December. There's enough of a buffer that I don't expect the escrow fund balance to ever dip below $1,000 (even immediately after making a withdrawal for tax payment).

The unusually hot New Hampshire weather this past week (highs in the 90s F for the better part of five days) had a lot of people hiding indoors with their air conditioners turned to high. My wife and I tried a less expensive cooling technique which worked reasonably well. In the evening, we opened all windows in the house and used a combination of two window fans upstairs to draw in the cool outside air (on the shady side of the house) and exhaust the hot indoor air (on the sunny side of the house). We let the window fans run all night long, then shut the windows in the morning to trap the cool air inside, and pulled down the blinds to block the hot daytime sun. This worked well for the first two days, but by the third day the evening temperature didn't drop enough to cool the house as much as I would have liked. I offered to turn on the air conditioning, but my wife insisted that we keep it turned off to save money. In the end it worked out just fine. We sat near fans, spent time outside with our dogs, and ventured down into the naturally cool basement when we needed to feel refreshed. Today's weather was more temperate, and it's comfortable inside our house once again.

I'm even more impressed that my wife rode her bicycle to work all three days this week, even though she doesn't have access to a shower at work. She reported being a little sweaty on arrival, but since she leaves early in the morning, she was able to avoid the worst of the heat until the return trip home (when being sweaty isn't as much of an issue). With her inspired commitment to our goal, we're saving money on energy costs by minimizing use of the car, and avoiding air conditioning usage altogether.

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