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

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Passive Solar

I stayed home today because I was sick. It was a bright sunny day outside, but cold (the high was 18 F). Still, I decided to try an experiment. My wife and I have noticed that on sunny winter days, we can shut off the heater and open the front door (southern exposure), letting the sun shine in through the glass outer door. As long as it does not get cloudy, the sunshine on the front of the house -- with the door open -- is enough to maintain the interior temperature, and often is enough to warm the house several degrees. We don't usually do this when it's as cold as it was today, however, but I decided to give it a try. Even with temperatures in the mid-teens outside, the passive solar trick warmed the house by one degree over about six hours. That's six hours we didn't have to burn natural gas to keep the house warm. Plus, it made the dogs happy to soak in the sunshine for a few hours.

I wish we could use this trick more often, but since it only works in bright sunshine, it's not practical on days when we are at work for 8+ hours. The short winter daylight hours and the potential for passing clouds would thwart the experiment. If only we could teach the dogs to open the door when it's sunny and close it back up when it's not...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Our Old Devices Still Work

Want to pay off your mortgage early? Reject the mindset satirized in this article from The Onion. Then use the leftover cash to pay down your mortgage principal.