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

Friday, July 1, 2011

Who I'm Working For

(Or should this entry's title be more correctly phrased as "For whom I'm working"?)

I became a first-time homeowner (aka mortgage holder) almost ten years ago. From that time until May 2011, not a month passed when I was not obligated to send a mortgage payment to a lender. Although the monthly amounts were never financially crippling, they were also never trivial. Therefore, it was crucial that I maintained a steady income to support my housing.

Over the past decade, there have been several cycles in the economy and job market during which the prospect of maintaining steady employment seemed pretty bleak. When rumors of layoffs would circulate through the office, the collective level of fear would rise among the employees. When jobs were eventually cut, and colleagues let go, I remember feeling a mixed set of emotions: relief that my job remained, concern for friends and co-workers who had been terminated, disdain for the extra work that the remaining employees would have to pick up, and an uneasy feeling that another round of cuts would follow in the not-too-distant future.

Now that the mortgage is dead, work has become less emotional. Although my wife and I still have financial obligations to meet (including taxes, insurance, and consumption spending), none of these is as regular nor as substantial as the monthly mortgage payment used to be. Therefore, I have the feeling now that I am working more because I choose to do so (in order to improve my own financial situation), instead of working because the mortgage lender compels me to do so.

This doesn't mean I've suddenly started slacking off at work, acting like the protagonist of Office Space after his epiphany. However, mentally I feel more like work is something I choose to do -- because it matches my future goals -- instead of a task that has been chosen for me. So, to follow up with the title of this entry, I'm not working for the mortgage company. I'm working for me.

Webster defines "Freedom" as "
the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action". By paying off the mortgage I have given myself some additional freedom: to work, or not work, or work less or more. My wife benefits from this as well. It's a great reward for the completion of the project!