Backing off of Extra Mortgage Payments

Apparently I was a little obsessed with paying off my mortgage in 2018.

I’m still interested in eliminating that debt, but I’m realizing I’ve got to slow down.

I tried an experiment last year to see if I could pull off paying the equivalent to 2 of my husband’s larger bills–his student loan (754 mo) and his child support (555 mo) –and still feel comfortable with what I had left.

I decided to put 754 a month into my 403B and 555 a month towards the mortgage principle (in addition to my regular house payment). I was able to do it for about 4 months. Then I started noticing my checking account getting lower and lower. 

I was starting to feel uncomfortable having so little left per month. I felt like I was depriving myself.

Growing up, I was very tight with my money. I spent less money than my friends did in high school, and in college, I spent as little as possible because I wasn’t sure how much I’d need to be able to complete my degree. My frugal habits continued into my adulthood. 

I examined why I was so frugal and realized part of the reason was my self-worth–I didn’t think I was worth spending money on. I had been working full-time for years and realized I was depriving myself of things unnecessarily. After this realization, I specifically give myself permission to spend on wants instead of only needs. 

After four months of my experiment of spending the same amount as my husband on his bills, I started falling into that overly-frugal space again. It didn’t feel good.

The deciding factor, though, was that I got some estimates on a new garage floor and parking-space addition to my driveway. The lowest bid was $4700 and I could only swing this if I stopped putting so much aside on either the 403B or the house. My retirement is super-important to me, so paying so much extra on the mortgage had to go. 

I’m on my way to saving up the $4700, and I’m happy with my decision. 

I am still choosing to pay a little extra on my mortgage*, just not $555 a month. It’ll likely take me 6 months to a year extra to pay the mortgage in full, and that’s ok with me. I think that making improvements to the house along the way and having some extra cash set aside will help me achieve a better financial balance and help me treat myself better. 

Peace Out (and In),


*Mortgage principal as of today: $44,652





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