Why do I share our yearly financial goals with my readers? Two reasons, actually. 1–it helps me stay accountable. Knowing I have to “report” to you makes me stay on schedule and get it done, and I really appreciate the cheerleading and sympathy when you follow along. 2–I want you to see that's it's doable. You can set annual financial goals for your family, and you can achieve them!
In January, I shared our specific 2012 Financial Goals, and at the end of each quarter I'll review our progress and see how you're doing on your goals. Let's jump into this quarter's review:
1) Pay off our second mortgage by February 20th. DONE!
Technically it wasn't the 20th, but it was by March 1st–so I'm letting it count! This is the momentum that pushes the whole debt-free train forward. With this paid off, we are no longer upside-down on our house, so we can refinance (see below). This is where we’ve pushed all our extra money in the last six months, and now it's done!
2) Refinance our mortgage by the end of March. ONGOING
Not happening! I was naive and thought you just filled out paperwork and it just “happened.” Ha! Turns out it can take months. But I've done the paperwork, am using two different brokers to compare rates and benefits, and our goal is to re-fi and get back about $400-500/month to help complete #3 even faster. With our current mortgage at 6%, we should see decent savings by getting a 3.25-4% interest rate.
3) Continue the Debt Payoff towards our three remaining debts and pay off by the end of December. ONGOING
Even with my huge calculation error, it looks like we can get this done close to our deadline, barring emergencies of course. I'm just putting my head down and pushing along. We're using the huge mortgage payment from #1 to pay off these three loans, and when one is paid off, the payments just snowball into towards the next one. At this rate, the HVAC should be paid off by the end of April, then we'll tackle the student loan. The car loan is at 0%, so it's last on the list. I explained how we prioritized the debts in this post.
Celebrating our progress has been very motivating. When we paid off that second mortgage, we asked the kids what they wanted to do, and they said “eat at a restaurant!” It was an inexpensive way to thank them for all their encouragement and get them motivated for the next goal. We're already planning another mini-celebration when the next debt is paid; it's a way to avoid budget fatigue and keep our spirits up.
How are your 2012 financial goals coming along?
Image from .oskar at Flickr