Paying Off the Mortgage, Month 8 of 12 (maybe 11)

Tentative house payoff date is May 19th! Holy cow. It’s crazy to be within sight of the finish line. We had some relatively large expenses in February. One was our HOA fees, which should have been in the budget, we just missed it. The 2nd was some maintenance work on the van, but we’ve been under budget on car maintenance over the past 8 months, so the budget absorbed the extra hit with no problem. The payoff date is moving closer because of the larger than expected tax return, and a larger than expected bonus at work. I am very thankful for my job. I definitely take it for granted sometimes. I need to work on my gratitude.

Now, for some pictures of what debt free looks like in our driveway.

This is our oldest vehicle. It’s my Dad’s 1998 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. Nothing fancy. 2 wheel drive. Dad bought it used. Running great. Yeah, the check engine light is on. I’ll head up to the auto parts store and get it reset. It’s usually nothing. Those of you with older cars know what I mean. 🙂

Truck Mileage


Here’s the first car Lianne and I purchased. It’s a 2002 Ford Escape. She was pregnant with Ava, and I think the old K car I was driving blew its engine. We bought the Escape used from a dealership. It only had around 5,000 miles on it. It’s the base model. Stick shift. I think it cost $13,000. We took out a loan. The payments were $230, but we paid it off early. Jaron drives it now. We love it.

Escape Mileage


Here’s the “new” car. It’s a 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan. It’s the top trim. We bought it new. It was over $30,000. I got some good discounts through work, but looking back we probably shouldn’t have bought it new. We paid it off early thanks to a home refinance. The math seemed to make sense to me at the time, but sheesh, not something I’d recommend! As you can tell by the mileage, this baby has seen a lot. I envision many more family road trips in the future.

Van Mileage


The plan is to drive all 3 of these until the tires fall off. I’m willing to do routine maintenance myself, and it sure beats a car payment. We will start putting some money aside for a “new” car, just in case, but my real goal is to have 3 cars with over 200,000 miles.

There’s nothing wrong with newer cars. I was talking to Bill yesterday about the fact that we often spend money on things that make us feel good, and that’s OK. Vacations. Food. Electronics. The biggest problem with cars though, is the loans. Those car payments always last longer than the good feelings. That’s true of debt in general. We love our house. It felt great to buy it and move in, but 20 years of payments is enough.

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