Thursday, June 28, 2012

Missing the boat on mortgage rates

I remember when we refinanced our mortgage back in 2002. Rates were at "historic lows" and I clearly recall being told that "it will never get any better than this."

That rock-bottom rate was 5.85% on a 30-year-fixed loan.

Fast forward to today when that rate sounds astronomical. I cringe every time I hear some financial guru say that if you haven't refinanced by now, you're crazy. I cringe not because I'm crazy, but because I'm broke.

It seems illogical to me, but we can't refinance. I've tried. Too much debt, I'm told. Duh. I've talked through our situation with the refinancing department of Wells Fargo, who holds our current mortgage. I've pointed out that we have never been behind on our mortgage, that we have more than $100,000 in equity in our home - about half its value - and have been in this home for 17 years. And I've pointed out that we'd be better able to handle our bills if we had that little bit of breathing room a lower payment would afford. They didn't buy it.

I tell myself that our interest rate really is incredible when compared to years past. It's just that it could be better. A lot better.

Debt really messes things up, you know?


Saturday, June 23, 2012

An ah-ha moment

I have been down lately about how much further we have to go on this debt journey and wondering whether we can keep it up for the years it will take - not that there's really a choice, but it's depressing. But I paid a small bill today and plugged in my numbers to my debt total and realized that as of this morning, we have paid off $10,000 in 2012 alone! If we're able to keep up this pace, it's possible that we could pay off $20k in 12 months. That would be nearly twice what we paid off last year. Now that feels like progress! Maybe there is hope. Let's hope there is.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

I love summer!

It's a beautiful day and I'm sitting on my patio listening to the birds sing and just being lazy. Mostly, I'm enjoying not having to make the 40-mile round trip to my son's former high school twice a day! Figures that gas prices would start falling now!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bonus bucks

I found out a couple days ago that I had qualified to participate in another focus group. This one is perfect, considering it's summer and I have my son with me all day. Every day this week, I go online and answer some questions that have been sent to me regarding my shopping and online habits. I never have to go to the research firm's office. At the end of five days, I'll get $200!

It's kind of funny how that sounds like a lot of money to someone who doesn't normally earn a paycheck - though I think I should for all the work I do ... but that's another rant post.

Happy Hump Day!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Another small milestone reached

We've been focusing on our debt for just under 18 months now and with the last round of payments, we have paid off $20,662.98. On its own, that sounds like a huge amount and tremendous progress. But our numbers are so astronomical, that in reality it's just a drop in the bucket. And therein lies the rub. It is so hard not to get discouraged when you still have so far to go. I keep reminding myself that the numbers are finally moving in the right direction and every month brings us just a little closer to the ultimate goal of debt freedom. I know the prize is worth the fight, but oh my, it still seems so elusive.

It probably goes without saying that it's rainy and dreary outside today!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

So much for the meal plan

Yesterday was a big day. My youngest graduated from high school (especially momentous because he wasn't expected to live to manage this accomplishment) and we threw a party. It was just family, but ended up being 20 mouths to feed. We decided on a cookout with kabobs and lots of sides - salads and chips and such - and a cookie cake for dessert. I bought a generous amount of meat, figuring we could eat leftovers this weekend as we recuperated from the excitement.

Yeah, well, that was a nice thought.

Those people ate every single morsel of meat and cleaned us out of the sides, too. All that's left is a slab of cookie cake and some chips. Guess it's a PB&J weekend for us - but a happy one still.