Throwing the kitchen sink at the mortgage
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    Default Throwing the kitchen sink at the mortgage

    As my sig says, I'm on the last legs of paying down the home loan and I want to get it over with ASAP, so that I can move on to bigger and better things (like a vacation for once). After the end of this month, in which my son will be going to a language immersion program for three weeks, we will be free and clear of any major expenditures (hopefully). I say hopefully because two weeks ago I had to buy a new washer after my 2 year old whirlpool started leaking and was unable to be fixed for cheaper then I could find a second hand machine.

    My mortgage is $600 a month, but I want to pay more then that monthly to widdle it down faster. Money is always pretty tight for us because I'm a single Mom. I get paid twice a month, my first paycheck is smaller than my second because my second paycheck has a housing allowance added to it. I figure I can pay $200 out of the first paycheck and then $800 out of the second to make $1000 monthly paydown. That would have me paying it of in 2.5 years.

    But that means we'll have to drop some expenses, like cable/internet which is not an easy thing to do with a teen in the house and not just for recreational internetting either, he uses the web for a lot of homework during the school year, cutting those will save me $200 a month. Cutting the food budget is a tough one, we are a gluten free family so any subs we buy are expensive, I also have T2 Diabetes so we have to eat a lot of meat and fresh veggies which are NOT cheap when you live on an island in the middle of the pacific ocean with no local agriculture. We are going to have to try though because I think that food is one of our biggest monthly expenditures.

    I've decided that I can stand to lose some weight. Like, 50 lbs of weight and so that will alleviate some of our food budget. The kiddo though, needs to gain weight (but not 50lbs worth), he's very skinny, on account of his gut issues from gluten. So I'm going to spend the next few weeks tracking my calories and making a budget based on how much we NEED to spend on food (no stockpiling here), I'll eat around 1200 and low carb and he'll eat around 2000-2200 and higher carb.

    I'm trying to buy more things in bulk on amazon prime because its a lot cheaper then buying it here on the island but a lot of grocery items won't ship here. I've considered hiring a expediting service to buy from costco/sams club but I think shipping on a reefer freighter would cancel the savings out in that case.

    Our electricity is insanely expensive and there really is no way to lower it at this point. We don't use a lot of electricity in our household to begin with. All our appliances are energy efficient. We have LED lightbulbs, small TV's (not plasma's, those things use insane energy), nothing crazy. I got a new boiler and water heater installed two years ago that are both energy efficient and I only have to fill our fuel tank twice a year for about $500 each fill.

    I drive an insanely old suburban that gobbles gas like a fat kid at a buffet dessert table. But I only have to drive to and from work and its a 4 mile drive one way. No biggie. The drive takes me right by everywhere I need to go for errands so no waste going out of my way.

    We took on a roommate because we had an extra room. That's an extra $300 a month. Maybe I should write a novel and market it as self published and rake in dough because apparently I can yammer on and on and on...I'll stop now. This thread is just kinda a accountability thread for my goals (pay down mortgage, find money in other places to pay it down). Its going to be tough because last month I literally had $8.75 in my bank account before payday. Yikes.

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    We did it almost 4 yrs ago. I was like a gambler gathering money for the next pay down. IT WAS SO WORTH IT. Keep going,keep reevaluating. Look at things upside down and backwards. Rah RAH,you have cheerleaders!.

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    Registered User Alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugalwarrior2 View Post
    We did it almost 4 yrs ago. I was like a gambler gathering money for the next pay down. IT WAS SO WORTH IT. Keep going,keep reevaluating. Look at things upside down and backwards. Rah RAH,you have cheerleaders!.
    Thank you for the cheers! I need people rooting for me as I'm in this alone it feels like.

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    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    I swear it is so hard when you are so close to paying it off. We did it though and, if we did, so can you.

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    Alaska-we got the funniest reactions from people when we said we were finishing paying everything. Envy,jealousy,outright negativity. Just shocking like we were bragging and criticizing them. My best friend is like Well we would have been done but we refinanaced to put their kids thru college. I really expected well wishes not that response. So I only told people on here. Handling money is one of the most misunderstood things. But no regrets. We missed vacations,did w/o,never been to a salon in years,never had a manicure. Dont care,dont regret it. And yes I was bouncing off the walls in that last $3000. or so.lol

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    Registered User ilovechocolate's Avatar
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    Alaska, before you make decisions about how much extra to pay, you need to keep track for SEVERAL months of all your expenses. It's not hard---make up your own tracking sheet or find one on the internet. Do some thinking about how to categorize things. For example, do you count HBA, paper products, etc., as groceries or do you need a separate line item? I did this several years ago and have fine-tuned it each year. Don't forget things that aren't monthly expenses, such as homeowner's insurance (if not included in the mortgage), car insurance, subscriptions to magazines/periodicals, etc. How old is your son? Is it possible he can get a part-time job and help with his own entertainment/school/sports expenses? Even if not, let him know that you have this financial goal toward which you're working, and enlist his support. Kids need to know WHY some expenses are being cut or eliminated.

    Keep posting here. The Village is a good support.

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    TDN
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    200 a month for cable and Internet seems really high.....double what we pay. Could you shop around for the lowest internet pricing and just keep that which would allow your son what he needs for school and there are many tv choices you can watch for free. We live in an area with only 2 Internet choices but it is still under $30 a month.

    Maybe the roommate will go in 1/3 on the internet cost with you?

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    200 a month for cable and Internet seems really high.....double what we pay. Could you shop around for the lowest internet pricing and just keep that which would allow your son what he needs for school and there are many tv choices you can watch for free. We live in an area with only 2 Internet choices but it is still under $30 a month.
    OTOH, $200 might seem like quite a bargain when you are on one of the Aleutian Chain in a howling blizzard, -40 degree temp, 30 foot waves. Nice that the provider could get there with the service.

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    ilovechocolate: I went through my bank account online and categorized all of my spending (I only have the one bank account) for the last quarter of 2015 to present, so I have a good idea of where the cuts need to come from. I broke it down into: Groceries, health care/dental, home/repair, vehicle, pet expenses, entertainment, clothing and incidentals. The home insurance is through the mortgage company. My son knows that I am trying to pay down the mortgage, especially before he leaves for college as that will be a whole new expense for us. He is not working right now, he is 14 and his "job" is household chores, animal care, and maintaining a high GPA so he qualifies for as many scholarships as possible when he goes to college. He can get a job when he's 16 and he can only keep it if he keeps his academics up. That is the most important investment to me, him getting a good education. I would get a second job before I would make him pay his own bills. But I don't think it will ever come to that because we have some "fat" to cut.

    TDN: We only have one cable provider on the island so its bundled with the internet. There are two other internet providers on the island, one is through a cell phone company with a bad reputation for overcharging their customers and the other sells it by the GB and is limited to a monthly quota of available GB's for sale and doesn't wire your home but puts up towers all over town (and its not a strong signal at my house). The roommate doesn't use the house internet, its password protected, he uses his work internet when he needs it. When he has gotten on my computer to look something up its usually just a recipe or random factoid so I can't see making him pay for something he doesn't use. Everybody is generally fine with losing cable, we all read and have a lot of downloaded media to hold us over. Heck, I have the 7 season dvd set of Gilmore Girls that I can watch over and over till the end of time and never get tired of, lol! I also don't know how long this roommate will be with me, he is training to take over a high position at his company and that will come with housing so if he does move out and I take on another roommate I'll include that in the rental agreement.

    Thanks for all the things to think about ya'll, this has been a good experience so far. Sometimes seeing your perspectives is eye opening.

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    We pay cable/internet and phone and it about $250. a month. The fees alone are $30. And its the only company available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by old guy View Post
    OTOH, $200 might seem like quite a bargain when you are on one of the Aleutian Chain in a howling blizzard, -40 degree temp, 30 foot waves. Nice that the provider could get there with the service.
    I don't know that its ever technically been -40 here but when its blowing a north wind it "feels" like -40ish...however, in Fairbanks on a -40 day your snot freezes in your nose as you breath so thank goodness it never gets that cold here. For the price the internet is REALLY slow here, lol! But they overcame some serious logistical challenges to bring it to us so we complain but still pay the price.

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    Yesterday I put 5 chicken breasts in the crock pot on my lunch break with an italian seasoning packet and some balsamic and slow cooked those. When I got home I got out all the veggies from the fridge that were ready to turn and made a big pot of veggie soup using the liquids leftover in the crock pot from the chicken as a base. It is the largest pot of soup I have made in quite a while and will probably last the rest of the month for my lunches and a few quick no fuss dinners. The chicken turned out great and is a nice addition to the soup as a topper with some cottage cheese and green onions and cilantro.

    I also worked on my garden last night after work, putting in two zucchini starts, 3 cuke, 1 butternut squash, 1 broccoli and 2 kale. I have high hopes for them, although I've never grown cuke in Alaska before and I fear it will not work out. I'm going to start some cauliflower and cabbage seeds for late summer/fall if the cuke fails. I'm not a heavy gardener, I only have a small plot to work with and half of it is strawberries, rhubarb and mint because those winter over well here. I'm hoping the kale will winter over also as it seems quite hardy in my neighbors garden.

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    TDN
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    I never noticed where you were from.

    Do you have a library you go to for wifi if needed?

    600 mortgage is unheard of here! As is 300 for a room......it is easily double that here and usually more!

    Great idea to use up end of the week veggies for soup. Not sure why I have not thought of that before.

    Good luck to you! You can do it!!

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    Maybe I should write a novel and market it as self published and rake in dough because apparently I can yammer on and on and on...I'll stop now.
    That's not so far-fetched, there is a lady near Talkeetna, AK who wrote about her family's life in their off-grid cabin. Her book is published, she sells it at Denali Park, on line, etc. And she has two newer books - a trilogy. We met her and her husband on the Flag Train a few years ago, the train stopped at their cabin near the RR Track.
    Maybe you could write a "Life in DH" book?

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    Admittedly I'd read it. I have read several of the off grid Alaska kind of books. I bought several off Amazon. People are facinated by lives so diff. from their own.

    Also I love italian dressing w/ chicken. When Ds lived here he made cornish game hens he marinated in it and cooked in a glass casserole dish. So good alone and better w/ wild rice. We used to do the stages of chicken here-chicken,sandwiches,chicken salad or soup. Poor chicken.lol A lot of it ends up on a pita w/ a mexican theme after too. A little cheese,rice a new meal.

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