"A Jack of All Trades is a Master of None, but oftentimes better than a Master of One."

Starting a Compost Area

We started a compost area in our backyard from what was left from the previous owners. They must have used this space to toss in their grass clippings, but we rebuilt it to make it a compost area for our future vegetable garden.

Compost is a great option for using up those leftover fruit and vegetable cuttings you might normally toss away in the garbage can. At times, too, we’ve had to toss in whole fruits or vegetables that have gone bad before we have gotten to them. We don’t end up in that situation as much now, as I’ve gotten into the habit of freezing anything that may start to turn for the worse (or putting it in a pot (potatoes/onions) to grow!).

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Running the Mortgage Payoff Numbers

3D Finish First

Photo via StockMonkeys.com

One would think it would be pretty cut and dry with deciding to pay off the mortgage or not. As I’ve looked at the numbers over and over again since declaring our goal, and as we’ve run into extra expenditures that weren’t factored into our 4-5 year off payoff plan, I’m starting to see the direction that would be best for us to go. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting clearer…

There are two concerns I have about paying off our mortgage so quickly.

One is that it limits our ability to put away extra money for retirement or other investing. We probably will sell this home as we approach retirement and downsize (and we’ll easily have it paid off by then either way). I don’t want to lose out on compounding interest over time by taking what we’d be investing and limiting it for several years. Continue reading…

Try It On for Size

3D Problem SolvingPhoto via StockMonkeys.com.

On Monday, I shared our super scary hairy audacious goal to pay off our mortgage in the next 5 years. It is a terrifying prospect, but the idea of having that much more income ours to hold on to in possibly 4 years sounds heavenly. In that post, I wrote:

Instead of just committing to the goal, we’re going to spend the next two months living uber frugally. We’re going to get back to truly sticking within our food budget, and attempting to live on our lowest salary…

Instead of just stating, yes, we’re going to go forth and live miserly on pennies a day, we’ve decided it would be best to “try it on for size” first before we actually commit to the long-term plan. This gives us the ability to save additional income we had not planned to save this spring, and see if we truly can make it work and still function decently in the process.

One of the best ways to see if something will work for you is to try it out for a shorter time period. Instead of focusing on the 5 year plan, we’re focusing on the next two and a half months. If that works and we get used to it, then it’ll be easier to tackle each month going forward.

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Paying Off Our Mortgage in 5 Years?

3D Shackled Debt

Photo: www.stockmonkeys.com

I’ve been going back and forth on the idea of completely obliterating our mortgage in the next 5 years or less. You’ll find financial experts on both sides of the coin who will tell you to not worry about your mortgage debt if the interest rate is low (around 4% or less) and instead use your money to invest. On the other hand, other experts will tell you to get out of debt entirely as soon as possible.

Mortgage debt is extremely personal to everyone who holds one.

Personally, I don’t like debt. I never have.

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No New Clothes: March Update

So far, since the end of November, I’ve not purchased any new clothes (4 months!). I have several good reasons, one of which are several bins of smaller sized clothing prepartum to get back into. This month I continued to skip clothes shopping, although I did end up getting one new pair of running sneakers. If there is anything I am not willing to give up, it is appropriate footwear for running.

Unfortunately, even though I tried on about 6 different running pairs and landed on one that seemed like a winner, my knees were hurting after just a few short runs (and I can’t return them, bummer). So, I’m running in my older sneakers that still have life left in them, and the new ones have been great for walking.

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