Author Archive: NCN

5 Years In Our New House – Mortgage Update!

I was reminded by my son: As of today, we have lived in our new house for 5 years. So, it’s time for a mortgage update – with handy-dandy chart!

When my wife and I financed the purchase of our new home five years ago, our goal was to pay it off in less than ten years. We have a fixed, conventional, fifteen-year mortgage.

I use a simple pie-chart to track our progress. Having a visualization keeps us motivated and excited about the progress we are making.

We purchased our home in February of 2010. Hopefully, we’ll pay it off in less than 10 years – which is our stretch goal – but as of right now, we have shaved 7 months off of the length of the loan. Our progress was slowed, just a bit, when I changed jobs, but we are back – on-track – making principal-only payments on a regular basis.

Here’s a chart with details for our current progress –

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The percentages above represent the amount of our mortgage we have paid – 28.28% – and the amount we still owe – 71.72%.

Click here to check out our method for reducing our debt and paying off our mortgage.

Each month, we make our scheduled mortgage payment, plus an additional principal-only payment. (Some months, we make more than one principal-only payment.)

Keep in mind, this chart doesn’t represent our equity – it represents that amount we owe on our mortgage.

Here’s more on how we found the perfect house for our family and decided how much to pay for our new home.

We have reduced the length of our 15-year mortgage by 7 months. Each month, the amount of money going towards principal increases, and the amount for interest decreases. Things should really begin to progress, as we ramp up our efforts in 2015. Blessings.

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Top 10 Ways To Save Money

Looking for some ways to save money?  How about ten ways?  Cool.  Check out my Top 10 Ways To Save Money – Click the links to read individual articles about each tip!

Number 10 – Cook and Eat at Home

Eating out is expensive, especially for families.  Shop wisely for groceries and eat at home.

Number 9 – Give Up Hobbies

This can be a tough one, but giving up hobbies (at least temporarily) can save some serious cash.

Number 8 – Purchase Fresh Produce

Shopping locally, in-season, can result in some real savings.

Number 7 – Get Fit

This one is tough for me.  I work hard to lose weight – and maintain my weight loss – because I know being healthy helps my waist line and my wallet!

Number 6 – Work Together

If you have a family, it’s extremely important to cooperate when it comes time to create – and implement – a budget.  Working together benefits the entire family and each individual in it.

Number 5 – Follow Through

You have the plan, but you have to actually follow it.  Take the next step.  Today!

Number 4 – Shop Smart

Use available technology and old fashioned sources to become a smarter consumer.

Number 3 – Avoid Paying Credit Card Interest

If you have credit card debt, pay it off.  If you have a credit card, pay it off each month.

Number 2 – Live on a Budget

Give every penny a purpose and every dollar a destination.

Number 1 – Understand What You Are Doing Before You Do It

This is my number one money saving tip- Before you do anything with your money, understand what you are doing.

These are my Top Ten Ways to Save Money.  Please leave a comment with your ideas for saving money – and use the buttons below to share this post.  Blessings!

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Paying Off Our Mortgage Early – Update With Chart

My wife and I financed the purchase of our new home five years ago.  We are working hard and paying off our mortgage early.  Our goal is to own our home in less than ten years.

I use a simple pie-chart to track our progress. Having a visualization keeps us motivated and excited about the progress we are making.

We purchased our home in February of 2010. Hopefully, we’ll pay it off in less than 10 years – which is our stretch goal – but as of right now, we have shaved 6 months off of the length of the loan. Our progress was slowed, just a bit, when I changed jobs, but we are back – on-track – making principal-only payments on a regular basis.

Here’s a chart with details for our current progress –

1214mortgage

The percentages above represent the amount of our mortgage we have paid – 27.76% – and the amount we still owe – 72.24%.

Click here to check out our method for reducing our debt and paying off our mortgage.

Each month, we make our scheduled mortgage payment, plus an additional principal-only payment. (Some months, we make more than one principal-only payment.)

Keep in mind, this chart doesn’t represent our equity – it represents that amount we owe on our mortgage.

Here’s more on how we found the perfect house for our family and decided how much to pay for our new home.

We have reduced the length of our 15-year mortgage by 6 months.  Blessings.

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A Super Simple System To Organize Bills And Paperwork

I have been using this super simple system to organize bills and paperwork for years.  I like this system because it only takes me a few minutes to either file or find bills or paperwork.

I can file an entire month’s worth of bills and paperwork in less than five minutes.  Like I said, this system is super simple.

Some our bills arrive via email, but a number of them still arrive via regular mail.  Here’s how we manage our bills, paperwork, and receipts –

The Setup -

I use one letter tray and one expanding file box. That’s it.

I’ll create a label for each tab in the expanding file box, one tab for each month, January through December.

The System

When our mail arrives, I open each piece.  Bills to be paid are placed on the top shelf of the letter tray and paperwork to be filed is placed on the bottom shelf.

At the end of each week, I’ll pay the bills from the top shelf, using online bill pay or the occasional paper check.

I’ll then move those bills to the bottom shelf.

At the end of each month, I’ll take all of the bills and paperwork from the bottom shelf, and place them in the expanding file box, under that month’s tab.

I do not take the time to alphabetize or sort the bills.  All of the paperwork for January goes into the tab labeled January.  This takes seconds.

If I ever need to take a find a bill from January, I’ll simply open the expanding file box, find the January tab, remove the bills from January, and find what I need.  As long as I know the month associated with a particular bill, finding it takes just a few minutes.

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For tax-related receipts, I keep those paper-clipped together on the middle shelf of the letter tray.  At the end of each month, I place them in the expanding file folder, in one of the unused tabs at the back of the box.  This keeps tax-related receipts separate from day-to-day bills and paperwork.

Withe a 19-tab file box, there a extra tabs available for sorting and storing specific documents, bills, or other papers.  I usually reserve the back two tabs for paycheck stubs and information about our insurance policies.

The Storage

At the end of each year, I place the entire expanding file folder on the top shelf our our closet.  The entire system takes up less space than a large shoe box.  Each January, I purchase a new expanding file folder and start over.

This system works for me.  I should note, we have simplified our finances and automated much of our bill paying.  Rather than creating an elaborate filing system, I use this system to quickly file, find, and store our bills, receipts, and paperwork.  Extremely important documents (wills, cart titles, etc.) are kept in a fire-proof safe.

Please share your thoughts in the comments – and check out No Credit Needed via Facebook and Twitter.  Blessings.

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