Thursday, May 9, 2013
I've delayed May's update mainly because it's been a busy time and more honestly because we stumbled in our accelerated payoff plan. We were only able to make the regular mortgage payments for May without anything additional being added toward paying down the principal. What happened?
First: Health care costs. My wife had to have another shoulder surgery. This was to correct an issue that resulted from her rotator cuff surgery late last year. It appears that scar tissue developed around the area of the shoulder joint and had to be surgically cut to allow her proper shoulder movement. Bottom line: A couple of thousand toward medical deductibles in addition to out-of-pocket expenses.
Second: Taxes! We had our best income year ever last year. While I've always done a good job estimating and pre-paying our estimated State and Federal income taxes, last year was just a little too good. How terrible for us, right? So, we paid off the Tax Man and told him to stay away for another year while upping the amount of deductions taken out of our salaries. I suspect this year may even be better than last. It's a good problem to be sure.
The real issue is that we may be too aggressive in our accelerated payoff plan leaving too little room for the unexpected expenses that life will invariably throw at us. Obviously, life's course is almost never linear; at least not for very long. Unexpected things happen--both good and bad. However, if you do your best to roll with the punches, avoid discouragement and keep your eyes on the prize, you'll reach your destination...eventually. Debt paydown should resemble a marathon more than a sprint. At least by setting personal goals, your making progress. Like my friend once told me, "Even when you fall flat on your face, hey, that's still forward progress!".
I already see the need to back off and relax our mortgage debt paydown pace a bit. Maybe an additional $2,000 applied toward principal instead of $3,400 would be a little more reasonable and allow for the inevitable unforseens while keeping a good marathon paydown pace. I really don't know yet, but we'll be looking at this more closely over the next couple of months.
I hope you're all reaching your goals for the month. However, if you've fallen flat on your face in your most recent efforts, hey, that's still forward progress!