Monday, December 2, 2013

Update - December 2013

2013 is about to wind up and be retired to history.  I know it's been a tremendous year of accomplishment for many of you out there.  You've set and achieved goals:  Investing, debt reduction, weight loss...umph...ok so we didn't reach ALL of our goals, but, hey, this is a Personal Finance blog and not Weight Watchers, so we won't sweat the last one too much.
What have we accomplished this year?  Well, aside from nearly paying off one of my rental properties (more on that later) we travelled to Mexico and saw some really cool sights and met some awesome people.

Pyramid of the Sun - Teotihuacan, Mexico
While I obviously think it prudent to prepare for the future, I must remind myself that I'm living in the present.  There is a whole world out there to see.  There are people we love and need to enjoy while we have them.  Here is a moving retrospective that helps put things in perspective while we zealously work toward achieving Financial Independence.  (The following excerpt has often been rumored to have been written by Comedian George Carlin, but that is apparently not the case.)

"The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but
shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more,
but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and
smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees
but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more
problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little,
drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too
little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our
possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and
hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to
life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but
have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer
space but not inner space.
We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air,
but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less.
We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold
more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less
and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small
character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of
two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one
night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer,
to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the
stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time
when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going
to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to
you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your
Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you because that is the only
treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. Remember,
to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all
mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep
inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday
that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak
and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind."

I appreciate those words (regardless of who wrote them) as they help us to step back and meditate on whether we have our priorties in the proper order.  While I pursue my goals and ambitions, I never want to lose sight of what's most important in life:  Meaningful relationships with our Creator, our families and our friends, and the true enjoyment of life's experiences with them and not at their expense.

Now...on to this month's achievment:

Jan 1, 2013 (Beginning Bal)                           December, 2013                       Amount Paid  =======================================================================
House #1 - $70,908                                        House #1 - $67,437                        $ 3,471
House #2 - $57,619                                        House #2 - $54,459                        $ 3,160
House #3 - $49,123                                        House #3 - $  3,486                       $45,637
-----------------------------                                   ----------------------------          ---------------------------
Total:      $177,650                                                          $125,382                      $52,268 (-29.42%)

So, so close to paying off House #3.  I'm aiming to pay it off by December 31st, essentially right on schedule.  That way I can clear it off the books and simplify tax preparation for the next tax season while beginning to re-focus on House #2 starting January 1st.  Next step:  Request a "Pay off Statement" from the bank while scraping the money together to make an early final payment.

Stay tuned.  I may have a celebratory post later this month.......


All About Interest said...

Congrats on getting your mortgage paid off this month. That's a huge achievement. Many people spend most of their lives before they can have a mortgage paid off in full. This will certainly be a big boost to your monthly income now.

Pay off my rentals said...

Thanks, AAI!

It will boost my monthly income by $425.00 per month. Of course, you still have to set aside the equivalent of what was formerly excrowed Taxes and Insurance.

The snowball is running hard and fast. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'll probably save up and pay off the next one in larger less frequent chunks, or possibly even save up for the complete mortgage payoff in one fell swoop. Three options: 1) Stay the course with large monthly additions, 2) Large infrequent principle payments or 3) Total mortgage payoff after saving for entire payoff. Decisions, decisions...

Thanks for stopping by.