Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Update - February, 2016 - Sooooo Close!

Paying off large amounts of debt is like moving a massive pile of dirt with a shovel.  It seems daunting at first, but you simply have to roll up your sleeves and get started.  At times it gets exhausting and discouraging when you've worked your butt off and still see a huge pile of dirt remaining.  At times, you might get to borrow a bigger shovel, or even a tractor and remove huge amounts of dirt all at once (such as in the case of a windfall, like a tax refund or a gift or selling an unused or unnecessary item and applying that money toward the debt).  But those moments are few and far between.  At many points along the way you just have to just take a deep breath and resolve to continue.  Slowly but surely you see that pile disappear.  Three years of shoveling is a lot of work.  The bottom line:  It's the sustained effort that gets the job done.

February turned out to be an unexpectedly fantastic month on the payoff front.  While we were beginning to hold out hope for the possibility of beating our original July, 2016 payoff goal by a month or possibly two, we voluntarily took a pay cut that began to erode those chances.  However, we got our hands on a bulldozer to move a large amount of debt...our janitorial company had been accumulating some additional monies in the bank over the past year and all of us owners met and decided to take a significant distribution totaling $6k each.  Since my lovely wife in one of the owners and totally on board with the payoffmyrentals plan, we pooled the distributions and plopped all $12k down and cut a couple of months off the goal.  This was in addition to the $4,600.00 principal payment already set aside for February.  Therefore, we paid an additional $16,600 on the balance.  In all honesty it feels painful and satisfying all at the same time.  Like taking too big a swig of Coca Cola.  It burns, but it burns good!

That leaves our pile of dirt, er, I mean, debt at only 4% of where we started just over three years ago.

Jan 1, 2013 (Beginning Bal).                                           February 1st, 2016                                Amount Paid Off
House #1 - $70,908                                         House #1 - $7,664                       $63,244
House #2 - $57,619                                         House #2 - $ 0                              $57,619
House #3 - $49,123                                         House #3 - $ 0                              $49,123
-----------------------------                                    -----------------------------               -----------------------------
Total:       $177,650                                                          $7,664                      $169,986 (-95.68%)

We're so stoked over this progress.  It's not hard for me to remember back to when we started on this debt payoff journey.  That mountain of debt loomed large, blocking out the sun while casting a dark shadow over our future plans for FI.  Now it's a mere wheelbarrow's worth of debt.  We should be able to finish this off in two more months.  So, we are officially calling April 1st, the projected end.  That would take the original 42 months required down to 39 months.  As a result, April 1st will herald the official proclamation of FI for this family.  If that isn't incentive, I don't know what is.

The bank will no longer extract $553.88 of our precious resource every month.  We keep every last cent and use it to enjoy freedom, independence and peace of mind.  Priceless.  There's great satisfaction to finishing a project.  Believe me, I've started many over the years only to allow life and distraction to get in the way and give up mid-stream.  NOT THIS TIME!  This project will be seen though to its utter completion.

Carry on, everyone.  Keep the vision in focus.  Let your sustained efforts keep you on track and join the chorus of the many thousands who have been able to enjoy the tranquility of debt-free living.