Thursday, December 23, 2010

Looking Back and Ahead

I've been slightly under the weather the past few days so there was plenty to time available for me to work on my yearly spreadsheet. In fact I have the next 2 years kind of mapped out.

The reason being, 2012 is a pretty important year for us. It is the year my mortgage prepayments end and both mortgages get to coast to their term ends. We will then get to own both places after just 5 years. It may sound great but...

Would I recommend doing this? Not really. Just like I wouldn't necessarily recommend completing grade 10 level of piano. The sacrifices are great and there are plenty of opportunity to build an unhealthy level of resentment. I guess you need to know what you are getting into and have a spouse (if applicable) who is on board and can balance out views.

I finished my piano levels because that was part of the deal I made with my parents for them buying me a piano. I struck that deal as a 7 yr old and I felt obligated to stick with it.

I cannot say I am passionate about the instrument. I am good at it. Through the whole process, I did develop a love for learning and teaching music history as well as having the opportunity to nurture students over the period of the 7 yrs I taught. And it is the reason I have been able to have the post secondary education I do. For that I am eternally grateful.

The deal I made with myself and D regarding the quick mortgage payoff, was that I would do my best to use our pooled financial resources to achieve this goal. We first decided that it would be a worthy goal to achieve. That if I got too carried away (ie. too frugal or depriving), he would do his best to rein me in. (There wasn't a worry on his end). And I identified which years due to various circumstances would be tougher than others and why (mainly due to ambitious savings goals).

2009 was our most difficult year. It was the year where we needed to put in place emergency funds for all our properties and cars ($20000) alongside the prepayments ($23000). We cancelled a number to trips in order to reach our goals. I leaned heavily on this blog and all of you out there for support. Looking back, it wasn't very balanced. I had named this blog deliberately to remind myself to balance...

2010 has been much better. Without needing to put as much money into savings, we had opportunities to dust off some of our personal ambitions. We got to see great new places and D replaced his vehicle. We are still behind in the savings department but I'm not worried as the light at the end of tunnel is getting brighter and I know I would be able to catch up quickly.

2011 will be a hybrid sort of year. If everything falls into place, it will be an epic travel year as well as the final full year of prepayments. That means my income will be mostly savings after that. Originally I though I had half of 2012 ahead of me still. I had forgotten about D's yearly bonus (paid Jan 2012) which we are expecting to be able to pay for the remainder of prepayment needed as well as my 40th birthday trip. All of a sudden my timeline is a year. That is the best Christmas present ever!


  1. My wife and I are also at a point with our mortgage payoff plan where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Although we did make a number of changes to our financial habits, I have to say that I haven't felt like we've made many "sacrifices" to this point. It might be more accurate to instead call it "an exercise in greater financial efficiency". Once the mortgage is gone, I can't imagine we'll start spending more frivolously. We'll just keep the current methods in place, but focus on building up lifetime savings instead of paying down debt.

    Nice work on progressing toward your own goals. Happy year end!

  2. @ The Executioner;

    I believe you and your wife are well suited for such a venture. There isn't any tug of war with respect to spending more or less. That's ideal.

    D and I are less suited to this in that we do feel a bit deprived relative to how we used to live. (That's not necessarily a good thing nor would we wish to repeat all of it)

    We do have small tugs of war once in a while with respect to spending. As much as we have learned a lot about conservation, we will likely loosen up the purse strings once this is all over in some areas while maintaining some habits.

    Congratulations to you and your wife on an incredible debt reduction year. I do not doubt next year you'll continue to supersede your monthly goals.

    Merry Christmas!

  3. I'd rather be sailingDecember 25, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    Congratulations on what I would suggest has been quite a year for you both.

    Pretty impressive your journey so far and you have not yet hit the ripe old age of 40. (I remember 40... vaguely)

    Don't lose site of the fact that life is worth living and sometimes life gets in the way... kudos for you to roll with it.

    All the best to you and D this holiday season and may 2011 be the best yet!

  4. @ I'd rather be sailing;

    Thank you very much! Very sage words as usual. I hope you had a great Christmas with your family and best wishes for 2011!