Wednesday, December 13, 2017

$11 A Day Matters In A Frugal Home

"Well, that was unexpected" said our son upon seeing approx. 100 Santas on bikes.  

More on the mortgage front.  When I lasted posted I shared our goal to pay off our home mortgage.  The bulk of the pay down would come from a few clicks on the computer, by which we'd cash out our brokerage account and put the balance towards of mortgage.  Click, click, click....but then a brick wall.  

Our credit union told us that we could not transfer that large of a sum to the bank holding our mortgage in one transaction, we'd have to break it into two.  And it got worse, it would take several days for each transfer to be set up and processed. 

It is my partner in frugality, and life (aka my husband) who is handling to logistics of this payment, and his electrical engineering brain that is super charged when it comes to numbers quickly calculated that each day of delay due to financial institutions would cost us $11 in interest per day.  That was unacceptable.  We had the funds, we wanted to pay the balance down and not pay that added interest.

Old school it would have to be.  Just before our son's Cub Scouts meeting, my husband and son piled into his trusted old Mazda and headed to the bank holding the mortgage with checkbook in hand.  At the counter he slid a check with six-digits to the clerk along with a form indicating the payment should go to principal.  Click, scan, printed receipt, and bam -- the mortgage balance fell to an amount roughly equivalent to a new Mazda.  Interest be damned!

And with our frugal fire burning bright, my husband and son headed to the Scouts meeting.  Along the way his long-trusted Mazda lost some steam.  "Don't fail me now" was muttered under my husband's breath as the car chugged its way up a hill.  Our son  may never forget that night.  Our car does not scream fancy or even reliable for that matter.   But both children are getting front row seats to lessons in compound interest, tax deductions (that are evaporating with the new tax bill), and the beauty of used cars.  I'm curious to see if they'll be as frugal as we are, time will tell.

That night we made a decision to operate as a 1.5 car family.  The Mazda, purchased for $5k in 2010 is fading.  We don't want to pose a risk on the roads, nor do we wish to pay for a tow or investigate the repairs to revive its utility.  For now, it's parked in the garage and  my husband is relying on his bikes (his winter bike has studded snow tires), bus, using my car, and an Uber here and there to get to and from work.  My need for a car is low during the school year since I walk the kids to school and can walk/bus/bike to my office that is a few minutes from home.

If an expense is not necessary, it's likely not going to happen in 2018 as we aim to get that mortgage balance to zero.  Will it happen?  Time will tell.  Words of encouragement or tips on wise spending habits are always welcome, so leave a comment and be well.  Thanks for reading.

Following Santas lead, we are embracing winter biking in our frugal home.  Madison is such a gem of a city!

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