Paying Off The House Wasn’t Our #1 Priority – but we did it anyway

EOD_SteveStewartMortgagePicAttention, Attention, EOD Nation!  I interrupt our usually scheduled program to bring you a very special post from our friend Steve Stewart, who has some very exciting news to share with us!  Take it away, Steve!!!!

Today is the day! My wife and I are going to the bank and paying off the house! This is our Christmas gift to each other – and it is just what we wanted!  We purchased our home in 1999 on a 5/1 ARM, then refinanced it (twice) by 2003.

I’d like to say paying off the house was our #1 priority, but it wasn’t.  However, what we did enabled us to pay off the mortgage today:


We committed to stay out of consumer debt

We paid off all our consumer debt by January 2007. Then we made staying out of debt our #1 priority:

  • In 2007 we paid $4,200 for a new roof on our house
  • Our $15,000 kitchen remodel was paid in chunks during the construction
  • We took various family vacations that cost $500 – $7,000
  • This year we replaced all the windows in our house
  • We paid cash for a car in April 2015

All this was done with cash, check, or debit card.

No credit cards.

No Home Equity Line of Credit.

No loans from Uncle Vinnie.

The trickle-down effect gave us enough money to send extra to our mortgage over time.

We sent $100 here, $41 there. Once I used my Christmas gift money to throw at the house payment!

Living on less than we made and budgeting for future purchases was the key to helping us pay off our house early.

What is your #1 priority?

Is it paying off a debt?

Is it getting a promotion at work?

Is it having fun with friends or family?

Contemplate these questions to help you discover your #1 financial priority:

  • Do I/we make sure all the bills are paid on time?
  • Do I/we spend money without thinking about it?
  • Do I/we spend time reviewing and balancing our budget?
  • What categories do I/we spend the most money on?
  • Where could we make changes in our budget?
  • Do I/we put money into savings every week, month, or year?
  • Do I/we review our retirement portfolio at least once a year?
  • Do I/we set goals every year?
  • Do I/we pay attention to our money so we don’t pay interest?

The answers to those questions should help you identify what is most important to you.

So. What is your #1  priority?

We would love to you to share in the comments below.

About Steve Stewart

8 Responses to “Paying Off The House Wasn’t Our #1 Priority – but we did it anyway”

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  1. Congrats Steve! Truly debt free! Amazing accomplishment! Our priority is building wealth.

  2. Wonderful!!!! HUGE congrats to you guys!! Our priority right now is dumping all consumer debt. After that, we’ll tackle our mortgage too. 🙂

  3. Congrats! As much as I’d love for the house to be our #1 priority, this coming year it’s going to be the retirement accounts. Once/if we can manage to max those out, then I’ll start throwing more money at the mortgage. For now, I just have to content myself with about $130 extra a month.

  4. Maria Nedeva says:

    Well done, Steve. You are a true inspiration :).

    • Thanks Maria. It was going to happen eventually – but we are really happy to have knocked it out early. There are some new expenses in our immediate horizon – it’ll be nice to have the cashflow to take care of it. #NoDebtNoCreditNoProblems

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