Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Year End Goals
A few years ago my husband and I talked about setting goals, long term, short term and in the middle ones... we wrote them down on a not so fancy piece of scrap paper and posted them on the side of the fridge. I don't remember what they all were, but I do remember that some of them have changed and others we have gotten more serious about. Changes include my husband finishing his degree. He was at the time actually pursuing it, but then changed his major and now isn't doing it at all, but researching his options to be sure of what he actually wants to pursue. The serious goal that we set for ourselves is to own our home. We didn't put a specific time frame on that one, but hoped to be actual home owners in the next 10 years. This goal was set in the spring/summer of 2013, and now it is summer/fall of 2015. I'm excited to say that we are not only on track to pay off our mortgage by December 2017, but we are probably going to make the goal even faster than that, if of course everything goes well. We have been fortunate in our family to have Patrick as our head of household. In the beginning of our marriage I really didn't understand his need to store up money in the bank, and he didn't understand my need to pay everything off as quickly as possible so as never to have debt. Now that we are eight years into our marriage we've both leveled out a bit. I know that he needs X amount of money in his bank account to feel secure and confident in his ability to care for his family, and as long as that amount is there he lets me pay off our loans as fast as I like, which is an excellent place to be. I honestly never thought about how quickly we could manage to pay off our mortgage, that is such a huge bill that I just figured it would eventually get payed off, but not for many years. I payed extra where I was able, but not on any kind of schedule for the first year, and then we attempted to pay extra here and there for awhile, but the bank didn't like our method so they switched it on me and it got a little more difficult to pay any extra for a few years, but we set our payment schedule so that by the end of the year we'd be a month ahead and I still applied a little here and there toward it. We had a renter living in the house for 5 years, and he was only required to pay what our mortgage cost us under the agreement that he would take care of the house maintenance while we lived out of state, so we were not making any kind of profit off from the arrangement. Since 2014 we have been in a spot financially where we have been able to pay a little more than normal on the house, and have decided to put all of our tax returns toward paying off this debt, and this year we have been able to save money in other areas (having moved back into our home) and apply our savings toward the principle of the loan, and it is a very exciting thing to get our statements monthly and tally up the number of payments we 'jumped over' with our little extras. I feel like God has blessed us so much, and I'm excited to see what else he has in store for us. We are hoping to pay off this home, and either sell it or rent it out again (this time for profit) and buy a home more fitted to our family and the other goals that we have. Goals like planting a garden that will sustain our family for at least a large part of the year. Goals like having a yard large enough and secure enough to let the kids play outside more often. Having a driveway long enough that they can ride their bikes on it without having to turn around after 5 ft of peddling. Having enough space in the living room to host a gathering of church members and friends for special events, and finding a home that is ours forever. I have always been sad that when my parents lost our home because of a bad loan and work situations involving my dad's company, they also lost all the memories their grandchildren could have made in that home. They lost the ability for their children to walk in their old bedrooms and remember where their furniture was, and how the room used to be painted, because not too many strangers will let you wander their home. I want my children to have those opportunities. I want them to have a place to come home to when they have grown up. I want to preserve those things for them. Don't get me wrong, one of their bedrooms is going to probably turn into a craft room, and another a guest room, but they will always be welcome home, and always have a place in it to stay the night or visit for a week, their children will always be welcome with their grandma and grandpa.. so long as I somehow, one day, am able to own my home and stay in it. I long for that stability so much... For this year, the goals I hope to meet are small. I hope to see the birth of a dear friend's baby in December. I hope to celebrate my dear little 'moo moo's 2nd birthday with friends surrounding us. I hope to have a great party for Sapphira and Caeden, and I hope to enjoy more of our home school journey instead of just trying to get through it alive. Life is a journey, not a destination though, and no matter what my goals are for tomorrow, it is how I pursue them today that matters.