When I first started talking about paying off our mortgage, all I knew was that I wanted it gone. But I did what I do with any goal that requires money: I used math.
I picked a deadline for having the mortgage paid off and divided the balance (about $95K) by the number of months I wanted to do it in (36) to get a rough estimate of what we’d need to pay monthly to meet that goal. In case you’re not following along with your calculator, that comes to about $2638.89 a month.
At the time, my take home pay amounted to $1393.50 a month. (I had — and still have — a big chunk of my pay going to retirement and taxes.) And my husband had recently been laid off.
So when I told him I really wanted to pay off the mortgage and asked what he thought, naturally he asked how we could do that, and where we might get the money.
“I don’t know,” I said. “But we can do it.”
I knew the math didn’t work. (Nearly $100,000 in three years on a current take-home pay of about $17,000?) And I didn’t know how we’d get the money.
But none of that mattered.
What mattered was taking action, and finding a way.
We started off by telling people about our goal, and sending an extra $35 a month toward our mortgage. (Every step in the right direction helps.)
My husband found a contract job, and later a better job with a nice raise. And he did some extra work. I made money from my blog, and began making money from my iPhone app. We just kept working on it. Eventually we got it done.
If we’d waited around to figure out how it might be possible instead of just going ahead, we’d still be waiting.
If you want something, keep working toward it.
“I don’t know how, but we can do it” is sometimes all it takes to find the way.