Listening to and watching Rachel Cruze and Dave Ramsey live from Rachel’s Youtube channel was amazing and got me emotionally excited again, but there is something else I am emotionally excited about financially, too.
Today we signed papers to refinance our mortgage in order to be paying a 1% lower interest rate and in order to take 8 years off of our mortgage loan! 8 years. There were no fees except the cost of the escrow account and we will be getting roughly $1,500 to 2,000 back from different sources. (We will put it into our emergency fund). That really rocks big time!
When we bought this, our second house, we had some equity from our other house which we sold. That was nice. It helped. We were at just 11 years left on that mortgage before buying this, our second home. Then, sadly, with a newer, bigger home, we were at a 30 year mortgage AGAIN. That was upsetting. Now we are down to a 20 year mortgage. Yay! It feels good to have less time left to be paying interest!
Dave Ramsey recommends not buying a home at all until you have 3 to 6 months liquid expenses in savings for emergencies and all your debts paid off. We did not do that. He also recommends not getting more than a 15 year mortgage loan. I want really bad to get down to a 15 year from a 20 RIGHT NOW, but we have been working at it and doing the best we can.
We aren’t big spenders. This Christmas, for the first time, we may possibly be able to spend more than last year’s $600 on Christmas for our whole extended family, our friends, our neighbors and our little immediate family. Most people would think that is not very much for a family as large as ours (and I will not tell you of its size because I do not trust the internet). Last year that is what we spent and it has been getting bigger every year. That means it was smaller the year before that and smaller the year before that one! When we were newlyweds, I had $5 that I could spend on my husband. I got him a mug with candy in it. It was all we could afford! Our second year, I had a canvas. I made him a painting of Portugal, where he served his LDS Mission.
We just went on our first ever traveling (not stay-cation) family vacation to a place 3 hours away, on a one night stay. It was a two day and one night fairly local vacation. Some people have told us that because we are not taking our kids on family vacations yearly, we are not building memories with them. That does make me sad, but I am also happy for the following: We have not had big fights over money. I am a mom who does not earn any money. This does not cause our family any stress. We are able to afford the expenses of homeschooling. We have a very nice house in a very nice area. We are living within our means.
I know money does not create happiness, but I believe that doing our best to live within our means and be financially as smart as we can does bring us happiness!
If you are not acquainted with Dave Ramsey or Rachel Cruze, please check them out. They are amazing. They teach me many new things. They are also very good at motivating millions of people, including me! Go get some motivation!