The realisation of a goal.

Seventeen years ago this month, my then- husband and I bought a little 1950s weatherboard in a quiet suburb in Melbourne’s South East. We had 4 sons: a nearly 5 year old about to start school the next year; a 3 and a 2 year old and the baby of 3 weeks.
This house had one lounge, one bathroom, one toilet but 4 bedrooms. We figured that as time went on we could extend. The mortgage was 96K.
A year later we divorced and I had to buy him out. The court set the figure at 18K so I went to the CW to refinance. The bank knocked me back. I went home and cried for three days. Then I got mad.
I rang Dad, asked him to come over and look after the kids. Then I dressed in what little ‘office’ attire I had left and marched into the offices of the CW bank down the road. I was very clear about my future prospects, my unblemished banking record and the fact that though I was a single mother with 4 children, that didn’t automatically mean that I was a no-hope loser.
The mortgage rose to 115K.
The next few years were very hand to mouth, as I was a single SAHM till the last son started primary school. Once that happened I started teaching again, first as a CRT and then I got a 9 month full time teaching contract at my local high school, the same year that my oldest started there in year 7. This school was the reason I’d chosen the area way back when we bought.
I had security for 9 months with this contract. Our car was falling to bits so I bought a three year old Ford station Wagon.. The mortgage went up another 15k. I vowed to have the mortgage down below pre- car levels by the time the contract ran out. I did.
I kept getting contract after contract at the school. Meanwhile, I cleverly fixed the mortgage for 5 years, only then to see interest rates plummet. D’OH! Still, I consoled myself with the fact that at least I knew how much my payments were, and if it wasn’t for the Commonwealth, I wouldn’t even HAVE a mortgage. I kept on.
When the school offered me a permanent position, I knew that now we were safe. I took the boys on a holiday to Bali, ( then Thailand the next year because we had so much fun) and I started renovating. I was going to pay off the house first and then save for a new bathroom and kitchen- but then I thought it’d be better to get it done while they were all still living with me and we could all get the benefit.
So the mortgage rose to $199,995.
There’s no way I was going over the 200K level.
And a fence:
Since then I was chipping away at it, enjoying each time it fell another 10K’s worth. At first it was slow, but then momentum started to build up. I chose not to do a lot of things on my way towards freedom, but one choice made a huge difference.
I went to a Thermomix demonstration and I bought one. Three weeks later I became a consultant. From memory, my mortgage was hovering around the 100- 90K Mark. Not sure of the exact figure. This was 2 years ago, just before Christmas.
For 2012 I worked full time as a teacher and did this on the side. I earned a free trip to Hong Kong which I was rapt about. Travel was one of the sacrifices I’d chosen to make to get rid of the mortgage.
Last year I swapped my mortgage to UBank. At the time it was 77K. The lower interest rate made a HUGE difference. The principal started melting away before my eyes. I redoubled my efforts and started hurling every dollar I could at it.
My house has a leaky spot in the guttering. It needs painting. My curtains are so dated it’s embarrassing. It needs awnings out the front. But I kept patting her, ( my house is female. She doesn’t have a name), saying, “Don’t worry, hold it together. Let me pay you off, save for Europe in 2015 and then I’ll look after you.”
In 2013 I invested more time in Thermomix, going part-time with teaching by dropping a day and 17K in wages to take on a Group Leader position. I was scared to drop my wage, but if I wanted the job in Thermomix I had to attend fortnightly meetings on Friday mornings. I gave it a go, thinking that if I was able to double what I was losing, then I’d be happy.
I did that. I also earned another free trip, this time to Sun City in South Africa.
Yesterday I was lying in bed, browsing the www on my iPad. I looked at my UBank statement. Couldn’t help but notice that my savings were $10 more than my mortgage. Mortgage was $12, 330.
It was more than flesh and blood could stand. I paid it all across. I have no emergency fund, no holiday savings, no nothing.
But I have my freedom. It took 17 years.

This entry was posted in family., Peak Oil, Quality of life, renovating, Skinflint, thermomix. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to The realisation of a goal.

  1. Woo Hoo….doing a happy dance for you….I’ve been following you for a while….I know how hard you have worked at this…..what a fabulous feeling it must be

  2. Cathy says:

    Well done FD – like many others I’ve been sitting quietly on the sideline reading all that’s been going on in your life for a few years now and want to say Congratulations on finally achieving your goal. As some in another part of the world would say ‘you did well girl’!
    Take care

  3. Simon says:

    Hi FD,
    Your story is very encouraging. We are working to a similar goal ourselves as you know. However our issue was that the bank wouldn’t lend more than 80% of valuation on the land value of our block – and they valued that 20k lower than the actual price.

    Then when we wanted to build – they used the term ‘Fix Price Contract’ which translates to scam between builders and banks.

    So – stuff them – we brought the block and are building the house from Cash and various savings along the way. When we complete this faze of our goal we will be debt free within 5 years of purchase – that was 2 years ago so there is light at the end of the tunnel.


  4. Ang says:

    Wow you are an inspiration

  5. Joh Lyons says:

    That’s fantastic!! so happy for you and your successes – woo hoo 🙂 🙂

  6. foodnstuff says:

    Well done Froggie! I knew you would do it. And I’m happy to think I had a small part in it, being the one who invited you to my Thermomix demo. And it was only to pick up my unwanted food processor (which you didn’t want in the end, having bought a TM at the demo!).

  7. HUZZAH!

    So freaking awesome.

  8. Kate says:

    You are the best. When you set yourself the task two years ago to pay of the morty you were very determined. I think I sent you a message at the time saying if anyone could do it, it would be you.
    So very happy for you and your boys it is such a great moment when the bank no longer owns a share of your house.
    Hope you all enjoy the best of Christmas’s in your very own home.

    Cheers Kate

  9. Ellen says:

    Wow! What a story! You’re an inspiration and an amazing role-model to your sons too. I’m so pleased you have achieved your goal of a mortgage free life and will enjoy the choices you have worked so hard for. What I’d like to know is, what does weightlessness feel like?

  10. Suse says:

    You awesome woman, you. Inspiring!

  11. jeanieinparadise says:

    That is fantastic news, Frogdancer!!

  12. Bek says:

    Well done! You’ve earned it.

  13. Loretta says:

    Congratulations. I think you’re bloody amazing. Having followed your blog and SS for years, I know that no one deserves it more. All the best to you and your beautiful boys, Loretta

  14. Jenny @ Erinport says:

    You rock girl – we both know a certain someone who is probably frothing at the mouth with jealousy 🙂

  15. Bec says:

    Wow, what an inspiration to all us (especially us single mums) but also your boys. well done, and enjoy the renovating!

  16. Jenb says:

    Congratulations. It is very impressive what you have accomplished. And you have inspired me also. I know I will never get out from under our mortgage, so I have a plan. And I have convinced my husband that as soon as my youngest gradates from High School we will sell our house and buy a duplex for about the same price. That way we can double the mortgage payment and pay it off. I hope to be in your shoes in the next 7 years.

  17. Paige says:

    Back from the dead (graduate school, same thing), and checking in. This is WONDERFUL!!!!! I am so proud and happy for you!!

    Gives me hope as we are still working on debts one at a time…but we’re making progress, even with me in school!

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