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How to Make 13 Mortgage Payments in 12 Months

Have you ever wondered how you can easily take off years worth of payments and  save money on your mortgage? This method will save you thousands of dollars on interest payments. Well, today I’m going to tell you how to make 13 mortgage payments in 12 months.

Let’s use an even figure for a mortgage amount (this is not the cost of the house we have a contract on) so let’s go with $200,000 and I’ll use our interest rate of 3.375% (no points). I’m using a mortgage amortization calculator; here!

$200,000 for the price of the house over 30 years at 3.375% interest will cost roughly $118,309.28 just for the interest. So a grand total of $318,309.28 over 30 years!

So here’s how to make 13 mortgage payments in 12 months…

If the total cost of the mortgage loan was for $200,000 our mortgage payment would be around $885 (not including escrow; i.e. taxes and insurance). So take $885 and divide it by 12, which would equal out to be $73.75.  Now that you have the figure of $73.75 add that to your $885 and you’ll get $958.75.

By paying an extra $73.75 a month on your mortgage payment each month for the life of your loan will save you $16,527.18 and will shorten the life of your loan by 3 years and 8 months! And if you think about how much you’ll have after you’ve paid off your mortgage… in that 3 years and 8 months that you would have been paying your mortgage, you’ll be able to take that money and save it. That same $958.75 multiplied by 44 months would equal out to be $42,185 (that’s not including any interest earned if you put it in a high-yield savings account). That’s MORE than half the cost of a brand new Chevrolet Suburban!!!

Wouldn’t it be nice to be mortgage free? Our goal is to pay off our mortgage in less than 10 years. Do you think we can do it? I know we can. Just keep reading and see how long it takes us to pay off our mortgage. We’re really hoping that we’ll be in our house come Mid-June. But only time will tell; at this point.

My next post will be about finding extra money to put towards your mortgage payments. So make sure you check back in a few days!

Make sure you follow us on our social media accounts, as I’ll be posting updates on Instagram and Twitter as we have them!


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Meal Planning

Since we put in the contract on the house in March, I have been trying to figure out more ways to save even more money. Meal planning? Is it the key to saving extra money? That I’m not so sure yet. I will have to figure out what stores are in the area, figure out when their sales run for specific items and plan from there.

I already planned on stepping up my “coupon game”, not because we can’t afford to buy our groceries… but so we can put the money away for other things or pay off our debts. I think meal planning will be the key to not eating out as much as we have in the past.

With 5 kids, Kevin and I, our grocery budget will be between $400 – $600. Which is around what it is now. I personally would like to see our budget for groceries be around $300-$400 while using coupons and meal planning. If I can really make 20 dinners for around $120, then I’ll be able to feed our family for well under $400 a month. Now I know I’ll still need to buy things like cereal, milk, eggs, bread, flour, sugar, etc more often as I use them regularly. But if I can cut the bulk of the cost of our dinner meals down to $6 then I could do an entire month’s worth of dinners for about $180.

To me, there is nothing more rewarding than feeding my family a healthy home cooked meal, while saving money that we can use for other things that our family needs/wants.

Who would like to see meal planning posts in the future? I’m thinking a 30-day dinner crockpot meal plan. When we move into our home this summer we’re going to have to start all over as far as food things go. So when I go to the store, I plan on doing the bulk of the shopping at once. Mostly because I don’t know when Kevin will be home to either watch the kids or help me do the grocery shopping. So I want to get it all done as soon as possible and then go from there.

So is freezer/crockpot meal plans something that others would be interested in?

Leave a comment below and I’ll see what I can do once we get into the house this summer. Maybe I’ll even put together a Crockpot Freezer Meal Cookbook with all of our families favorite meals for those on a budget.

Well, I’m off to run some errands now that I’ve gotten the little ones off to school.

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Beg Borrow and Save Wedding Edition

So after weeks of putting together my first book, “Beg, Borrow & Save: Wedding Edition”… It is finally up for sale on Kindle Direct Publishing.

I have never been more excited about anything than I am right now! The last 5 days took a toll on me while I was waiting for my book cover to be created by another artist. I will be writing a post on how I completed this book and how I found an artist to create the cover of my e-book.

The book is currently priced at $2.99 but in the very near future there will be a sale. It will be FREE for only 5 days from May 6th- May 10th! In honor of my oldest brother’s wedding, Mother’s Day & my 31st birthday.

I really enjoyed the process of writing this book and have put some of my best tips/tricks in it and hope that it will help others have the wedding of their dreams, even on a budget.

I’m getting ready to start working on my 2nd E-book which I hope to publish on May 9th. There has been something very rewarding in writing an ebook that I can self-publish via Kindle Direct Publishing.

Do you know anyone that is getting married in the near future? Maybe you should send them a link to the book. It’s affordable and informative. It’s witty and has some great out-of-the-box tips and tricks to save money while planning your dream wedding.

Well I’ve got some sick little ones at home today, so I figured that I’d just drop in and give all my wonderful readers the link to my book.

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Setting Goals

For the longest time, I’ve been setting goals and never achieving them. I’ve struggled for a long time with having the proper motivation to actually get things done. It doesn’t matter what it is… weight loss, writing a book, going to school, etc.

Recently, I was working on setting goals. A goal that could launch me into a better place in my life. I’m launching my 1st E-book on or around April 15th on Kindle Direct Publishing. I promise I’ll post a link to the book, so if anyone is interested that they can purchase it. I’m also going to promote it on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Setting goals that have any chance of getting completed by me are normally worthless goals. But this goal is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It’s finally done and I’m just making sure all my ducks are in a row, in order for me to launch the book.

I’m going to be setting a new goal for this book. I want to earn $100 (after Kindle takes their cut) as my first goal. So how much is the book going to be? $2.99! I only have to sell 48 e-books in order to reach my goal of $100. Why am I setting goals for my sales? Well because I would like to start earning an income with book sales. I have to give myself a goal in order to really push myself to promote the book. Plus, it’s good to know how many books you need to sell in order to reach a specific amount of money. I personally want to use this money earned to pay off the rest of our credit card bills, student loans, and the mortgage we’re about to get ourselves into.

Yes, I have high goals for paying off our debts. We’re obviously going to be putting money into our kids college funds. We still have about 6-7 years before our oldest goes to college. So we still have time to build up a large college fund. Once our credit cards bills and my student loans are paid off, we can dedicate all that money we were spending to our kids savings accounts. See we have extremely high goals. We’re going to reach them, all because we are responsible with our money.

I already have my 2nd book in the works. I just need to finally get my butt in gear and take the photos that need to go inside the book. All of my e-books will be priced accordingly, yet still be affordable. So between $2.99 and $9.99. This will allow me to earn decent money as long as my books are selling. Again, I will have to promote my books online. So we’ll have to see how well that goes. I know I’m not guaranteed to make any money, but I’m hoping that all my hard work, promoting and such will work itself out and allow me to reach my goal.

If you’ve got a goal that you’d like to achieve, then stop waiting and start working towards whatever your goal is. No matter how big or small, achieving your goals should be important and you shouldn’t let anyone hold you back.

Make sure you keep an eye out for the post with a link to my book.
I’m really excited about finally reaching this goal.

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Under Contract

I know that I shouldn’t jinx it, but we put in a contract on a house before Kevin left for Canada on March 28th. While he was still in Virginia, I found a phenomenal buyers agent, who just so happens to be a husband and wife team licensed in several states, Virginia being one of them. They met with him the same day I called to talk to them. So our house (which isn’t our dream home or our forever home) is UNDER CONTRACT! EKKKK!

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It was such a pain in the ass. I had to print, sign, scan and email back all the documents, then Kevin had to sign them. We were doing all this stuff over video chat. Kevin and the realtors took me on a tour of the house via Verizon’s HD Video Calling. I love how technology has evolved since I was a kid. So I got to see the whole house without being there. We had originally planned to have them go see two other houses, but one had a contract submitted earlier in the week, the listing just hadn’t updated online. So we were down to two houses to look at. While Kevin was with them discussing the other property we were interested in, they already had shown the property to someone recently and said that the house had a musty odor. Now those that don’t know, Kevin worked for a general construction company doing home remodeling. So he knows without even going to the house that there was potential mold issues with the 2nd property we were interested in. SO … they just went ahead and looked at our 1st choice in houses and we decided that it would be best for us to go with the first house. Great location, great schools, close to Kevin’s office (within his 30 mile travel allowance for work). We’ll be close enough to travel and see both of our families within 2 hours; depending upon traffic of course. Ugh, we just moved from the NoVA area almost 2 years ago and now we’re heading back there willingly. It seems like we can’t stay away from Virginia. Ha ha ha.

The house needs a little bit of work, nothing that Kevin, the kids and I can’t handle. Mostly some drywall work, some trim work, and could use some new appliances. We’ll have a yard. In fact we have enough land to have a small veggie and fruit “garden”, plus the property already has a flower garden near the front of the house. I think we’re going to have a raised fruit bed and a raised garden for potatoes. If anyone knows me, they know the way to my heart is potatoes. I love mashed, fries, hash browns, baked potatoes, au gratin potatoes, etc. Having my own potato garden will be nice. It will save us a little bit of money in the long run and we’ll have fun teaching the kids how to grow their own food.

Now obviously, nothing is set in stone yet as we haven’t gone to closing. Just putting this out there, that we have a house under contract it all makes me extremely anxious. Financially we are all good to go, just continuing to do what we’ve been doing. Paying off and/or down credit cards, our personal loan, my student loans and then putting money in savings. Every little bit helps.

Five years ago, I never would have thought our lives would have changed so much in such a short period of time. Kevin and I are about to celebrate our 5th Wedding Anniversary (most likely via Skype as he’ll still be in Canada) in TWO DAYS! Holy cow where has the last 5 years gone. It feels like yesterday when I married my best friend. In that 5 year time frame, we have had two kids together, his military career was cut short due to budget cuts and troop draw down, he took the first job he could get regardless of the fact that it paid 52% less than his military pay (including his BAH). Now Kevin’s got his dream job, we’re getting ready to close on a house this Spring/Summer. The kids finish up school here in May, so we plan on trying to close on the house before the next school year starts, just getting Kevin the time off to help me pack and move our things is going to be the hard part. We’ve just got to keep our fingers crossed and not do anything stupid…like go out and apply for new credit cards, car loans, or anything like that.

I’ve been so anxious about this house being under contract that when I got the email notification that the house we put in the contract for was now under contract, my heart sank. Ha ha ha. It took me a minute to realize that it was us. I was just so stressed out and it was a momentary lapse of mental clarity, or maybe I just needed more sleep. I found it funny and when I told Kevin, he laughed at me. So I guess it was a “blonde moment”.

I used to say that life was always good, even when things were bad. Why? Because I felt that if I continued to remain positive that things would get better. Life really has been good the last 5 months and it’s just getting better.

Please keep checking back for updates. I know that in the future we’ll (Kevin and I) will be posting some DIY videos or just vlogs on our vlog channel. It will obviously take a few months for us to get to that point. We scheduled closing for sometime in June to give us time to pack and move the things we have here with us, but that could change. We may try to move it up a little bit, especially since the kids are almost done with this school year.

Well I’ve got some cleaning to do. I’m also going to start purging kids clothes that don’t fit or we just don’t need. No need to keep things that aren’t useful for our family. Who knows maybe I can sell the items on eBay to make a few bucks to put towards credit card bills. Anything to put us in a better financial situation!

Please keep your fingers crossed for us, we’re finally moving forward with our lives. It took a little longer than expect to get back on our feet, but we’re thankful for the people who have helped us along the way.

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Stop Procrastinating

The last few weeks I have been working on a few e-book topics to publish via Kindle Direct Publishing, but I haven’t gotten them finished because I keep procrastinating. I always find something else to do or use the fact that I’m caring for my 5 kids as an excuse. So this blog post isn’t just for me, it’s for YOU as well. It’s time we both stop procrastinating. It’s time we do something new, follow your heart or your dreams. Just go for it!

See I am currently procrastinating RIGHT NOW! How? By writing this blog post! I’ve already put together 10 Chapters of an E-book, just need to finish up a few more chapters and then I’m finished with the written portion. I’ll just have to come up with a book cover and then upload and publish to Kindle Direct Publishing! I just don’t know why I have spent the last 2+ weeks procrastinating. Considering 90% of my book is written, I just need to stop procrastinating and just write the rest of the darn book… TODAY!

If you are procrastinating for whatever reason on whatever is going on in your life… make today the day you stop procrastinating. Take that leap, put it all out there. The worst you can do is “fail”, but at least you tried. Society may consider it a failure, but when you at least try to do something you know you did your best. If you didn’t do your best, figure out what didn’t work or why it didn’t work and try it again. For me, I know my first e-book or two will probably suck. But at least I’m trying. I’m trying to write about things I know and love, so I can get books written quickly and then uploaded to Kindle Direct Publishing. Why? Because I’d like to make a living off of something I love.

What in your life are you currently procrastinating about? Starting a relationship? Are you afraid of getting rejected? Well how would you know if you’re going to get rejected, if you don’t at least try? There are so many reasons to stop procrastinating, one of them is … because tomorrow is never promised. Life is short, so live it to the fullest daily!

Now that I’ve written this post, I feel like I can finish writing my book today. No more procrastinating on this book. No more procrastinating on getting it published. The sooner I finish this book, the sooner I can start working on my next book. There are so many book subjects that I could write about, so I’m going to work on writing a book each month for the rest of 2016. It may not work out that way, but I’m going to give it a whirl. Nothing is going to stop me from becoming a self-published author on Kindle Direct Publishing.

So take a moment today to figure out why you are procrastinating. Find the reason behind your procrastination and then STOP PROCRASTINATING! You’ve got this!

If you are procrastinating about getting out of Credit Card Debt, head on over to read my post titled ‘3 Easy Ways to Pay Off Credit Card Debt‘.

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3 Easy Ways to Pay Off Credit Card Debt

Just a few weeks ago, my husband, Kevin and I were in over $25,000 in credit card debt. No our cards weren’t maxed out, not a single one was. But they were close to their limits. We knew that we had to get rid of our credit card debt or get it under control FAST in order to apply for a mortgage loan. Read on for 3 easy ways to pay off credit card debt!

Let’s start with the easiest way to pay down your credit card balances.

Add a few bucks extra to your minimum payment!

You’re probably wondering why I said this first… well that’s because it is by far the easiest thing to do to lower your balances. It may take a while, but it can shave YEARS off how long it will take for you to pay back your debt. PLUS…. It saves you money because you aren’t wasting money on INTEREST!

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This is a screenshot for one of my December 2015 Credit Card statements. You can see that I had a $1,910 balance.

In this screen shot it shows you that if I would have only paid the Minimum Payment it would have taken me 11 YEARS to pay off that $1,910. PLUS I would have ended up paying at least $4,401 with all the interest included. Even before December 2015, I was paying at least twice on this card. Two times the minimum payment. So about $100 or so a month. But I used the card to buy my kids a new computer for Christmas. Sometime in December, Kevin and I had a heart to heart about our credit card debt. None of it was behind, but I felt like we were suffocating ourselves with the total amount between all of our cards.

So we made a decision to start putting an extra $500 a month towards our highest interest rate card (that would be the account I just showed the screenshot for above). Because of his new job and the increase in pay. Right off the bat, he was making 2.5 times what he made at his previous job. So we have been used to living off of next to nothing. Well we buckled down and paid off $1,500 on that card in just two months. I still have a small balance of around $170 to pay off in the month of April and that card will not be used unless of an emergency.

Now I know a lot of people that cannot afford to drop $500 a month or more on credit card debt. So put as much as you can squeeze out of your “budget” towards paying down your credit card debt. This will also help increase your credit score over time. In just about 3 months, my score went up around 66 points putting me into the “VERY GOOD” Credit rating on Experian’s website.

So putting extra money towards your minimum payment is step #1!

Get a Debt Consolidation/Personal Loan

Now this is something Kevin and I didn’t do. We used our 2015 tax return to pay off a TON of debt (more than $14,000). But when you get a debt consolidation loan, you’re getting one interest rate and only have to make one payment, not many. Plus your revolving debt will be gone and replaced with installment debt. Which basically means that you’re going to have a fixed payment. Your rates can fluctuate with a credit card regardless of your credit scores.

By having a fixed rate you’ll be able to save money on interest. So that means more money will go in your pockets than if you were to pay your cards off slowly over time. Such a win-win, in my opinion.

Take up a Second Job or Find a way to make or save money from home.

If you don’t have the time for a second job (Kevin can’t work a second job because of his travel), then find a way to make money from home or see if you can pick up some extra shifts/hours at work.

If you’re a stay-at-home mom like myself, than I suggest things like selling your crafts on Etsy/eBay, write an e-book and sell it on Kindle Direct Publishing (I’m doing this right now), sell baked goods, go flip thrift store finds on ebay or Etsy; if they are vintage. Refinish furniture, start a pet sitting service. Basically, find something you can do from home that will help you earn a few extra bucks to put towards your credit card payments like listed above.

Clip coupons. By clipping coupons and stacking them with sales, you can get great deals and save tons of money to put towards your debts!

We’re still working towards paying off the last $10,500 of our credit card debt. We’ll get there. Hopefully before the end of 2016. But very soon we won’t be able to dedicate $500 a month paying it all off. Because we’re hopefully going to be homeowners this summer. We’ve already got our pre-approval and are hunting for a home. So keep looking for updates and ideas on how to get rid of your pesky credit card debt.

You could apply two of these tips to towards any type of debt such as car payments, mortgage payments (we’ll be dedicating extra money to our mortgage as soon as we close on a house), etc. Keep an eye out for posts about paying down a mortgage in a shorter period of time than 30 years.

Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog! I really hope that you enjoyed my 3 Easy Ways to Pay off Credit Card Debt tips. If you did, I hope to see you back soon!

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Taking the Next Step

I feel like we’re heading in the right direction. We are finally taking the next step in the mortgage application process. Our application has finally been assigned a Mortgage Specialist. I’m so excited that we’re hopefully one step closer to homeownership. I really hope the Maryland property doesn’t mess this up for us.

Taking the next step has my stomach all in knots. I can’t believe that we’ve finally gotten to this point, it’s been a long time in the making. When we last applied for a mortgage Kevin wasn’t making enough money to cover two mortgage payments. Now that we’re in a better financial place we’ve got the ability to cover the two payments if the need is there.

So what got us to the point of taking the next step? Well, it all started when Kevin was involuntarily separated from the Marines in late 2014. The moment we found out that $hit was going down, we immediately went into saving mode. We took our tax return and paid off Kevin’s truck and paid down/off credit card bills. We knew we’d get a separation pay, that would cover the mortgage on the Maryland property. So we didn’t have to stress about that. We put aside every single dime we could from the middle of April until October when we got his separation pay.We moved before we had to be out of our house, we found Kevin the first job he could get in August 2014, so he was getting paid by the military until October and was getting paid by the new company. So we were just putting money into savings or paying off bills.

We had moments of struggle (financially) during the last 18 months. But finding Kevin this amazing job and the opportunity he was given by them… has been such a blessing. We are both so very thankful that he has this job. I’m so glad that we are finally taking the next step and moving forward with our lives.

I guess, I’ll have more to update once the Mortgage Specialist and I go over our paperwork. We could be homeowners by the time the kids get out of school for Summer break, which is what we’ve been hoping for all this time. We’ve done our best to not uproot them during the school year. So we’re hoping for the same this time around.

Well, my household chores are never done. Dishes, laundry, picking up toys and vacuuming is on my to do list today.

Update to come once we’ve gotten our pre-approval or if we’re back to square one.

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Applying for a Mortgage

So yesterday afternoon when I came home from running errands I ended up applying for a mortgage, well pre-approval. I’m on pins and needles. My stomach is in knots. I know that our credit scores are Good/Very Good. So we’re just waiting for the bank to give us information on our pre-approval. We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. So I’m really dying to know what’s going on.

We’re doing all that we can to save money for the closing costs, we’re not going to have a down payment. But that’s all good, I guess. The VA Loan doesn’t require us to have a down payment, we just have to cover closing or we could get the seller to pay closing costs.

In the last few days, while leading up to applying for a mortgage, I just found out that Kevin most likely won’t be home for our 5th Wedding Anniversary. Instead, he’ll be in Canada, then he’ll be leaving Canada on 4/3 and going straight to Arizona (which means tons of OVERTIME)! Then he’s headed to Texas. I pretty much won’t see him at all in the month of April. So much for celebrating our anniversary. We all have to make sacrifices and I guess this is one of those times.

Things are starting to look up. We’ve got money, Kevin’s working a ton of hours. April will probably be the most profitable month for him. In 4 paychecks for 2016, he’s made over $12,000. In 4 paychecks in 2015, he made around $11,000. So if things keep going the way they are with all these hours and overtime, he’s going to break $100,000 in his first year with the new company. This job has its perks, but it has its drawbacks. I guess you could say this job has been a blessing in disguise.

Now all we need to do is obtain this one small goal. Okay, okay. It’s not a small goal, but it’s something we really need in order to have our family time when Kevin isn’t traveling. I just have to keep reminding myself to take it one day at a time. We’re slowly getting to the point where we can achieve our goal before the end of this summer. We just need to finish the mortgage process.

Well, it’s Saturday morning with my little ones. Time to go clean up my mess from breakfast (eggs, pancakes & sausage). As soon as we have some information, I’ll be updating everyone!

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Wedding Anniversary

Yesterday, I was informed that Kevin would be going to Canada from 3/28-4/3. So we get to see him for Easter but won’t get to see him for Ryleigh’s 2nd birthday/ our 5th Wedding Anniversary. This is a really hard pill to swallow because he’s always been around for our anniversary. Not this year.

I was really looking forward to our 5th wedding anniversary. There was some talk of having portraits done, some of just the two of us and some with the kids (since we don’t have any decent family photos).  But that’s not going to happen now, at least not in the near future.

Kevin plans on having a talk with his boss today. Considering the fact that he requested to not be scheduled for anything on 4/1-4/3. In fact, his boss took him off the schedule for a New York City job site, then put him on this one all because Kevin is really good at the mechanical portion of his job, he’s still learning all the computerized and electrical portions of his job. If he’s so good at one portion of his job, but not ready to advance to a tier 3 employee they do offer a $2 increase… so he better be asking about that partial raise. Tier 3 isn’t so far out of reach for him. He just needs a few more months to get it all down. Remembering how to do things is Kevin’s problem. It takes him a little longer to remember things because he’s got horrible memory issues.

I just want to say that I’m extremely thankful that my husband has this job and that he’s willing to make sacrifices to provide for our family. But this was one day I had hoped we’d be able to be together. Instead, I get to celebrate our little girl’s birthday and my anniversary without my other half. It’s going to be extremely hard not to be upset/depressed. But it is what it is, life will go on. He’s doing all this so we can purchase our dream home.

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing on 4/2, but I know whatever it is won’t be with my husband. I’ll be spending it with my little ones. It’s a shame that we had a bunch of different plans for our Wedding Anniversary and the little bit of time we’d have together. Instead, it looks like all our plans have now changed.

Well, I have to go get the dishes and laundry done, then make a shopping list. It’s grocery day! Yay! I get to wrangle children while grocery shopping. Not exactly my favorite thing to do, but it’s my job as a stay-at-home mom. So that’s what I’ll be doing later today.

Hopefully, everyone has a wonderful weekend. I’m going to try. Maybe this weekend Kevin and I will be able to video chat, he was in NYC last weekend working.

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