Sometimes “I Don’t Know How” is a Valid Debt Payoff Plan

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 Pay Off Debt 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.



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8 thoughts on “Sometimes “I Don’t Know How” is a Valid Debt Payoff Plan

  1. Taking little steps was the key. You didn’t wait until everything had fallen into place, you just put a little bit here and a little bit there as it became available. By the time the pieces were in place, putting the money towards it was automatic. Nice work!

  2. That’s really impressive considering where you started from. Taking baby steps is the first step to getting goals accomplished. I’ve honestly been in the “baby step” level for far too long. I really need to ramp it up to giant leaps! ;)

  3. I found this article compelling and I couldn’t stop reading. I totally agree with this philosophy. I just dive in when I have a goal, and figure out how later. If my original plan doesn’t work, I try something else!!!!!

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