Crossing a Psychological Barrier

It’s been our goal for a few years now to pay off our mortgage by the end of 2011. Realistically, the chances of us reaching that goal on time are looking mighty slim. There are only a few more months left, but I refuse to give up hope.

Meanwhile, we have something to celebrate.

Our mortgage is now officially under $50K. In fact, it’s under $48K now. Woohoo!

Somehow, owing $47,957.03 just seems so much less than owing $50,000. (And it’s certainly a whole lot less than what we started out owing.)

It’s funny how crossing a psychological barrier can make such a difference, but it feels like getting that debt paid off quickly has become just that much more possible.

And with each $1,000 and $10,000 we knock off from here on out, our progress will continue to snowball. Nothing breeds success like success, right?

So, tell me about something you’ve been successful at that was important to you. I think it would be cool to see what others have done.


  • I SO agree with you. Those psychological wins are great. And congrats on the progress with your mortgage. I think that is awesome.

    We’re also involved in some aggressive debt reduction. The closer we get to our goal, the more determined I become.

    And we also have a goal to put our kids through college without student loans. We’ve paid for our daughter’s first two years so we’re 1/4 of the way there.

    • Very cool! That’s especially great that you’re determined to put your kids through college without loans. So many people think you have to borrow money to attend college, but that’s not the case.

  • When paying down big debt like that, you HAVE to set those type of small milestones along the way otherwise you will lost motivation. We had a student loan that started off at around $19k. Rather than focus on the end goal being $0, we started off with $15k, then $12.5k, and $10k was huge (we went out to dinner). After that it started melting off even more quickly but we still tracked every $1k as a big deal. Without doing all that, we defnitely wouldn’t have gotten there as fast but it was the ‘little wins’ along the way that kept us going for the years we attacked that debt.

    • Oh I agree, milestones are very important. I don’t have trouble remaining commited to getting rid of our mortgage, but I do feel a whole lot more motivated with each milestone we pass.

  • That’s awesome and congratulations on your recent success. It definitely is great to feel like your succeeding at your goals! Keep up the good work and good luck.

  • That is great news.

    We just aggressively paid off our consumer debt. I loved seeing it drop down by the thousands. It always got me excited.

  • While not a huge accomplishment, my wife and I paid off one of our cars a few months ago. What a wonderful feeling it was to make that one LAST payment!

  • I can’t imagine having so little mortgage debt..someday :) we do have a plan but the end seems so far away. Those little goals help keep us going.

  • Losing my first 20 pounds was HUGE to me this year. I went from 176 to 145 in about 6 months…I am back up to 153, but I jumped back on the wagon big time today and will reach 140 by the end of the year as planned come hell or high water. Congrats on the less than $50lk milestone!!!

  • Tyler

    We recently dropped our mortgage below $100,000 and I have to agree, leaping those hurdles is so uplifting and motivating!

  • Congrats on breaking the $50,000 barrier! Can’t wait for you to crush the $25,000 one!

  • Congrats to you for getting your mortgage debt down.

    Our psychological barrier recently has been crawling back up from the 2009 gutter on our portfolio….we finally gained back most of the losses – before the recent market downturns (sigh).

    It is great not having a mortgage. We have been mortgage free since 1993!

  • Congrats!

    Successs does breed success, I do agree with that concept. Once you see that you can accomplish something that seemed so hard, it can be very inspiring. This can apply to diet, exercise, relationships…..and yes, money habits too!

  • Pam McCormick

    We paid off our house in 2005 took us 25 yrs but we are turtles.I paid for my daughter’s 4 yrs at private college and her 1st Masters in cash quite literally.Sent her each month to the bursars office.Paid for wedding in cash and a car.But it was all done slowly, payment after payment or using 1K back from taxes,3rd paycheck twice a year happens etc.We don’t make big money and yet we accomplish goals well.We plan using a calender and envelopes and it works for us well.It is the little tricks that help you roll right along.And I have felt terrific since house(small cape cod) was paid for hence we could loose jobs,or have an illness and to stay in our house can be done with savings or 1 minimium wage job that has health insurance coverage.That is why my hubby has worked for a hospital 33yrs and myself 30yrs plus I work for a health insurance company so coverage is accessible to us.I think it is all in the planning and working as a team

    • It seems like people rarely pay off their houses at all now — turtles still make a whole lot more progress than most! And it sounds like you have things well thought-out and are getting the things you want done.