Personal Finance

He’s on to me now!

As a self-proclaimed CFO of our family, I decided to pay off our mortgage early without telling my husband. This weekend, the hubby had a father-children day with the kids. I knew this was happening and budgeted for it. However, I was shocked to find out that a simple outing turned out to be very expensive. I had suggested movies and a quick lunch at Chipotle. He decided to do bowling ($30.33), museum trip ($11.00) and lunch at his favorite somewhat expensive restaurant ($36.00).

In a very gentle way,  I let him know that we now had little money left over for the month and that we would have to be very frugal from here on out. Trust me, I was very nice about it. I asked him if instead of spending about $15 a day for his daily lunches, could he spend $10 or less for the rest of the month. He finally asked question, “Why don’t we have any money? Why are we so broke?” Oh crap! I had to come clean and let him know of my plan to pay off the mortgage in four years. To give him credit, he did not respond in a negative or positive way; he just remain silent. 12 hours later he asked “Why four years?” He expressed that he is on board with paying off the mortgage early, but does not want to sacrifice our quality-of-life, vacations and other things for the next four years to reach this goal.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I can reach this goal if I am the only one dedicated to doing so as I originally thought. So where does that leave us now? He suggested a ten year goal letting us still enjoy life but also save money in interest. In reality, we could pay it off in about six years saving $66K in interest without adjusting our lifestyle tremendously. Obviously, this is all contingent on him keeping his current employment for the next six years. Additionally,  instead of putting away an allotted amount when we get paid as I have been doing, he suggests we wait until the end of the month when all expenses have been paid to determine how much we can put towards the mortgage. In my experience, this always results in a decreased amount of savings.What am I going to do? Part of me knows he is right but another part of me really wants to save a lot more money by paying it of right away. I’d love to hear what your thoughts are! Are you #teamkillthemortgageasap or #teamhusband? I received a lot of great feedback on my last post so I’m wondering what you guys are thinking about my husband suggestion.

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54 thoughts on “He’s on to me now!

      1. I like that idea. We haven’t explored fully the state we have called home for the last 11+ years. We were really good about local trips when we were broke graduate students.

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  1. “Part of me knows he is right..” stands out the most in your post. Maybe you should compromise and try the 6 yr plan. You still get to feel successful, and he gets a better quality of life.

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  2. Although I feel your pain (we are kindred spirits!), I think compromise is the answer. If it were just finances in the mix I’d say pay it off earlier. However, you really shouldn’t do that at the expense of marital disharmony. Marriage is all about give and take and compromise.

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  3. I have been following your last few posts and I would like to weigh in and give my 2 cents. If you can maintain your current standard of living and pay off the mortgage in 6 years then that is what I would do. Its a good compromise between 4 and 10 years and you both will feel like you accomplished something great together. Plus, it would be a very long 4 years doing it on your own (if that would even be possible).
    I haven’t read all of your posts so I am not sure if you mentioned this but its also important to have a years worth of spending expenses as your emergency fund. Do you guys have a treasure chest of savings? What would happen if he stopped working tomorrow (based on your posts I think he is the sole bread winner), what would you do for money?
    Finding a balance between paying off your mortgage somewhat quickly and being ‘liquid’ (having cash to live on in the event of an illness or lay off) is important. If you had to pull equity from your home to fund your life expenses, that may be a huge set back. Ok that’s my 2 cents. All the best and looking forward to seeing what you decided.

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    1. Yes the more I look at it, the more 4 years seems impossible. We have a 6 month savings right now if month of us lost our jobs. Obviously it would be longer if only one did. Thank you for following along in my crazy adventures.

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  4. I’d compromise…but first I would show him how much is to be saved (& what the sacrifice would be) for a couple of payoff options: 4, 6, 7, and 10 years perhaps. That way, you guys can choose together how hard you’d like to work and see exactly how much extra savings are in play with each option. You’ll still get to pay off the mortgage early, but you might get a little wiggle room to treat yourself too!

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    1. Compromise seems like word of the day! And wiggle room would be less stressful. My husband has expressed that he doesn’t want work very hard at all on this goal, so I feel like I have to work hard for the both of us. It’s not a fun place to be in.

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  5. It is impressive to me that he listened and then later came back with a follow up question. It sounds like really collaboration is what is going on – even if it feels like surrender or a rocky road right now. Both of you are thinking about this carefully. Both of you want what is best for your family. Both of you see needs that have to be met. If you’re anything like us, you don’t see the same things at the same time and THANK GOODNESS! I totally miss some things and my hubs totally misses others – that’s why we make a good team. Sounds like you need a new hashtag – maybe #bestofbothworlds since you’re on the road to success for your whole family, now and in the future.

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    1. I really like your outlook on not seeing the same things. I’ve never thought about it as a strength necessarily, but an obstacle to constantly have to overcome in marriage. I love the hashtag! You might be on to something. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I would let 4 years go. Money is not everything and quality of life is also important, especially making memories with kids. I time to time just focus on saving only, but then I remember money can be replaced over time while people, their feelings, and experiences may not. my two cents 🙂

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  7. I agree with everyone else here – #teamhusband. You might even want to think about not putting a number on the mortgage payoff completely since it seems to be causing a lot of unnecessary stress. Perhaps this is an opportunity for you two to develop a plan together completely from scratch.

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    1. Not another one! Lol I’ve tried in the past to work on budgets with him but he’s a big picture guy. But not a bad idea to try again. It’s been years since I lasted tried.

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    1. 6 years would be like zero effort for him because it would be allocating 100% of my check to mortgage payment. So maybe 5 years would help him be a little invested in the project. Or maybe no time frame at all! I’m still a little conflicted but I think the 4 years is not going to happen.

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      1. Maybe you can do a ‘bottom up’ budget where you both agree on how much to spend on each categories which would still give you a decent lifestyle. Then you might get more buy in from him and the time taken to pay it off will be a result of those conscious decisions.

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      2. Very true. I could show him our general averages and get input if he thinks we should add more or spend less in each category (and try to convince him that less is the way to go!)

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  8. I believe the reason you didn’t get the full onboard response, was because a goal is not motivating if you don’t attach a powerful emotional “why” or it. He feels like why kill yourselves just to own the home early. Forget about telling him about the home, tell him what the end of the journey will be like. Not having a mortgage payment allows you to live extraordinary and build wealth on another level! $15 on lunch per is lavish, I earn upwards of six figures and “brown bag” it everyday. Bi-weekly I treat myself to sushi 🍣! My wife and I have a 6 year plan to pay off the mortgage. You have to win him over with the “why”, ur the need in this relationship, as I am in my marriage. We are excited about how much we can save while our partners would simply prefer to know “so how much can I spend?”

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    1. Yes, $15 on lunch a day is RIDICULOUS! I have tried to have that conversation for the first 5 years of marriage and failed each time. In his words, I worked my butt off to be able to afford my lunches. So for marriage sanity, I just add $300 a month to his lunch fund in our budget. It pains me but I have lost that battle. I think you are right about the why. My “why” is that I want to be prepare if and when he loses his job. If he loses his job, I can’t pay the mortgage with my salary. He is not as concerned with this as he is confident in his ability to provide for our family. I need to sell him on a different “why”.

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      1. Children? Travel? His lunches are not just expensive but likely not very healthy. Why do u fear his job loss? How long has been with his employer? You also can be the why, your wish to have a fully stabilized future is a valid why. He is a man, we typically have a much higher risk tolerance. He will never see the rush to pay down the mortgage. Maybe u should simply not label it, build a much larger emergency fund and lay off the aggressive mortgage payoff?

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      2. Could you come to our house and talk to him? 🙂 Yes, so unhealthy. He just got hit with the high cholesterol speech from his doctor, so maybe I could make that point. He’s been with his current employer over 10 years, but each year they layoff people. I have a feeling its not a matter of if, but when. Best case scenario, they ask him to retire early at 60. The funding retirement might be a better why for him.

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      3. Well then I’m in agreement with your original plan plan. Paying off the home provides you with retirement security because u add the home to your net worth and free up mortgage payments into cash flow. It also allows u to attack retirement with all that freed up cash. I would use the health concerns and job dependency as your why. You don’t want a heart attack, stroke, and disability to destroy all you’ve accomplished financially. It will and then the “why” is too late and his income will cut and health costs will dig into that income as well. A health scare is a very powerful why, you have to attack this from the position of loving wife concerned about what ur futures look like if the mortgages stays around and he keeps eating out. Not from the CFOmom view of being a financial hulk. Men never admit health issues, we will attempt to walk off a heart attack or gun shot wound 😂.

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  9. I really want to be on the pay the mortgage off asap team as I suspect your husband could curb his spending without feeling too put out.
    I agree with you that putting ‘leftover money’s is a slippery slope.
    I love that he came back with his concerns and really meditated on it. 6 years I think is a great compromise.
    I must confess that I’m reading with interest as I want to start tackling our mortgage once we pay off consumer debt while ML is less keen on that one.

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    1. Yes!! Someone on my team! 🙂 he totally could adjust his life style and be totally fine! What’s frustrating is that we could together knock this out in 4 years and then have an amazing financial future. I guess 2 years more isn’t that bad in the grand scheme of things though. Yeah, leftover money is not going to cut it!

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  10. I think it would be a good idea to sit down with your husband and decide on financial goals together for the next 5 – 10 years. It is both of your money after all and you should both decide what you want to do with it. I’m way more into our budget than my husband is but we still talk about what is important to us and plan around that. There was lots of compromise when we talk about goals but this way we are both 100% on board with the plan since we came up with it together.

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  11. Whatever you guys both decide, you should be in it together and on the same page! While I totally get wanting to pay off the mortgage earlier, there are some things more important in life than money and life experiences with the family/kids are definitely one of them! Live for the present, plan for the future… That’s my mantra!

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  12. I would say both ways have merit. On one hand, having the mortgage monkey off your back sounds fantastic, but at what cost ? You still need to have a life, especially when there are kids involved. It is not an obvious either /or decision.

    Everything you do in life needs to be sustainable. I often get excited about all kind of things and then get burned out because I go too far too fast. Have a steady plan in mind that is reasonable and have both of you on board. It is not a race and progress can still be made. Everything in life comes back to moderation it seems. Good luck solving this .

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  13. Definitely don’t try to make financial decisions that both of you will have to live with, without your husband’s input and agreement. You would be upset if he did it to you, wouldn’t you? Develop a plan together, be on #teammarriage, and come up with a plan you’re both excited about. It sounds like he’s interested in compromise & collaboration, so this is a great opportunity to strengthen your relationship and your finances in one go.

    (That said, the idea to wait and see what’s left over at the end of the month is a recipe for backsliding, in my experience!)

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    1. The wait and see option is definitely a horrible plan and one that has not been successful for me in the past. He likes being somewhat hands off and knows I know/care more about numbers than he does. But it’ll be good to have some sort of compromise on a big goal like this.

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  14. This is a tough topic! I agree with the previous poster about the importance of having a goal. The goal seems awfully difficult to manage without the “why.” For instance, we have a ton of things we want to save for when we get our debt paid off (Downpayment, kid’s braces, travel, extra retirement, it seems like it never ends). But until my husband and I sat down together and looked at what each of those cost versus what we bring in each month and then looked at timelines, he didn’t really see what the big deal was about saving money. He wasn’t resistant to the idea of saving money (or of paying down debt), he just didn’t see why we needed to be in such a hurry. After really looking at the finances together and talking about his goals, my goals, and OUR goals, it became a lot clearer and we compromised on a few things – and he ended up giving in a lot more than I would have expected (i.e. staying in our rental for a few more years while we save up for a downpayment). The math spoke to him louder than I could. 🙂

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    1. I’ll have to show him the math! Maybe that will speak to him too. His eyes usually glaze over when I show him my spreadsheets. It is a tough topic. I wish we were both natural savers, but no. I guess it’s good this way as we balance each other out!

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  15. Great post and lots of great comments. I agree with coming up with a new plan together. Both of you giving a little on what you want, and hopefully finding a middle ground you can both be happy with. Paying off the mortgage sounds great, but I see his point in wanting to enjoy life. Life is short, we never know how much time we have. Good Luck and keep us posted 🙂

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