I posted here recently about being discouraged about how long the mortgage will take, but I hit a milestone so thought I'd celebrate it! (Celebrating the small victories will help me stay motivated, I think.)
After selling some stock and agonizing a bit, I sent in a large principal payment which has dropped my (principal) mortgage balance to 48%. I bought in July 2007 so it's been less than six years. Since then I've also fully funded my EF, paid off a car and bought another car (paid off), gotten married, and changed jobs. That last item, along with becoming a GRS reader, have been the main reasons for my mortgage success. GRS convinced me to make my financial health a priority, and the new job resulted in a signing bonus, stock, and other bonuses, a good portion of which have gone straight to the mortgage principal.
Based on some other life decisions in the works, this pay-down pace may not continue, but I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel (granted, it's very faint at this point).
Looking back, my positive financial momentum started when I stopped feeling sorry for myself and saying "I can't do that" or "that advice doesn't apply to me." Pre-GRS I was making less than half what I am now, had CC debt, and didn't really want to hear any advice or change my daily habits. I didn't see how small things added up. Yes, the new job has meant more money, but that wouldn't have made a difference to the mortgage if I hadn't changed my thinking first (which took time). It would have been very easy to spend the money on some extravagant trips, or just leave it in my checking account where it would "leak" out on who knows what. I think being honest with myself, acknowledging my flaws and weaknesses, and creating systems to counteract them, has improved the way I handle money. I still have a long way to go, but when I look back on how clueless I was when I bought this place, I can see what progress I've made, and not just on that principal balance number.
Thanks to everyone who contributes to this site. I don't read quite as much as I used to since JD left, but it's still a regular check-in for me, if only for old times' sake!