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Chris’ Head Shaking Moments

The mortgage As we were amid paying off our mortgage, we got the wild hair to upsize our home and move closer to downtown Woodstock. We started looking at 3,500 sq. ft. homes that valued around $600,000. We only had $100,000 or so left on our existing mortgage to payoff…yet, we had the itch. We loved the idea of having room to spread out; a room for each kid, a dedicated office, and a game room. At that point, we lived in a 1,400 sq. ft. home where our daughters shared a tiny bedroom and Stephanie’s office was in the living room and mine was in the bedroom.

We scratched that itch. We kept our eyes peeled for a plot that we would want and started dreaming about the layout of the home.

A few weeks went by and Stephanie and I attended a seminar for Dave Ramsey in downtown Atlanta. As we walked out to the car after the event, we both looked at each other as if we were crazy. We had been convicted. Our exact words were, “We are in the middle of trying to pay off our mortgage and yet we are considering upgrading?? What are our priorities? Are they to be debt free? Which one of us will step down from the ledge first?” We were literally on the verge of taking the plunge together and it just needed to be one of us with sound mind to take a step back. Thankfully we both had this conviction.

The IRS Yup, this was a scary one; yet, it is a continued reminder that Murphy is always knocking at the door. Because we are money people, I was doing some number crunching in October. I found that we were overpaying our taxes for the year. We could basically give ourselves a raise by increasing our State and Federal deductions – thus, greatly reducing the amount of taxes taken from my paycheck. This worked out well come April. We got back a little bit of money from the IRS and were able to use the extra money in the paychecks to pay off debt. From the time of October to April, we had paid off our cars and we were beginning to build our 6-month emergency fund.

Fast forward one whole year – WE PAID OFF OUR MORTGAGE!! Super exciting, right!? All this extra money we had with each paycheck as well as some other large sums of money were used to chuck away our mortgage. We got to the point where we only had $30k left on the mortgage and this was the exact amount in our 6-month emergency fund. We used every dime of that to pay off our mortgage. We just had to, we thought!

Did you catch one part of the story that didn’t make sense? Remember when I said that we had all this extra money throughout the year because we changed our tax withholdings? Yea…we changed them in October but forgot to change them back the next year – we went an entire year and paid no taxes to state or federal. We owed $25,000 to the IRS – and our emergency fund was liquidated. We went from debt free and 6 months saved, to no savings and a good bit of debt almost overnight.

Whether it’s Little League, Football, or your Business and Personal finances, Chris has been leading others to success for over 15 years.

Stephanie’s passion is your financial success. She forecasted and supported cross functional teams for billion dollar companies. She brings function and communication to the table from her experience.