Money To Live

February 13, 2012

Mortgage milestones

Filed under: debt,home,loans — by moneytolive @ 10:21 pm

Paying off a mortgage is a long slog. While we make extra principal payments each month, it is sometimes hard to get excited about our progress.

Last month, though, we reached an important milestone. Our monthly principal payment is now larger than our monthly interest payment!

As with any big goal, it is helpful to break it down to more achievable mini-goals. Any time we reduce the principal by another $10,000, that’s reason to celebrate. Last year, we got excited about our mortgage balance when it matched our non-home assets. Theoretically, if taxes and transaction fees did not exist, we could pay off our house with our other investments and retirement savings. Since paying off the mortgage is only one of our financial goals (along with saving for retirement, a new car, and a rainy day), we won’t actually do this.


October 7, 2008

Financial Crisis on ABC’s Private Practice

Filed under: loans — by moneytolive @ 5:00 am
Tags: ,

When Adison of Gray’s Anatomy got a spin-off show, I was skeptical but quickly became a fan.

In the season premiere of ABC’s Private Practice, there was a financial disaster – Naomi (one of the doctors and also the administrator of the practice) refinanced the mortgage on their building without consulting anyone else.  When the balloon payments came due, there was no money. Over time, Naomi becomes increasingly distracted and makes a mistake with one of her patients. She eventually tells Addison, who tells Naomi’s ex-husband (also a doctor in the practice). Together, they confront Naomi and tell all of the doctors. Naomi is very upset with Addison for telling on her.

I like this series, and I really liked the end of this episode when everything blows up. This is what I was thinking about as the story unraveled.

  • Smart people make financial mistakes, too.
  • Be honest because the truth comes out anyway. Might as well get the painful part over with and start getting help from other people.
  • I had noticed that the doctors have a lot of free time: they go shopping, out to eat, on lots of dates, and always talk in the break room. Where are the patients? Turns out the doctors were not billing enough patients, which contributed to the financial problem.
  • Throughout the episode, the characters talked about how they planned to spend their bonus checks. Since doctors tend to have high salaries, I was surprised that doctors would be so dependent on an annual windfall to pay for a vacation. Turns out the talk of bonus checks was a plot point building up to the overall financial problems.
  • How timely! Much of the news has been focusing on troubled residential loans, but the same thing is happening with commercial loans, as well.

Private Practice is on Wednesday evenings. I will be watching tomorrow night to see what happens next.

Blog at