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Not sure if today’s post should be about me and my muffin(s) (photo below) or annual mortgage statements….. (If I was really blog savvy, I’d put the photo on a separate page for the additional click, but hey, we are all amateurs here at Year of Austere.  Free muffin shots!)

Okay.  Sorry.  I am cracking myself up with innuendo.  I made the muffins (I’d like to say from scratch, but that’d be a lie…) this week for my sweeties to come home to after school.  With all the free time I have not shopping (*sob*), I have time for such domestic niceties….  and then while I was entertaining myself, I thought “muffin shots” might entice an audience for the ho-hum amateur mortgage advice I was planning to write about.

As if on cue, our mortgage statement arrived on Tuesday.  I have to say that at the beginning of our mortgage, viewing the interest we had paid in any given year vs. the principle was pretty sad.  As time has gone on, however, the balance has shifted and every year, we are noticeably better off.   Now, I keep track of these things in my head AND this year I had made a call to our banker with regard to all the de-lish rates I’d been seeing, so I knew what was coming.  It was still nice to see it on paper.  (Also, our current banker is a bit of an airhead and I don’t always completely trust everything she says…..  Is that bad to say out loud??)

Each year, I sit down with the statement and pull up the online mortgage calculator on our bank’s website.  Our bank’s calculator is pretty awesome and offers multiple ways of tweaking your payment amounts and frequency to shave time off.  Given that our blog’s audience straddles the 49th parallel, I did a bit of online trolling today to ensure these calculators existed south of the border and they do.  Some are more helpful than others.  A lot only provided very basic information and then went straight to online pre-approval or a phone number to talk to a bank rep.  Me?  I like to tweak on my own and come up with what works best before making a phone call. So, having said that, the CIBC mortgage calculator rocks.   And no, sadly, that’s not a paid endorsement……

In normal economic times, the average salary increases over the life of a mortgage and with a little bit extra added to your mortgage payments, you can really shave years off.  Anyway, it’s definitely worth looking at.  Be sure to negotiate your bank’s posted interest rate as well.  The posted rate is just a place to start the negotiation.  Be sure to ask for a reduction.  You don’t ask, you don’t get. I’m a little bummed that my family gets to write fun posts about fried cream, binder organization and Whistler ski trips and I get to write a dry post about financial matters, but that’s how it falls out this month.  Besides, I live with a bunch of comedians.  Now, for that muffin shot….

Have a fantastic weekend!  I’ll talk at you again Monday. xoxo