October Mortgage update and totally wasn’t paying attention

Last month (September)
Years left: 0.5
P =$1,184.79, I =$29.62, Escrow =$812.79

This month (October)
Years left: 0.416666667
P =$1,189.48, I =$24.93, Escrow =$812.79

Turns out these mortgage updates have been a lie since March 2015.  We accidentally double paid our mortgage in March 2015 because our check got delayed in the mail somehow an then we did a last minute online transfer so there was a double payment.  We vaguely remember when this happened, even though we clearly didn’t put it into medium-term memory long enough to wait to send a mortgage check.

I noticed that this happened last month when we got the Sept bill a little early and I was like… wait… why is this not due until October?  Some sleuthing reminded us of the previous mix-up and I decided to just not pay the October bill until this month.  So now the numbers above aren’t a lie except for the few pennies that Wells Fargo steals from us with rounding errors every few months.  I get the numbers directly from our mortgage spreadsheet and apparently haven’t tried to reconcile them since March 2015 or earlier.  I mean, I look at the check and make sure our previous month’s payment went through but I’ve never paid that much attention to the balance– by the time we get the new bill I’m already thinking about the next month’s balance, so the number never threw me off since it looked familiar.  Maybe if I’d gotten two months off…

I’ve definitely had a lot more inattention to our finances than we used to.  That’s mostly because the penalty for getting things wrong isn’t a big deal right now.  Being able to be relaxed about finances is pretty amazing.  We are lucky and I’m glad we made earlier sacrifices to be able to capitalize on that luck.

I thought about just paying off the mortgage again this month, but then I was like… ungh, I’d still have to figure out how we’re going to be saving for escrow and that sounds like a pain.  Plus all the paperwork with actually closing out the mortgage and making sure all the escrow they’re keeping gets back to us and so on and so forth.  We have enough money in our Wells Fargo accounts from reimbursements right now that we wouldn’t have to worry about paying a $15/mo checking fee, but keeping track of that also sounds like a pain.  I am so hassle-averse.

If we have time over the holidays maybe I’ll deal with all of that then.  Otherwise I’ll just keep writing a check each month until March.  Except, you know, last month, when I let things catch up.

10 Responses to “October Mortgage update and totally wasn’t paying attention”

  1. Leah Says:

    Now might also be a good time to consider switching banks, period. We also have some money in Wells Fargo, and we are investigating switching out due to their poor practices. There are plenty of banks that will not charge you a fee for checking as long as you have a direct deposit.

    Re: escrow, do you have to have some sort of middle man hold the money? Or could you auto-draft that into a special savings account so you have the cash ready to go when needed?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We have a credit union account too, which is where we have our direct deposits and do the majority of our banking. But we like Wells Fargo as our nationally available bank. One nice thing about the current investigation is that they are likely to be on their best behavior for the foreseeable future.

      I’ll discuss escrow next month.

    • Leah Says:

      We have a national bank already (I use Schwab). I understand wanting to stick with something national. I just dislike rewarding WF for their bad behavior. Investigated last night, and our local bank has a really awesome interest rate on checking with some reasonable behavior modification, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be switching my husband’s stuff there when we get the chance (likely Thanksgiving break).

  2. SP Says:

    Does the actual escrow account go away, then you just pay taxes/insurance on your own? We don’t have escrow, we just do the above. Being in CA, the taxes are a pretty big chunk. So far I just put it all in a savings account during the summer, because our cash flow is so uneven. When there are years without summer salary for T, we’d have to handle differently.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yep, actual escrow account managed by Wells Fargo goes away (in theory they should send us a check for the remaining cash once the mortgage is done) and we will send checks directly to the company/government office.

      How many times a year do you pay property tax? We have a 1x or a 2x a year option.

      • SP Says:

        2x per a year, roughly December and March (not evenly spaced).

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        That sounds like ours too. I wonder why that is. Maybe that’s what’s optimal for the gov’t– enough time for people to scrape up payment (for example from their tax refund), but not so much time that it messes up the annual budget?

  3. First Gen American Says:

    I have only had bad experiences with Wells Fargo. I will never bank with them again, and I was of that opinion before the scandal broke.

    I am already itching to pay my mortgage off again. I couldn’t imagine having so low a balance and not paying it off. But my mortgage antsy ness seems to also be correlated to general job satisfaction as well for me. I guess it means you’re happy?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      5k is so little it doesn’t bother me. Plus we’ve never not had a housing payment so we don’t know what we’re missing. And if I left my job we would move and it is currently a sellers market. So… not really correlated with job satisfaction.

      And escrow is large, the mortgage is small. So we won’t be getting that much additional cash flow.

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