Time For A Major Annoucement

Hey everyone!

I’ve been on a “hiatus” for just over a week due to not having any Internet. Honestly, with my posting schedule, I doubt anybody noticed.

Of course, there’s a reason that I haven’t had Internet in awhile. It’s because I’ve finally moved out on my own!!!!

Oh, I’ve lived with roommates for some time. But I can’t do that anymore. I needed my own place. And I couldn’t stand paying money to some landlord every month. So……..

I’m Now A Homeowner.

That’s right, folks. The Angry Retail Banker is now an Angry Homeowner.

"Whee!" [Photo courtesy of pixabay.com]
“Whee!” [Photo courtesy of pixabay.com]
I bought a 1-bedroom co-op apartment. Closed on it a couple of weeks ago, painted and had furniture delivered over the course of a couple weekends, and here I am!

And here I am now with a mortgage. After down payment and closing costs, I’m $90,000 in debt. I’ve never had so much debt in my life.

Actually, I’ve never had any debt in my life. I don’t like debt. Ironic for a banker, right? I make money from other people’s debt but avoid debt myself. But that’s how I’ve always been. A saver, an investor, a cost-minimizer. I use physical cash unless circumstances require a debit card. I use cash-rebate apps for shopping.

And now I’ve got to figure out a way to pay off twice my gross annual salary while also paying a monthly HOA fee.

Because I’ll tell you this much: I’ll be damned if I’m carrying this mortgage on my back for 30 years. I’ve done the calculations. That’s an extra $68,000 paid out in interest if I do. And I don’t have that kind of money. I don’t get paid that much and this blog doesn’t produce that kind of income.

So that means I have to take measures. Debt is a disease. That includes “good debt” such as mortgage debt. And diseases need to be cured. And I think I’ve got the cure…….or at least a good painkiller.

I was reading an article the other day that was posted on Millennial Revolution, talking about why opportunities are like poker chips. While that sounds completely off topic, FIRECracker talks about having an “accountability buddy” for achieving your goals. Someone to pep-talk you, to hold you to your progress, to bounce ideas off of, and to otherwise support you.

And so I’ve decided to help murder my debt–to cure the disease–by making a change to this blog.

The change? I’m adding an accountability buddy. But who is the accountability buddy, you ask?

Why, it’s………………………


Tracking The Debt On Angry Retail Banker

I will soon be creating a page where I keep a running and up to date debt counter. Together, we will follow my journey to debt freedom.

My goal is to be debt free by 2023, five years from now.

Honestly, I think I have a chance even with a low salary and an HOA fee brutally double teaming me like Bruce Lee’s left fist and Bruce Lee’s right fist. The average mortgage debt in the US is about $182,000, twice the amount of my mortgage. Of course, that’s because the average American puts all their net worth into an overpriced house with an upper six figure price tag. My apartment was only a fraction of that price. I paid less than $125,000, roughly three times my gross annual salary.

That’s what you get when you buy a co-op.

Over the next few weeks and from the confines of my peaceful and quiet but super awesome apartment, I will also talk about some of my experiences in the home buying process, the tools I used (and some of the tools I wish I used), and the tools I will be using to ensure that this debt gets paid off faster.

My mortgage is scheduled to be paid off in 2048. I plan to pay it off by 2023. Join me on my journey to become debt free.

Be my accountability buddy.

Readers–What do YOU think!? Will I make my goal of debt freedom in five years? Was homeownership the right choice? Or should I have rented a place on my own instead? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Disclaimer: The link for the cash-back rebate app is for an app called Ibotta. It’s a grocery app that allows you to claim small rebates for your grocery shopping. I earn a $10 referral at no cost to you if you sign up using that link, purchase a brand name item from one of the listed merchants, and claim that item on the app for a rebate. Not only is it free to use, but Ibotta pays you to use it!


  1. Tom Gartner says

    I love this idea!

    But I was also thinking maybe you should think about leaving retail banking.

    The skills you have built there could be more valuable to other positions. Unemployment is super low for skilled people. Plus I love the idea of this blog, you could leverage your online communication style in another role.

    • ARB says


      Agreed completely on leaving retail banking. But that’s easier said than done. Trust me, I’ve been actively looking and trying to get out for a long time.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ARB–Angry Retail Banker

  2. william b says

    My wife and I paid our house off in 6 years instead of 30 years FHA fixed, we do a lot of stuff that mr money mustache does. Ya, it’s nuts when you look at the TIL, I felt it’s like paying for 2 houses almost but only getting 1. I just read investopedia about co-op vs condo, very interesting, congrats man.

    • ARB says

      William B,

      Great job paying it off so quickly. My biggest obstacle to paying it off so fast is the HOA fee. It’s higher than the mortgage and is actually about the same as my bi-weekly paycheck.

      The TIL disclosure can be pretty scary. Mine said I would pay about $68,000 in interest over the course of thirty years. I’d have to resort to prostitution to get my hands on that kind of money, and I simply don’t have the body for it.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      ARB–Angry Retail Banker

      • Elizabeth says

        Whoa – your HOA payment alone eats up a full paycheck?? That means your total housing cost must be a huge majority of your take home pay…hopefully you have some side hustles (including this blog) providing some extra income.

        I was stopping by to say congrats, and I do think homeownership is a great way to build wealth and roots in a community. But if you’re paying 60%+ of your net pay for this place then my enthusiasm is definitely tampered. If you’re determined to stay in this area it’s probably still a great call though; I just hope you can find another job nearby. Not being able to move easily now reduces your ability to branch out to find a better gig. Wish you the best though!

  3. says

    It took me a little less than 7 years to pay off a 97k mortgage. Interest rate was 6%. I’m guessing you have a better rate. If I had to do it again, I’d put the extra principal payments into closed end municipal bond funds. That way, I’d have a net debt position of zero but still have tax arbitrage by deducting interest and earning tax free. YMMV.

    • ARB says


      Thankfully, yes I have a better rate. Just over 4%. Good work paying down such a high yield debt!

      So instead of paying off the principal, you would have put the money into municipal bonds, deducted the mortgage interest and earned a tax free return? Interesting idea, especially if you then route that tax free interest from the muni bonds to paying off additional principal from the mortgage.

      Thanks for dropping by!

      ARB–Angry Retail Banker

  4. Danny says

    When I got my co-op in early 2010, I had what seems like the same salary as you, but got a $150K mortgage at 5.375% (and they said mortgage brokers learned their lesson just after the great recession 😉 ). Anyway, six and half years later I paid off the mortgage. It was really the last three years when I got serious about it. Point is paying off your mortgage by 2023 is definitely possible. Heck, I think you could even have it paid off sooner. Having to only deal with an HOA fee instead of both has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and sent my savings rate into overdrive. Additionally, it’s very unlikely that I could find a similar place for rent, even if I was sharing an apartment, in my area that has a similar price to my HOA fee. Wishing you the best of luck ARB!

  5. says

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  6. says

    I guess the beauty of paying off the mortgage is that you are earning a guaranteed return on your money (equal to the interest that you won’t have to pay the bank).

    But if your interest rate is 4%, could you instead make more money by investing in something that will provide a greater than 4% per annum return over the medium to long term?

    Interesting blog by the way – I must admit that I wouldn’t have necessarily thought that the ins and outs of retail banking would float my boat but you have a good way of telling the story and bringing the world of the bank to life.


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