A lot of the personal finance bloggers that I read have set themselves a reward for paying off their mortgage. Generally the month after they pay off their mortgage they will use the money that they would have otherwise been putting on their mortgage to treat themselves. Sometimes it's a new gadget or a nice supper or a trip. I've been putting a lot of thought into what I would do to celebrate my achievement in 4 and a half years.
When it comes to gadgets I'm not sure what I'll want in 4 years time so it's hard to pick a prize, after all the reward shouldn't be constantly moving. I toyed with the idea of a nice time out, but I certainly don't plan on depriving myself of those in the interim. Maybe I'll make a cake and share it with my family to celebrate but it wouldn't be a big production. For the most part I had decided that I would just jump straight to saving more for retirement, which for me would be satisfying in and of itself.
Then I got an e-mail from KIVA. Saying that I was among the top 1% of lenders. It was a bit strange, at the same time I felt incredibly proud and somewhat sad. Proud because, lets face it, everyone enjoys a pat on the back. Sad because the money that I put in my Kiva account was earned over 3 years while I was working for minimum wage. How could I who earned so little be one of the most prolific lenders? Should I step up my giving since the rest of the world isn't keeping pace? I had stopped adding to my Kiva account when the loss of my job was imminent and since then have put all my financial effort towards saving in order to build a financially stable house for as many foster kids as I can handle.
On the bright side it did solve the problem of how to treat myself for getting rid of my mortgage. The month after I pay off my mortgage the amount of my monthly pay check that normally goes towards my mortgage (should be about $1,900 at that point) will be lent to people through my Kiva account. So I rub my hands and plot and plan and scheme for the day that I get to pay off my mortgage and, more importantly, the day I get to make huge loans on Kiva.