We are aggressively paying off our mortgage. We have been here at OakMeadows for 4 years and have paid extra principal payments all along. The house is the only debt that we have--the 2 vehicles are paid for and the credit card gets paid completely each month so we are able to focus on the mortgage. The plan is to be mortgage free by January, 2010. (But since when do plans go exactly the way you want them to...) We had 2 big expenses in August--We replaced our old dead television with a new 42" flat screen and we filled the propane tank for the year so we will have much less to pay extra with the September payment. I debated with myself about the television but since we have no reception and no cable out here, Netflix is our weekend entertainment and it is lovely to see movies on the larger screen. (I refuse to spend what it costs to go to theaters these days.)
I have always been a generally frugal person because I work too hard for my money to waste it and because I am just not a shopper. Shopping is an activity that has to be done occassionally--groceries weekly and clothing a couple of times a year, cars and appliances have to be replaced, etc. But shopping as a pastime just would never occur to me. My parents were of the Great Depression/World War II generation so I grew up with frugality is just normal. I never felt deprived--we had a good, paid for home, food, a paid for Chevy, and my mother was a super seamstress. There are people who are more frugal than I am; I can appreciate their activities but try to balance what I would save with how much time and energy it would cost me.