Welcome Rockstar Finance visitors! Since writing this post a few months ago, I’ve written a much more comprehensive one, 6 Steps to Mortgage Freedom. I hope you’ll check that post out after reading this one. Thanks again for dropping by!
I have never been the most patient person. When I bought my condo in October 2010, I made a goal to be completely free of debt by my 30th birthday, March 2015. I ended up paying off my $86,000 mortgage in two years.
No matter what type of debt you have, I believe you can make incredible changes in your life in just a couple of years. The obvious way is to earn more and spend less. Simple, right? I believe the key to my financial success has had a lot more to do with my attitude than dollars and cents. You have to really want to succeed.
Here are three ways I paid off my mortgage in just two years:
1. I LIVED OFF MY PART-TIME JOB
Most people would not consider paying bills fun. So in order to motivate myself to prepay my mortgage, I had to get creative.
I set a series of short-term challenges for myself.
For a few months, I successfully lived off my part-time job. In addition to my full-time job, I had several gigs going:
- Freelance writing
- Banquet server and bartender
- Pet sitting
I spent about 10 hours every week on my side hustles, sometimes up to 20. During this challenge, I reduced my expenses to the point where I could pay for all of my needs except the mortgage with the part-time income. At the end of the month I sent my entire check from my full-time job to the lender.
2. WORKING VACATIONS
The full-time job I walked away from in January 2014 had incredible vacation benefits. So good, you might wonder why I ever quit. During my mortgage payoff, I scheduled freelance work for half of my vacation days. This was an easy way for me to get a break from my full-time job and earn extra money from my side hustles at the same time.
3. BANK YOUR BONUS/TAX REFUND/BIRTHDAY MONEY
Whenever additional money came my way, I made a plan for it. I used my entire bonus and tax refund to pay down the mortgage. Birthday money was a little different. I only sent half of it to the lender. By the way, is your budget based on 24 or 26 paychecks? If you do it based on 24, bank the extra money on those three paycheck months.
Many people will recommend automating transfers to your mortgage company to help speed up your payoff. I tried that at first, but found success with another strategy. My lender allowed me to transfer additional mortgage payments whenever I wanted to for free, so I took full advantage of that convenience.
For starters, I had my $625 monthly payment automatically taken out of my checking account.
But then, I made additional manual payments for whatever amount I chose ($100, $500, $1,000) as often as I could. This started as something I did every payday, but soon I made the transfers weekly. The psychological boost I got from seeing my mortgage balance decrease every week kept me motivated to continue saving.
Do you have a winning debt payoff strategy? Share it below.