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How I Destroyed an $86,000 Mortgage in 2 Years

Most people who visit this blog want to know how I paid off my mortgage in 2 years. Below, you’ll find answers to some frequently asked questions.

You may also be interested in 6 STEPS TO MORTGAGE FREEDOM, a comprehensive post about how I reached my goal.

WHAT WAS YOUR ORIGINAL GOAL?

To be mortgage free by my 30th birthday, March 2015.

WHEN DID YOU PAY OFF YOUR MORTGAGE?

I paid off my condo in December 2012, 2 years and 2 months after I bought it.

HOW MUCH WAS YOUR DOWN PAYMENT?

20% to avoid paying PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance.

WHAT TYPE OF MORTGAGE DID YOU GET?

15-year fixed at 3.75%.

WHAT WAS YOUR MONTHLY PAYMENT?

$625 before additional payments.

DON’T YOU REALIZE YOU COULD HAVE MADE MORE MONEY IN THE STOCK MARKET?

Yes, perhaps. Though I don’t think I would have saved as much if I hadn’t set a goal. I probably would have spent a lot of the money on other things.

ARE YOU RICH?

No. In fact, I am a former high school dropout. My first job out of college paid less than $25,000 a year.  Even then I was able to live within my means.

HOW DID YOU MAKE MORE MONEY?

  • I volunteered for extra work at my full-time job, averaging 10 hours a week.
  • I was a banquet server and bartender during the fall wedding season. Bonus: I got to sample a lot of wedding cake!
  • I found pet sitting opportunities on Craigslist.
  • I maximized bank and credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards. I earned nearly $3,000 in 2011 alone.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST EXPENSE YOU CUT BACK ON?

I made a conscious effort to reduce all areas of spending, but my travel budget was cut the most. I did sneak in a trip to Costa Rica in 2012.

HOW DID YOU TRACK YOUR SPENDING?

Mint.com

HOW DID YOU PREVENT SAVINGS FATIGUE?

There were times of fatigue, but I kept focused on achieving financial freedom and established a rewards system along the way.
For every $5,000 I paid off, I allowed myself $100 to spend on whatever I wanted.

HOW HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED?

There’s a great sense of freedom when you’re mortgage free. It allowed me to walk away from my full-time job in January 2014 to pursue new opportunities.

DO YOU THINK YOU MISSED OUT ON ANYTHING?

Not really. I’m not an extremist. While I was able to earn more and spend less, I didn’t let it consume my life. I still bought things, just more consciously.

HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE?

I went to Aruba the month after I mailed in my final payment!

Aruba, January 2013

Aruba, January 2013

 

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3 comments

  1. Michael,

    Pretty inspirational stuff! Set a goal and go all out to reach it!
    Hope you write more soon about your two-year experience.

    Do you have any future plans or goals set at the moment?

    Cheers,
    NMW
    No More Waffles recently posted…Stuff Our Parents Never Taught Us, Part I: Compounding InterestMy Profile

  2. As inspirational as it is insightful. Hope you continue sharing your adventures as they happen.

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