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Last week we got deep into the world of mortgages, including what they are and how and when to get one! If you have questions, check that post out here for answers! This week I want to talk about one of my top financial goals right now – paying my mortgage off early!
Lots of people that I have talked to seem to think that a mortgage is just a cost of adulting, something unavoidable that you can never get rid of. But guess what?!
YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE A MORTGAGE!!!
Or, at the very least, you don’t have to have a mortgage forever! Below are nine things you can do to pay your mortgage off fast, but first, why do I think this is so important?
I work hard for my paycheque. And I have lofty goals of early retirement, generousity, world-travel. The only way I can make those goals a reality is to make my money work for me. So the least amount I spend each month on interest (aka, giving money to the bank), the more money I have for my dreams.
Related: M is for Mortgages
Imagine the amount of your mortgage, sitting in cash on a table. Every month you box that cash up and send it to the bank. But now imagine how different life would be if you were able to keep that payment each month? That’s a LOT of extra money in your pocket to put towards your goals! Plus, the faster you pay it off, the more money you save on interest! Sounds like a winning plan to me.
9 ways to pay off your mortgage fast
Use your budget!
I have said it so many times I’m like a broken record. But for real – your budget is your best tool to control your finances and build wealth. Decide where your money is going based on your priorities. If your goal is to be debt-free, assign all your extra funds towards paying off your loans. Likewise, if your goal is to be mortgage-free, take a look at your budget to see where you can shift money around to put towards an extra payment or two!
Put your raise to work.
It’s likely that over the years, your income increases. Unfortunately, for many of us, when our income goes up, our lifestyle goes up too, and that ‘extra’ money seems to disappear like magic.
A great way to find extra money to put towards your mortgage is by living like you did before the raise. Take the extra money coming in, and sink it onto your mortgage. You won’t even feel the difference!
Turn to your tax refund.
Speaking of money, you won’t miss…
Use your tax refund, or any other windfall of money, to pay down chunks of your mortgage.
Make bi-weekly payments
You get to choose how often you make payments on your mortgage. Monthly (one payment per month, 12/year), bi-monthly (two payments per month, 24/year), or bi-weekly (every two weeks, 26/year).
When you opt for bi-weekly payments, you wind up paying more over the year, but that ‘more’ winds up going towards the principal instead of interest, which saves you money long term!
Increase your payments
You can also negotiate your payment amount with your lender. So if you have room in your budget, why not round up your $850 payment to $1000. That extra money will pay off over the years!
Our lives have become all about bigger-better-more-more-more. And often, that leads to biting off more than you can chew when it comes to home purchases and mortgage commitments.
If you find yourself in a too-big house or struggling with a too-big mortgage, a great option is to downsize your square-footage and your loan!
This may seem drastic, but for lots of people, it makes a lot of sense. The smaller the house (usually), the smaller the mortgage, the less time it will take you to pay it off!
Say good-bye to the rest of your debt
All of this advice assumes you are debt-free. Owing money to someone (anyone) else is a weight. Whether its a credit card, a student loan, or money you owe your mom for helping you fix your car last year. Before you tackle your mortgage, pay off all the rest of your debt. And then, use all that money you’ve been tossing towards your monthly payments, and put it as extra towards your mortgage!
Refinance to a shorter-term loan
The most common mortgage length is 25 years, but you can go as high as 30! THIRTY YEARS! People do this because it stretches the mortgage’s total cost across more time, which makes the monthly payments smaller, making it feel more affordable.
But do you want to be in debt for 30 years? Most people don’t even live in one house for that long, which means they refinance for a new home, and the length of time you are paying interest stretches further into the future.
Instead – negotiate your mortgage on a shorter-term: twenty, fifteen, even ten years. The payments will be higher. But you’ll be debt-free faster!
Make it a priority
Your money goes where your focus goes. If you make eating at new restaurants each week a priority, you will spend your money on food. But, if you make your focus paying off your mortgage, you’ll find more money to put towards that goal.
These nine ways to pay off your mortgage faster will only help you if you decide that you want to pay off your mortgage faster! Prioritize getting rid of it so that you can use all of that extra money to live your best life, debt-free!
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