Paying Off Your Mortgage Early

Financial goals can be scary and exciting! This year we are focusing on paying off our house - here's how we are doing it!

Image source: 401KCalculator via Flickr (license)

Financial goals. They can seem daunting or exciting. Debilitating or exhilarating. Sometimes, a combination of everything.

This year we are challenging ourselves to try and meet a pretty big financial goal. We pay our mortgage (and taxes and insurance) each month but we are going to put a much larger chunk for the next 18 months towards paying extra on our principal!

Is paying off your mortgage early important to you?

How Budgeting Looks in Our Home:

My husband works in Christian radio and I work 24 hours a week at our church.

We budget off of my husband’s salary and work hard to make it possible. Even to make it possible, we have to eliminate certain categories and have others less than we’d like, but we want to know that we could live off of that income if we had to.

The money I earn we budget separately. Here is where the “extras” come out of. Things like:

  • Vacations
  • Extras for clothing (to supplement the very little that comes out of our regular budget)
  • Putting extra towards saving goals – new cars, storm shelter etc
  • Putting extra toward the mortgage
  • Projects we want to tackle around the house
  • The list goes on. We sit down and look and see what’s going to be happening each month and decide what we are going to do with the money.

Our Financial Goal

This year, we are going to be doing something a bit differently. We are going to be budgeting (and living) off of my husband’s income as usual.

Where the big change comes in, for the next 18 months we are planning on every penny I bring in (after giving) going towards paying off our mortgage early.

It will be tight. We’ll have lots of decisions to make and I’m sure it won’t be easy. I’m guessing that there will be times when we wish we could just use a hundred dollars. We’ll have to say no to lots of things we want to do.

At the same time it’s exciting.

It’s exciting to set a big goal and see it get chipped away at.

It’s exciting to see each thousand dollars come off of the total.

It’s exciting to see the difference short term sacrifices are making.

Not only is it exciting (and scary) I think my husband and I will see plenty of other benefits over the next months besides the obvious perk of our mortgage disappearing.

Benefits of Tackling a Financial Goal as a Couple:

  • Our creativity and trust will be stretched.
  • We’ll have extra motivation to try and increase our side income projects.
  • We’ll have to be resourceful to come up with money for things we want or need that come up during the year.
  • We’ll learn to be content with what we have.
  • As we tackle this big project together, hopefully our communication and relationship will be strengthened.

I’m looking forward to 18 months from now and hopefully having our home paid off and being able to look back over that year and half and see how the sacrifices and determination paid off!

What financial goals have you tackled? Did you see benefits from it? Is paying off your mortgage early, something you’ve talked about?

Did you set any big financial goals this year?

Financial goals can be scary and exciting! This year we are focusing on paying off our house - here's how we are doing it!

Image source: 401KCalculator via Flickr (license)

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31 thoughts on “Paying Off Your Mortgage Early

    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Thanks, Lydia! You guys can do it! It’s exciting to see the numbers drop every month when we get our bill. Even if we have to do less/work harder in the short term, it will be worth it!

      Reply
  1. Suzie@homemaker-mom

    Wow This is exciting! I really wish you the best at this.I am excited to see an update ( I hope you post one ) in future! I have a few more small bills we are trying to pay off. Once my husband gets settled into his new job and I see what the paychecks are like I will be making our new budget. I too work part time at my church and my check goes for food etc.

    Reply
    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Thanks so much! Yes! I’ll have to post an update – maybe one at the end of the year and then when we get it paid off. I’m super excited. Good for you for tackling the smaller bills – it will be great to get them out of the way and be able to apply the money towards something else. A church really is a pretty nice place to work. :-) It’s been such a blessing for us.

      Reply
  2. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    Love this post, Deanna, as this is our #1 financial goal, as well.

    Consider yourself blessed that you have 2 incomes that you can consistently rely on, even if you wish they were larger. I am doing what I can to make money freelance writing and cleaning houses, but what I make is both unpredictable and small. Focusing on the blessings helps so much. Though I can’t contribute much, I am incredibly thankful for what I can contribute.

    I am so happy for you that your end is in sight. 18 months will be challenging, but in the grand scheme of things, that is a very short time. We don’t know how soon we will pay ours off as my husband’s business is struggling and income is unreliable.

    Keep the faith. Keep the focus. It will be worth it. (I just wrote a post called 17+ Things We Don’t Buy, if you’re interested in checking that out). I can’t wait to read your post announcing that you are mortgage-free!

    Reply
  3. Janna Daniel

    So exciting! There’s lots of hard work ahead of you, but I know you can do it. And you are right – at the end of the 18 months, it will be fun to look back and see how far you came. The sacrifices won’t feel like sacrifices then, but baby steps to freedom (freedom in many ways 😉 ;-)).

    Reply
    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      It’s exciting and scary! Thanks to you for pushing me over the edge and getting me to commit to getting the entire thing done. :-) It will be fun to look back over the past 18 months. I just wish we would have done this a few years ago. . . Oh well. Life is a learning process. And now I get to go read your new posts. Hooray, one of my favorite things to do. :-)

      Reply
  4. Delora

    Wow! You have encouraged me today stopping by from Proverbs 31 link up. Your post is encouraging to me and my family as we plan to make some major changes financially this year.

    I wish you the best with your goals for this year.

    Reply
    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Thanks, Delora! Hope you guys have a smooth transition to your financial changes. They aren’t always (normally even, ha ha) easy, but they are worth it in the long run! You can do it! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Reply
  5. Kaylene

    What a wonderful goal! We do not own our home yet, but we want to purchase in the next few years! I am just starting to make an income with my business, so it will definitely be a blessing to be able to use that money towards our big savings goals!

    Reply
    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Good luck on finding and saving up for your home! It’s pretty exciting to be in a place of your own. (Well, except for when major things go wrong. . .) I hope your income continues to grow as well and is a blessing to your family. That’s a hope of ours too that mine and my husband’s little side project will bring in some money!

      Reply
  6. Brittany

    This is inspiring! People look at my husband and I like we’re crazy when we mention wanting to pay off our mortgage early. But first our short term goal is to finish paying off my student loans. :)

    Reply
    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Thanks, Brittany! It will be fun to get your student loans done with and then you can come up with a new goal. I know, paying off your mortgage isn’t really something you talk about with people because it is so unheard of and weird to most people or they assume you must have lots of money or think if you don’t have debt you are being stingy on all the things you don’t do. :-) Oh well, we can cheer each other on! Yay for the blog world. :-)

      Reply
  7. Julie @ Logger's Wife

    Nothing as ambitious as paying off our mortgage as the amount left is still 3+ years worth of income. lol. But I do want to get my smallest student loan paid off. I’m only doing $20 extra per month right now but my other goal for the year is to have a more consistent income from my blog and Etsy shop so that I can do more.

    (visiting from the Good Tips Tuesday link-up)

    Reply
    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      Getting the smallest student loan paid off will be awesome and then you’ll have more money to put towards the next one! I think once we start seeing traction saving up/paying off gets a lot more exciting. :-) I hope your Etsy shop and blog do well. I just opened an Etsy shop (yesterday ha ha) and would love for my blog to bring in some money. Any Etsy tips I should know?

      Reply
  8. Becca @ The Earthlings Handbook

    This is a great goal to prioritize! When we bought our house, the minimum monthly mortgage payment was $720-something, so we decided we would just pay $800 every month, which was the amount we’d been paying in rent. After 12 years we had the balance down below $7,000, and we were facing the expense of our baby starting full-time childcare, which costs over $1,000 a month. We have some savings in an account that was not earning very good interest–much less than the interest rate on the mortgage–so we just wrote a check to pay off the balance. Now we own our home and can pay for childcare from our income instead of having to tap our savings for that.

    Best of luck on your journey! It feels so good to get out of debt.

    Reply
  9. Pingback: Thrifty Thursday Link Party #34

  10. Christie

    What a great goal to pay off your mortgage early! I wish you the best of luck getting it done! We pay extra each month in hopes to do the same. Thanks for sharing at Totally Terrific Tuesday! I hope you stop by tonight at 10pm to link up your recent posts! We like partying with you!

    Reply
  11. Elise @frugalfarmwife.com

    Good luck to you! We’re hoping to do something similar in the future, so we’re working toward not using any of my income for living expenses. It’s hard, but where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?! :)

    Thanks for sharing at Waste Not Want Not Wednesday!

    Reply
  12. Jennifer

    i am excited for you! We paid off one house when we were 25. Sold that one and moved to another state for my husband’s job. We took on a little bit of a mortgage when we moved but paid that off at 28. It is such a freeing feeling! I cannot stress enough the importance of living below your means. We saved like crazy but didn’t deprive ourselves of things like a vacation here and there. Before we had kids we lived off my salary (which I will admit was between 16k the first year of marriage and up to $33k by the 6th year…so not a crazy amount. And I did not work after kids were born) and saved my husband’s. We were married 6 years before we had our first son and shortly after, paid off the house. The only thing that sucks is that our taxes are really high in the area where we live so twice a year we have to shell out a big chunk of change.

    Our timetable was:
    2004- got married and rented for 18 months. Saved enough to put down 20% on a $91k condo (work move)
    2006- purchased new car
    2007- paid off car
    2008- sold condo, bought house with 20% down on $174k (work move)
    2010- paid off house
    2011- moved to another state (work move again) and put $175k (we broke even) down on a $379k house
    2013- paid off House!!!

    Both times we bought houses we were approved for more than 200k more than we paid for our homes. That would’ve been and insanely stupid move! That’s why a lot of people get into trouble. Yeah, the gigantic house with the pool can be yours but why not buy a smaller/cheaper house and PAY IT OFF?

    Reply
    1. Deanna Michaels Post author

      What an awesome story! Thanks for sharing your timeline and how you paid off your houses!!! I can’t wait to have this one paid off in less than 16 months now and the hopefully we can start setting money aside for if/when we move. Agreed, it’s nuts the amount that people take a mortgage out for. I know someone that’s getting married and really wants to buy – hates the idea of renting. It’s really not that bad and it allows you to save up for a bigger down payment. We both know that houses are expensive. :-) The best thing about renting was not having to pay those repair bills.

      I like how you said you didn’t deprive yourself of fun like vacations too. Even though we aren’t getting the season tickets to the amusement theme park 5 hours away my daughter loves, we are setting aside some money when we have it for mini trips and trips to family.

      The taxes would majorly stink. Thankfully we live in a really affordable area (Oklahoma) and housing isn’t bad. It all balances out since my husband’s job doesn’t pay him a ton but thankfully he gets great health benefits.

      Reply

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