You have come to the right place! With these simple steps, YOU can gain financial freedom and learn how to live Mortgage Free.
If you were like me, you had monthly payments for your house that were between 25-45% of your income. I was paying $2,243 per month!
Imagine if all that went into your bank account instead! You can have all that extra money too, but it takes some planning and a little bit of work.
All you need to do is commit to paying off your mortgage early.
I’m going to show you 18 easy-to-follow tips that can give you the financial freedom to live mortgage free!
One of the most popular versions of the American Dream is to own your own home. Did you know that between 38-48% of Americans have already paid off their house and live without the burden of monthly mortgage payments?
With these common sense and easy-to-follow tips, you can do it too!
If you use one or more of them, please let me know in the comments. I want to do a follow-up on the absolute best way to get rid of your monthly mortgage payment. I’m looking for the most common method for success to share with YOU!
Is living mortgage-free worth it?
If you are like me you have dreams and goals. I’ve outlined my 10-year plan and the goals of this website, and to make that happen I’m taking significant steps.
While we were on the plan, we have reduced the use of credit cards. We have postponed buying a new car and had a nice emergency fund in place for those unexpected surprises. All of these things give us the peace of mind needed, so we could focus on reducing our overall housing cost to zero.
So, while the short-term sacrifices are tough, we now have financial freedom.
Our retirement accounts are growing, and we have the freedom to donate to the charities of our choice and travel with the kiddo whenever we want.
Basically all the things you can imagine happening without a mortgage payment have. For us, having an extra $2,250 per month is like our boss giving us a $27,000 a year raise. That’s a lot of money!
But it goes beyond that, too.
We developed healthy habits with money along the way, and now we don’t eat out as much or spend on things we don’t really need. It’s a complete freedom lifestyle change!
Benefits of no mortgage
Not paying a monthly housing payment is a great way to achieve free living. With the extra cash you have every month there are so many positive benefits – here are just a few:
Giving feels so good. But when it came between helping others and paying the mortgage, the choice was easy. We had to make sure there was a roof over our heads.
Now that we don’t have the burden of a home loan we can give to the charities and organizations we love and help others!
Choice – You get to decide how you want to spend your money.
My wife and I used to work because our number one expense was paying our mortgage. We would get up every morning knowing that we had to be on time, and had to stay all day at our jobs. We like our jobs, but just knowing that we aren’t tied to them anymore gives so much freedom.
Having a couple extra thousand dollars per month just gives us the freedom to have more fun!
Reduced Relationship Stress
Have you ever argued with your spouse over money? We sure did. When we weren’t on the same page, and struggling every month, it feels like we would always have a heated discussion over the Starbucks budget, or how we were going to pay for an emergency vet bill.
Now that we have some extra money every month, the monetary stress has literally gone away! Our relationship is so much better!
Sense of Security
Did you know that while you are making a mortgage payment you don’t really “own” your house? The bank has a first lien position, meaning that if you don’t pay your minimum payment by the 15th of each month they can start the foreclosure process and take away your house.
When you pay off the note, the house is yours. Free and clear! Nobody can take it away from you.
Plus, if you ever need to, you can always tap into the equity in your home if you need it. That will result in a monthly payment again, but if it’s a true emergency, you know that you did it once, and you can do it again. You could also get a home equity line of credit if you needed it, too.
Reduced Financial Stress
Who wouldn’t want an extra $1,487 or more every month? That’s the amount of the average mortgage in America. Can you imagine? What else could you pay down with that? Your complete financial situation would improve, right? It would be so much easier to meet your financial goals. You would have more disposable income. It would be amazing, right?
Save more for Retirement
I read somewhere that people today spend more on coffee than they save for retirement. I know that we weren’t doing as much as we could have to save once we decide to stop working. But now that we have our house paid off, we work because we want to, not because we have to, and essentially we could retire any day!
Right now we are just squirreling away more and more so we will be able to retire at 65.
If we had started the process sooner – like when we were in our late 20s or 30s we would have been able to be done working by now. Just so you know, I’m 51 years old, but the way.
It’s just more money all around. We don’t need to budget to make sure we have enough in the account on the 1st of the month to pay the mortgage. Our bank accounts are bigger – our credit cards are smaller.
It used to be that I never had any cash in my wallet. I knew if I had it, I would spend it. Now, I always have a little bit of money in my pocket to spend – if I want to. It’s a nice feeling.
Even though we still work (we are able-bodied, and not 100% rich) we seem to enjoy our jobs more. Gone is the burden of having to work at a specific job because it pays well. Instead, we can work anywhere now.
We work because we want to – not because we have to.
Before we had to have jobs that paid enough to cover our cost of living, including our mortgage.
Now We work at meaningful jobs because we want to. We get to help others and know that we are fairly compensated for our time.
My wife and I have a lot in common, and the biggest one is that we love to travel. Before we had a house, we would travel all the time. Then, once we had that mortgage over our heads, we just didn’t feel comfortable taking off knowing that the payment had to be made.
Since we have eliminated that – we have the freedom to travel again! And we love crossing off the different places on our bucket list!
18 ways to live mortgage-free
These are my best mortgage hacks for getting enough money to increase your net worth and pay off your house.
Some are easier than others. Some are faster than others.
I recommend picking 2-5 of these tips and doing them. Don’t go overboard (at least not at first) Stick with it, and before you know it you too can live mortgage free!
For 99.9% of all mortgages, there is NO pre-payment penalty. Of course, you should probably check at least once to make sure, but it is very UNCOMMON for there to be a punishment for paying early.
- Get a Budget
- Make Bi-Weekly payments
- Refinance to a Lower Interest Rate
- Start a Side Hustle
- Movie Night
- Drive a used car
- Buy a Fixer-upper
- Change from a 30 to a 15-year fixed
- Live in a Tiny house
- Round up
- Live rent-free in exchange for work
- House Hacking
- Buy Below Your Budget
- Stair Stepper Method
- Use Extra Income Wisely
- Recast your loan
- Live in an RV
- Be Frugal
Get a Budget
Nothing is better than knowing exactly how much you have coming in, and how it is going out if you are learning how to live mortgage free.
Make a budget, on paper, and get everyone to agree to stick to it. When everyone in the house is on board with how the money is spent, you can all achieve your financial goals faster!
Having a budget doesn’t mean there aren’t fun things. It’s just that they are planned for, and don’t spiral out of financial control.
Make Bi-weekly Payments
Did you know that if you make payments every 2 weeks instead of monthly you will actually make a full extra mortgage payment every year! This can significantly cut back on your mortgage. For an average 30-year fixed, paying bi-weekly will immediately cut your term down to 22 years. Of course, we want to go even faster, but this is one of the best tips I have.
Did you know you could save a lot of money by refinancing your current mortgage? You could get a lower rate because your credit has changed.
Also consider changing from a 30-year to a 15-year, or even an ARM. Having a lower interest rate means you can pay more every month.
But, even if interest rates go up, you could still have lower payments. This is because you might have enough equity to remove your PMI. Talk with several different mortgage brokers to see who has the best loan product for your current needs! Different mortgage lenders have different programs – they aren’t all the same!
Pro tip: If you do re-finance and have lower payments – continue to make the higher payment amount to pay off your loan faster.
Start a Side Hustle
Did you know that this blog is my side hustle? Yep. On my journey about how to live mortgage free, I make money as a blogger. My wife has one too buying and selling collectibles. Even our son got in on the action selling LEGO Minifigures.
Having a side gig is a fun way to engage in a hobby and make a little money on the side. Of course, ours went to pay down the mortgage, and our son’s earnings go into his own pocket to spend on the fun stuff he wants.
Instead of going out to the movies – have a movie night at home. Make your own popcorn, turn the lights down low. Turn off your cell phones. Watch a movie together, and save $100!
Drive a Used Car
I used to do the worst thing possible. I would lease a new car every 2-3 years. Not only did I pay the majority of depreciation on that car, but I had extremely high-interest payments too!
I decided to purchase one of my leases, and worked quickly to pay it off. Now I don’t have a car payment. It’s also electric, so I don’t pay for gas which is a double win if you ask me!
Buy a Fixer-upper
Did you know that finding a house that might need a little work is a great way to save money? Do the work yourself to make your house a home. This is called sweat equity, and it is a great way to save money to pay down your mortgage. Plus, you improve your house along the way which increases its value!
Change from a 30-year to a 15-year Fixed
Most people opt to have a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, especially on their first home. This is because the payments are lower – they are spread out over a longer time frame. Also, the interest rate is higher. Basically, you are paying a LOT of interest to the bank with a 30-year fixed loan. Sometimes more than the actual value of the house.
A 15-year fixed-rate note will have a higher monthly payment, but a lower interest rate. If you can swing it, I always recommend doing the 15-year and still making higher payments. In the long run, it is a lot of work, but you pay the bank less money overall. Shorter terms usually yield the lowest possible interest rate, which can help on YOUR journey on how to live mortgage free
Live in a Tiny House
The movement to downsize and minimize is a great way to save money. I don’t think I could ever live in a tiny house, but I can see the appeal of living smaller.
Tiny houses are under 600 square feet. You save money by just not having as much house. By having a smaller house, you have a smaller mortgage payment, that is easier to pay down more quickly, so you own free and clear.
I think this is a great idea for a first house, as it can save you lots of money!
If your mortgage is $1,723 per month, round up to $1,800. Make a little bit higher payment. If you combine this with paying bi-monthly instead of monthly you will make MORE than an extra payment every year. This is one of the techniques we used to pay off our mortgage fast.
Live rent-free in exchange for work
Some jobs pay you to live where you work. Often these jobs are overseas or involve long hours. If you are in the military, you can also get housing expenses. If you save the money from this, you can quickly build your nest egg and pay off a house when you go to buy one.
If you are looking for a new home, you might want to consider house hacking to help pay down your mortgage faster. This is where you rent our 1 or more rooms while you also live in the place. The tenants pay you to rent, and that is extra money you can use to pay more every month on your mortgage.
Buy Below Your Budget
I wish I had used this technique when we bought our first house. We were approved for a $225,000 house and that’s what we bought. If we had spent less on the house we wouldn’t have been stretched so much on a monthly payment. With some extra money in our budget, we could have paid off our first house faster.
Instead, we used a different technique – the stair stepper technique described in the next section
this is what my wife and I did – when our house doubles in value we sell and buy a new house that is below the old one’s value. We get a nicer house but keep the same mortgage (or less). But our mortgage payment stayed the same. Then we applied these techniques to the more expensive house and got it paid down very quickly.
Use Extra Income
Now and then a little windfall comes in. Maybe it is a Holiday bonus. Maybe a great aunt left you some inheritance. Perhaps you get a settlement from something. I even count birthday as extra income. Save it all and apply it to your mortgage.
These little extras will help you learn how to live mortgage free.
Recast your loan
Not all lenders allow this, so you will need to check your specific terms before you do this but recasting is a great way to lower your monthly payments. Once you have a lower payment, you keep paying the higher amount to get the balance paid off quicker.
Recasting is when you have paid a bunch on your loan already so that the balance is lower. Your mortgage broker then recalculates the balance. The principal went down, but the interest rate and term stay the same. Therefore the payments get lower.
Live in an RV
We all need a place to live – staying in an RV might be a good way to save money for a house, but only if it is less expensive.
Live simply – don’t buy all that “stuff”. Keep your goal in mind – always have your eye on the prize. Keep your credit card debt at zero. When you see something you want, ask yourself if you want it, or do you want to have your house paid off. Your answer will guide your decision. It did for us.
Mortgage-free means living unburdened! But, just because you don’t have a mortgage anymore doesn’t mean you don’t have any housing costs – There is still maintenance, insurance, and of course those pesky property taxes to pay. But having all that extra money available and the knowledge you own free and clear is so awesome.
Also if you have a different good idea for saving money to reducing your mortgage I’d love to hear about it in the comments! Tell us about your journey on how to live mortgage free!