Living Mortgage Free: How to Get Started
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Living Mortgage Free: How to Get Started

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Are you looking forward to living mortgage free?

When it comes to living with no mortgage, one of the important questions to ask starts with “how.”

“How do you do it?”

For most households, living mortgage free is the goal, but it may be a difficult prospect to achieve. With other day-to-day priorities to also look into, it’s not easy to devote all your resources to pay off the mortgage.

Yes, it may take years of saving and scrimping to get the money to pay off the debts. You may also need to tackle extra jobs and hustles to earn a few hundred bucks on the side. (Check out these online jobs for moms.)

But if you stick with a laser focus on your goal of eliminating your debts, you and your family will be living without a mortgage.

What is your greatest debt?

For many people, it centers on the mortgage when they bought a house. But most of these mortgages can take 20 to 30 years to pay off. The thought that you will be saddled by the huge debt during your working years can leave a restricting feeling.

But it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of options available to help you pay off your mortgage.

In this article, I’m going to share tips on how to get on your way to a mortgage-free living. These were the pointers I pursued as my family and I went through the struggle of eliminating our mortgage debts.

Want to start living mortgage free?

If you ask me, I’d like to be living mortgage free pretty soon. By taking it out of the monthly expense, we were able to save exponentially faster. We were also able to augment the available amount of our household income.

I know everybody’s situation is different. Some of us are living off on one income; others are in a two-income household. So please just take these pointers as a bit of motivation that it can be possible to live a mortgage free lifestyle.

Check out my simple tips to help you get started on living mortgage free life.

1. Stick to a sound budget.

The number one thing you need to do is have a budget and sticking to it.

The first step to confronting your debts is putting all of your expenses on a piece of paper. This gives you a good overview of the debts to tackle. And from there, you can budget your paycheck accordingly.

You should be able to tell where your money goes, prioritizing on paying off your debts while setting aside a few bucks on an emergency fund or savings account.

So for this purpose, you’ll need to create a debt payoff plan, which will set out how much money is coming in and how is going out.

Once you have figured out the cash flow, you get a better picture of your money activities. You’ll be able to create a sound budget plan that suits your household’s needs.

This leads us to the next pointer.

2. Live within your means.

Are you trying to live your life like the Joneses?

Okay, let’s try to fit things into perspective. The Joneses are making at least five figures every month, and money isn’t a big concern for them.

So it doesn’t make sense to live like them. Especially if your income is not even the middle ground of what they make every month.

It’s okay to lead the life you can afford because you don’t have to keep up with the Joneses anyway. There’s no need for a lavish lifestyle. You can live a simpler life and still be happy.

Following your budget plan, you should be able to see how much you are spending every month and where your money is going. Then identify the necessary expenditures and highlight the unnecessary ones.

Your objective is to reduce or even better eliminate the unnecessary expenses from your monthly cash outflow.

And with that, let’s go to the next tip.

3. Set your priorities straight.

What are your immediate goals at the moment?

It is important to write those down, identifying the precedence and different timelines for each objective.

You’ll need to have a good expectation of where you want to take your family in the next couple of years. And to do that, writing your goals down can greatly help.

So put it on paper, and let’s proceed with the next tip.

4. Get out of debt as fast as you can.

It’s easy to get into debt nowadays.

There are student loans, which can be, right off the bat, a huge amount. There are other different forms of debt, like a car loan or home mortgage.

There are also credit card debts, which are even easier to get. If you want to buy something, simply take out your card and swipe it. Instant gratification at a cost.

Debts are pretty rampant these days. But you need not stay in debt for a long time.

Take out a loan if you have too. Use your credit card once in a while. But get out of debt as fast as you can. You’re going to have to pay those off the best way you can.

Here’s a nifty trick I tried before, and it worked like a gem.

Start with the smallest debt then work onto the biggest.

When I first heard about this strategy, I thought it didn’t make sense.

Shouldn’t I be focusing on the bigger amounts first so I wouldn’t have to worry about the accumulating interests?

Then I realized it actually made sense. Without noticing it, the smaller amounts can produce a big snowball effect. It can get bigger and bigger, and the next thing I knew I had no smaller debts, only big ones.

Pay off the little debts first then work on the next smaller amount. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment, eliminating one small debt at a time. Next thing you know, you’re tackling the bigger amounts.

Once you get out of debt, you’ll feel such freedom. There’s nothing that pulls at you every month.

5. Set up an emergency fund.

Personally, I have a nine-month emergency fund (although some online resources say a six-month fund is okay). And I’m trying to extend it to a one-year fund.

But if something was to happen, you’ll be okay as long as you have that emergency fund.

This emergency fund provides a little bit of cushion when things go bad.

I remember when my husband had his income significantly cute (due to company downsizing). Thankfully, we were able to set aside just enough to keep us afloat.

When you or your partner lose a job, naturally, you don’t live like you normally would. Spending on life’s luxuries like dining out, new clothes and more are quickly reined in.

This emergency fund, however, can pay for the essentials. Food, light, water, what-have-you. It lets you and your family survive until the household income starts flowing in again. Until then, you’re down to a bare minimum.

Need more hacks on how to live without a mortgage?

Living with no mortgage sounds great, doesn’t it?

But sometimes, taking out a mortgage is necessary. For instance, if you want to own a home, you may have to start by getting a mortgage. It’s pretty much a fact of modern life.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving mortgage-free living. And it just doesn’t happen. You’ll need to work on it. There will be considerable sacrifices to make as well.

Living mortgage free is an attractive prospect and a possibility. Here are more hacks to achieve it.

6. Prioritize the payment of the mortgage amount.

If you want to live a mortgage-free lifestyle, you’ll need to do something about it.

Set a target date to pay off the entire amount. Want to settle the mortgage in 10 years? Create a budget that works for you.

Don’t have enough cash to pay it? You may need to find a side hustle or extra job to get the money you need.

7. Biweekly instead of monthly.

If you want to pay off your mortgage quickly, here’s a smart way to do it.

Try switching from monthly payments to biweekly. By increasing the frequency of payments, you speed up the process. Plus, with the half-sized payments, it can be easier on your budget.

Aim to reduce the principal amount with extra payments.

Do you want to clear the debt quickly?

Make extra payments that go toward the lowering of the principal amount. It will save you on paying the interest rates. It’s a straightforward yet a bit old-fashioned way, but it works.

8. Got extra cash? Put it into your mortgage.

Did you receive a bonus?

Put it in as an extra payment to your mortgage. A few hundred dollars can go a long way. The impact may not seem that significant now, but you’ll see it in the long run.

With a lowered principal amount, you’ll also see a reduction of the overall interest.

9. Find ways to earn extra money.

Looking to make more money?

You might want to consider doing online freelance work to earn extra. There are plenty of online jobs that let you do it within the comfort of your home, whether full-time or part-time.

Doing a side hustle can bridge the gap between your monthly expenses and your income.

You might want to think about refinancing your mortgage.

By shortening the loan term, you could potentially lower the interest rates you will have to pay. It’s a game changer that lets you achieve equity optimization, allowing you to pay off your debt in reduced time than initially scheduled.

10. Consider a rent-to-own option for your home purchase.

Did you know you can own the home you’re renting?

In a rent-to-own scenario, you start out as a lessee and eventually owning the house you’re renting. The rental amounts you pay will go toward the payment of the house.

This is a great option for people who don’t want to take out a loan but are looking to own a home.

Under a rent-to-own agreement, the purchase cost may tend to be higher. But it’s a little price to pay for owning a home without incurring a huge mortgage debt.

11. Have you considered building your own home?

One way to avoid taking out a mortgage loan is to build your home. You can use cash or get a home construction loan to fund this endeavor.

A good thing about building your own home is that you can dictate how you want it done. You call the shots on the materials to be used in the construction.

And it’s a cheaper option compared to purchasing homes from real estate developers who are looking to make a profit.

Some companies will even let you put in “sweat equity.” If you are handy you can do some of the work yourself and save money.

12. Downsize to a smaller home.

Living in a big home can be costly. The utility costs tend to be higher compared to a smaller home. Plus, bigger homes may require more upkeep.

Have you considered moving to a smaller place?

Downsizing may mean it’s less expensive to maintain. Smaller homes mean less hassle for you.

13. Airbnb your home to earn extra income.

Do you live in a big house? Got a lot of excess spaces in your home?

Here’s a great way to earn extra cash. If you have a spare room in the house, sign up with Airbnb and have it rented out on a daily basis.

With Airbnb, you can set up your home as a mini-hotel or a bed and breakfast place.

You can use the Airbnb proceeds to pay off your mortgage dues while living in your home. This is a wonderful option instead of moving out to a smaller and cheaper place and having your entire home rented out.

Conclusion: Can you live mortgage free?

The journey toward personal financial freedom is long and arduous. But it is a sweet accomplishment when you wipe out your debts.

Expect a lot of tough times, but there will more opportunities for growth and knowledge as you tackle these challenges.

Living mortgage free is a beautiful goal to focus on. It is an attractive prospect that will open more doors for you. Without mortgage payments, you have money to spare; money that can open you up to more opportunities for increasing your wealth.

What’s your opinion? I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to get started on living mortgage free.

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McKinzie Bean
McKinzie is a mom of two, and a personal finance enthusiast. She loves teaching other moms how to save money, make money, and take control of their financial situation. She has started five profitable businesses and in college, she double-majored in Financial Planning and Psychology. You may have seen her in publications like Forbes, The US Chamber of Commerce, Yahoo Finance, Money.com, The Penny Hoarder, & more.

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