We paid off our mortgage. Goodbye, bank!
At the bank, getting a check to pay off our mortgage
The moment of truth, mailing our last mortgage payment
How Did We Payoff Our Mortgage Nearly 14 Years Early?
- We ate all of the food we bought at the grocery store.
- We live in a “tiny” house, a much smaller house than we could afford and made extra principal payments.
- We started a side hustle to earn more money.
Since we paid off the mortgage, life is EASIER.
How Life Changed After Paying Off a Mortgage
Here are five ways our lives improved since we paid off our mortgage.
1. Power to Make Life-Changing Decisions
I feel like we have the ability to do anything we set our minds to. Yeah, it might be a cliche, but it’s true.
We took on a $70k mortgage last year, set a lofty goal to crush it, and we DID IT! We really did pay off the mortgage. It’s almost unbelievable!
Before 2015, I thought we were going to be in debt forever. I felt powerless. I thought we’d be saddled with that “shoulda, coulda, woulda” attitude, always wishing we’d be living life rather than actually living it.
I think this entire experience of downsizing our home and crushing our debt showed us what power we have to make changes in our life and finances.
2. Control Over How Much Money We Earn and Where it Goes
We put control of our money in the hands of creditors. Yeah, we elected the debts we have, but we weren’t well-informed consumers.
“How much can I afford to pay?” – us before 2015
“We’ll tell you exactly how much you can afford!” – every creditor ever
“Awesome! Math is hard.” – us before 2015
I hardly trust the advice from my doctor, so how did we end up handing over (almost) complete control of our finances to banks?! No idea. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Today, we control much more of our money than we have in YEARS! Budgets are FUN!
3. Greater Flexibility to Make Big Changes in Our Lives
Whenever someone would ask me if I “rent or own my home,” I’d say neither because we had a mortgage.
Well, we own the house now…true ownership.
If we want to sell our house, we can! If we want to rent our house, we can! If we want to house swap so we can spend months abroad, we can do that, too!
Flexibility is so important to my Quality World. I want the ability to move easily around the country and around the world, so mortgage freedom gets us one step closer.
4. More Choices Than We Had Before
With our largest debt gone, we have an extra $500 each month to dedicate to the last of the student loan debt.
Or we have $500 to use for another financial goal.
Or to spend frivolously (just kidding). Remember all the stuff we’re not going to buy when we’re debt free? Yeah, no more lifestyle inflation for us.
Once again, we have the choice to spend our money as we wish. Sure, we didn’t HAVE to pay off our mortgage — that was a choice(ish). But it’s different now that we own our home. I’m glad we made the choice we did.
Maybe our next choice will surprise you given what we’ve done in the last 20 months. More on that in a moment.
5. Free Time for Our Hobbies
We’re freeing up our weekends (again). Moving into the “tiny” house gave us a TON of free time last year. After a couple of months enjoying local parks and a new gym routine, we dove into launching a business using our newfound free time. We spent our free time working rather than hiking.
6. Pursuing Entrepreneurship
When I quit my job in 2016 to focus on growing our business, we still had months to go until our mortgage was paid off, which made me a little nervous. We debated about the timing of our decisions and ultimately decided in favor of happiness rather than security. Without a mortgage payment or debt of any kind, I feel more comfortable being in the volatile position of “business owner.”
What’s Next in the Journey to Financial Independence/Early Retirement?
At the moment, we’re going to enjoy this moment in our journey before we pay off the last of our debt: student loans.
— Claudia (@twocuphouse) November 20, 2016
Update: As of March 2017, we paid off our student loans, so we’ve achieved debt freedom! We have no payments. We are totally debt free.