How I Paid Off My $54,500 Mortgage In Less Than One Year

benefits of extreme frugality

The bank no longer has a grip on me – I am 100% debt free.

No credit card debt, no student loan debt, no house debt – they are all paid off in full.

How did I get here? Through careful planning…and then through a whirlwind of hard work and sleepless nights when those careful plans went to crap. It still feels a bit surreal, but as of December 11th, 2014, I am completely debt free (and I intend to stay that way for life).

How I Paid Off My Mortgage – The Crazy Idea Comes Into Fruition

It was about one year after my wife left me. She had demanded $22,000 and I was miraculously able to come up with all of the money in just six months. Sure, I was frugal before and enjoyed saving money, but I had no idea that it was possible for me to . . . → Read More: How I Paid Off My $54,500 Mortgage In Less Than One Year

Will I Pay Off The Mortgage This Month?

I have spent the last 11 months aggressively paying down my mortgage with the hopes of making the final payment here in December. So am I going to pay off the mortgage this month? It actually looks promising! Before I get too far ahead of myself, let me show you how I’ve gotten to this point.

From the Beginning: Pay Off The Mortgage in 2014

After paying my ex the $20,000 she demanded in 2013, I realized how quickly I could actually accumulate money! This got me thinking about the mortgage I hated, and I soon began to wonder if I could make it disappear inside of a single year! To do this I would have to come up with $54,500 in 12 short months – not an easy task, but I rolled my sleeves up and dove in.

From the very beginning I cut down on my bills, spent . . . → Read More: Will I Pay Off The Mortgage This Month?

Paying Off The Mortgage: Failure or Success in October?

Unfortunately, another month has ended, which means that I have less than 60 days to pay off my home mortgage! AHHHHH! I don’t feel quite ready for this yet, but as we always do, let’s review how much I paid off in October and make a plan for a full payoff by the end of this 2014 year.

Paying Off The Mortgage: The Journey Thus Far

I made the audacious goal back in December 2013 that I was going to pay off my $54,500 mortgage in one single year. In the beginning I was fortunate enough to get a huge tax refund as well a few tuition reimbursements from my company. All was going swimmingly until May – this is when Google decided that I needed to be penalized and my monthly web earnings dropped by about 80%. This did not fair well for my mortgage payoff plans.

If you . . . → Read More: Paying Off The Mortgage: Failure or Success in October?

Paying Off the Mortgage: Failure or Success in September?

hate debt

Well we are getting down to the wire now. September is finished and there are only three months left to make this mortgage disappear within 2014! At the beginning of the year, I was indebted to the bank to the tune of $54,500 because of my mediocre home (according to society’s standards anyway – I think that it’s quite lovely) in West Michigan.

It wasn’t really a New Year’s resolution, but it just so happened that I had the thought of becoming completely debt free toward the end of December last year. And, after crunching a few numbers, I figured that it might be possible to pay off the remainder of my mortgage within just one year! And so, this crazy journey of paying off the mortgage began. Here is what I have been able to accomplish so far:

January – $54,217 February – $53,871 March – $43,524 April – . . . → Read More: Paying Off the Mortgage: Failure or Success in September?

Paying Off The Mortgage: August Progress Update

Ahhh!! The end of the year is coming so fast! This is the last day of August, which means that there are only four more months for me to complete my year-long challenge of paying off the mortgage! While this is a little freaky, I feel like I have done a pretty great job thus far. Here is the summary of what I have done from January through July:

January – $54,217 February – $53,871 March – $43,524 April – $39,999 May – $34,120 June – $31,252 July – $27,934

The Month of August

I knew that August wasn’t going to be an amazing month since I had to pay my $1,860 property tax bill, but I still made a valiant effort nonetheless. Within the month, I was scouring Craigslist for cheap cars, trying to find one that I could buy and then flip in order to make $1,000 or . . . → Read More: Paying Off The Mortgage: August Progress Update

Is The Next Housing Market Crash Coming?


Have you been paying attention to the housing market lately? Ever since the value of homes began rising in late 2011, they just haven’t slowed down! In the past few months, I have seen only a hand-full of for sale signs out in the front yard, and they certainly don’t last long. Many of these houses are being sold in 15 days, 11 days, and others in just 2 days! The housing market has certainly picked up steam, and the rising housing prices are an obvious indicator of this.

To be completely transparent, this is awesome news for me as I just so happened to purchase my first home in August, 2011. I mean, take a look at Zillow’s estimate of my home value after I made the purchase (that dollar sign is my purchase, and the solid blue line is my house value).

This chart always makes . . . → Read More: Is The Next Housing Market Crash Coming?

To Pay the Mortgage or Paint the House?

financial documents


I think it was two years ago already that my neighbor walked up to me, introduced herself, and then quickly asked, “So when do you think you’ll paint the house?” I was obviously a taken off-guard a bit, and eventually responded with, “Probably soon.”

I still haven’t painted the house…

My neighbor is probably sitting in her chair right now, stewing at the fact that I have not yet improved my home with a little bit of paint, but I have a dilemma on my hands! If I hire someone to paint my house for $3,500 (I got a quote last year), then I will certainly not hit my goal of paying off the home mortgage this year. And, as you all have probably gathered by now, I am slightly goal oriented (note the sarcasm) and always have a strong drive to succeed.

Thoughts of Painting the House Myself

. . . → Read More: To Pay the Mortgage or Paint the House?

Paying Off The Mortgage Update: July 2014


My goal starting in January (just 7 months ago) was to pay off my entire $54,500 mortgage by the end of the year. Yeah, it was a pretty lofty at the time, but I figured that if I pushed myself hard enough, I could accomplish this goal. Well…with a website downgrade from the Big G, the money hasn’t been flowing in quite like it used to, but you know I’m not going to let that stop me! The mountain has seemingly grown a little taller (which really sucks because I was already halfway up…), but I am still continuing my climb. This is a summary of my progress thus far:

January – $54,217 February – $53,871 March – $43,524 April – $39,999 May – $34,120 June – $31,252

Through June, I had paid off over 56% of my total mortgage (which was $70,875 back in August, 2011). That means . . . → Read More: Paying Off The Mortgage Update: July 2014

Paying Off The Mortgage Update: May 2014


So how much money was I able to scrounge up for my mortgage payment in May? Well, if you remember, I did get paid 3 times in the month (which is the beauty of bi-weekly pay – you get an extra check two months out of the year) and I was reimbursed for my classes from the Winter semester. Yup, May had the makings of one huge payout.

When I began this mortgage payoff journey in February (just 3 months ago), my mortgage balance was at $53,800. My goal was (and still is) to get this balance down to zero by the end of December, 2014. In March, I was able to put $10,000 toward the mortgage. And, in April I scrounged up another $3,524.08. After just two months, my mortgage was down to $39,999.99!

The Mortgage Payment in May

I honestly wish May had been a little better. . . . → Read More: Paying Off The Mortgage Update: May 2014

How Quickly Could You Retire If You Had No Debt?

Our culture today is all about making a large income and buying a bunch of stuff on credit to “enjoy life to the fullest”, but in my experience, this often leads to discontentment, stress, and a constant want for more. One would think that the higher income earners would have a ton of money socked away in the bank, ready to retire at any time, but this isn’t how it typically works is it?

If one’s salary is $50,000 a year, they might finance a brand new Chevy Malibu. If their salary bumps up to $100,000 a year, they finance a mid-level Mercedes. If they are earning $200k+, they suddenly find themselves in an $80,000 Infiniti SUV and an executive home on the lake! As the pay grade increases, so does the lifestyle. As for that savings account, it might be a little beefier, but nothing like it could be.

. . . → Read More: How Quickly Could You Retire If You Had No Debt?