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Aggressively Paying Down My Mortgage


Yes, it’s true. I plan to pay my mortgage down to $40,000 by the end of this year. This is step one in my overall plan of paying my entire mortgage by the end of 2014. Some of you may be wondering why the heck I’m paying off my mortgage when the interest rates are so low, well it just so happens I wrote an article about it, “Should You Pay Off the Mortgage ASAP?” in case you’re interested in the “why” details. Right now though, I’m digging into the “how”.

Making Goals, Then Figuring Out How

I’m notorious for setting goals and then am left scratching my head thinking, “How in the world am I going to hit this crazy goal?” For me though, this is the fun part. I know that pretty much anything is possible, but you have to ask yourself the right questions. If I set the goal and then immediately said, “There’s no way I can accomplish this goal,” then I will most certainly never hit the goal. If, however, I stop to think about how it might be possible, then my mind will be lead to possibilities that I’ve never thought of before, and I’ll be that much closer to find a solution to hitting my goal. The mind is a powerful tool, but it can either work for you or against you. Personally, I’d rather use my mind to achieve great things rather than explain to people why it was impossible to achieve greatness.

My Mind At Work On This Goal

I set this goal for myself in the beginning of the year and I didn’t realize how much money I would have to pay out on other things. Instead of starting to pay this debt down in February, it has taken until now for me to get a start. Now it’s crunch time and I’m going to have to get creative. If I did absolutely nothing out of the ordinary and just used my discretionary funds to pay down the debt, I might be able to get it below $50k, but certainly not as low as $40k. Many people would say this is admirable, but there’s just one problem, $50k isn’t my goal.

So, in order to come up with another $10k, I have to do something more. Something that isn’t going to take a ton of time, but has the potential to generate some additional profits before the end of the year comes. Here are the ideas that I came up with.

  1. Write articles – I have recently upped my article rate to $20 per article, which I think is a good rate, but the real money is in staff writing. It takes some time, but it would allow me to put my own voice into the article which is the fun part! If I were able to write 10 staff articles per week, I could generate an additional $1,000 per month.
  2. Flipping cars – I love to buy cars at a deal, drive them for a few months, and then sell them at a profit. When I find cars that are priced well below their value, I typically am able to make $700-1,000 per vehicle. If I just did this twice, I could earn an additional $1,750 by the end of the year.
  3. Building more websites – I’m getting pretty good at building websites, getting a Page Rank from Google, and then selling them for $1,000-1,500. If I started 10 sites right away and built them up enough for the Google updates, I could potentially have $10,000 worth of sites to sell.

Crunching the Numbers

If I were to do all of these things (which may kill me, but we’ll just have to see what happens), the total earnings would be well over $10,000. Let’s add it all up and see what I could earn in a best case scenario. With the staff writing, I could potentially earn $6,000 by December. By flipping cars, I could earn a maximum of $2,000. And, with the website building and sales, I could earn $10,000. Adding these up and I’ll have myself $18,000. It would be awesome to earn this much extra, but realistically I might earn half that – so somewhere in the neighborhood of $9,000. That would basically put me right where I need to be. I’m officially making this my new plan of action to get my mortgage paid down. I’ll have to keep you all posted on my progress in the upcoming months.

What do you think about my ideas? Do you think they’ll work?

Mortgage Payoff


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. Writing articles, flipping cars and building websites are good ideas that will generate more income for you. I would personally lean more towards writing articles over the latter two as it requires no monetary investment from you. I have seen a lot of car flippers with 5 cars in their driveway that they can’t sell. But, in your case, it sounds like you will drive the car and may not buy another until you sell the one before.

    It is obvious that you are extremely focused on paying this mortgage off so, for your sake, I hope it disappears by 2014. Having said that, if anyone reading your article is faced with the same dilemma, I would revisit the “why.”

    You can’t disregard inflation so easily as you did in the previous example. With our monetary policy, there’s a better chance of double digit inflation as opposed to deflation that you point out. Historically (which is all we have to go by), you are much better off keeping the mortgage.

    • Yes, inflation may happen. I think much of my reasoning is just my personal preference not to have any debt. It’s more a matter of principles.

      • Derek- you have no idea how much this post made me think today. I seriously spent 3-4 hours working up various examples and trying to figure out what role inflation plays in the ‘debt pay back process.’

        Average Joe summed it best with this: future dollars are only cheaper if they are greater than the inflation rate.

        Although my head really hurts, I have to thank you for writing this.

        • Haha. Now you’ve got me thinking! Without thinking too hard though, you know that the banks have run all the calculations. They definitely don’t intend to lose any money on that loan they’re giving you. In other words, these people that are paying as little as possible on their mortgage and trying to beat the system…. I don’t think they’re doing themselves one bit of good financially.

  2. I like the direction you’re heading in. I can not adequately express in words how completely awesome it would be to nix our mortgage debt, and be free of that monthly burden. The fed can keep their mortgage deduction…it’s really madness to think getting pennies for our dollars in interest expense is a good deal in our current economic state. We currently owe more than half a million, so we have a lot of web sites to build to pay for that.

    One word of caution. Be careful how many cars you flip. The IRS may red flag you for “back-yarding” and require you to get a dealers license.

    • I think we’re allowed to flip 7 cars in Michigan, but I only intend to buy and sell 2 or so. I’m sure I won’t be testing the maximum with that.

  3. Wow people are getting $100 for staff writing? Geez I need to work on my writing skills. I used to flip cars but here you are only allowed to do 3 cars per year then you need a dealers license. I say go for it and make it happen. Where do you sell your sites? Flippa?

    • Actually Thomas, the calculation comes to $25 per article. 10 articles per week with 4 weeks in a year will total $1,000 at $25 an article. I could probably get more, but this is the average rate for a decent writer. And, as for my sites, I get plenty of interest from various people emailing me about making a purchase. No need to use Flippa for that.

  4. It is good that you are thinking outside the box when looking for ways to make money. I don’t know about the laws in your state, but in NC you can only sell a certain number of cars per year before you have to get a dealers license, which costs a good amount of money. I think you can only sell 3-5 cars per year here, but I would have to check. My brother does this and once he hits the cap, then he waits until the next year. You don’t want to have to pay all the taxes and fees to be a dealer, so I would check your state laws. Good luck Derek.

    • There’s a law here too, but I only plan to sell 2 of them, so I’m pretty sure I’m safe. 😉

  5. Great job thinking outside the box to earn more money!

    • Thanks SFL! I’ll keep you updated on how well it pans out.

  6. Sounds like a great plan! Please let us know how it goes, as I am thinking about something similar. Best of luck.

    • I will definitely keep everyone posted with my upcoming articles. Thanks for the comment Mike.

  7. I think that’s a great goal. If it isn’t a challenge, what fun is that? It inspires me to set a similar goals as we are trying to pay off our mortgage as well.

    • Sounds like we’re running in the same race Kim. I look forward to hearing about your success as well!

  8. Good for you, Buddy! Kill that mortgage and don’t let anyone/thing distract you from doing so. Bottom line – debtfree is the ONLY way to be. Forget leveraging and every other argument people throw out there for not paying off your mortgage. Best of luck.

    • Thanks for that Jim. I need that from my readers once in a while. To be completely debt free would sure be a crazy feeling. I’m sure I’m going to love it. 🙂

  9. This is long term thinking and it’s so rare to see that truly planned out and worked toward that I have to applaud you. It sounds like you’ve got a great vision for the future and a good plan to get there.

    • Thanks MB. If I didn’t set goals, I’m sure I would just pay the mortgage as it comes like everyone else, but since I have a goal to pay off the entire mortgage by 2014 I figured it was time to actually plan how to do it! 🙂

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