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Yes!! It. Is. Here!!!
In many of my articles I have encouraged you to use a spreadsheet to track, measure and improve your spending not to mention mutilate your mortgage more effectively. It is also great for motivational purposes and, as I’m sure many will testify to, addictive. I know you all want to kill that mortgage and do it quickly. You want a plan that’s proven to work, easy to follow and simple to understand without all that annoying finance mumbo-jumbo crap. Well today I thought I’d let loose something I’ve been working on for many years. Something that will be the centrepiece in destroying your mortgage.
I could no doubt sell this to many people with the right spin, but that’s not the point of this site. This site is about teaching and pushing you to mutilate that mortgage of yours. I want to provide you, the reader, with the best information possible for free so that you can cut through all the crap out there and focus on the true important things that make a difference in paying off a mortgage. Most “pay off your mortgage quicker” posts are cheap, top 10 style lists that say the same old dry stuff again and again (seriously, Google it, it’s horrible). “Make sure you’re getting a good interest rate“, “Make sure you pay fortnightly“. They are bits of candy that you can read in 1-2 minutes, think “yeah, those are some alright idea’s” and then close it down feeling good about yourself that you’ve read it.
I want you to come to Mutilate The Mortgage for far more advanced, leading class help in getting rid of your debt and this is to be the crown jewel. This spreadsheet forms a strategy that guides you step by step in paying off that mortgage quicker whilst not treading too far into the “deprivation zone” so many people associate with budgeting. So don’t just browse over this document like it’s one of those “Top 10” lists, if you are looking for those disposable reads leave this site now as it’s not for you. This is to become the centrepiece to mutilating your mortgage. It is important, will take up a small amount of your time (5 minutes or so each month) and there is a learning curve, but the rewards are extremely worthwhile. You will feel more in control of your finances, you will have a specific end date for your mortgage that will greatly motivate you and you will be able to see in real time what effect your expenses have on the loans end date.
The spreadsheet itself hasn’t taken me multiple years to build, however the research, ongoing testing, refinement and ultimate creation has taken over 3 years to put together. Throughout the years I have investigated dozens of various possibilities to cut down mortgage terms and only kept the best. The ones that make the MOST impact on the loan. It may seem simple on the surface, but that is just the honest brutal truth coming through. It is the result of many, many revisions. It’s been filtered, optimized, tested, optimized again, tested again and tweaked with all the most important things you’ll need built right into it and simplified to the core. To mutilate a mortgage it must take top priority and you must cut away all the other expenses so that everything possible is thrown at getting rid of that giant elephant. This spreadsheet combines all the complex research, adds in a pinch of psychological points and boils it all down to a specific plan to freedom. So without further ado, I give you…
Click the link above (or this one) and be whisked away to a land of pleasant looking spreadsheet cells that are super easy to personalize. Please note, for those of you squeamish about entering in personal financial details online this is a read only version. This means that to actually edit and use this for your own purposes (which I highly suggest) you will have to make a copy for yourself. This copy will be bound by your Google Account and so no one else has access to it. Making a copy is simple, just open the spreadsheet and click “File -> Make a copy…” as shown below.
Once that’s done your new copy will open up in a new window.
Once you have copied the document to your own Google Account you can begin editing the fields as specified by the orange instructions. You should only change the blue fields and there are tips on some of them with further clarification. Fill out your:
- Personal Information
- Income Information
- Mortgage Information
- The Expenses tab.
When filling out the Expenses tab (the tabs of the spreadsheet are located at the bottom) please don’t feel that you have to be 100% perfect.
“The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan.” – Prussian General Karl von Clausewitz, Vom Kriege, 1832
Even if you simply estimate the numbers off the top of your head it is better than doing nothing, the main focus should be on just getting some information in there. If your expenses aren’t 100% accurate then the numbers will be off, but as you continue to use The Spreadsheet you will be able to update them and approach perfection. In truth, even my own Expenses tab isn’t 100% perfect as expenses fluctuate wildly I’ve found. You may start a new exercise routine of swimming daily, decide you don’t need a haircut as often, want to travel more and so on however with The Spreadsheet you can quickly punch in the new number and make an informed decision of whether that new expense is REALLY worth it or not. One of the biggest advantages of The Spreadsheet is its ability to simulate “what if” scenarios on the fly. “How much sooner would we pay off the mortgage if we only had one car?” is something that’s easily answered. Simply delete the “Car Expenses” and look at your Mortgage Plan tab for an updated end date.
Once you’ve entered in all the figures you can now have a look at all the automatically calculated data and graphs. The main area is the very first Dashboard tab which gives you a snapshot of what should be happening money wise each fortnight. Who is getting paid what, how much your loan payments should be and how much each of your expenses are. It also gives you your total net position and a graph outlining your specific mortgage plan.
As I’ve said before, your mortgage is quite likely THE most important expense going on in your life. Other expenses pale in comparison and getting all up in arms about petrol going up 4 cents a litre is stupid if you’re completely ignoring your mortgage. Most will dislike this idea but use The Spreasheet fortnightly. Each fortnight, around pay day, give it a quick 1-2 minute look over. Update your bank account values (as you just got paid), make sure your mortgage is at where your plan says it should be at and if you feel like it, maybe have a look at what expenses you may need to investigate. Yes, this is an ongoing thing. Yes, it requires discipline. No, it’s not hard, it takes in total about 5 minutes per month to do and will save you thousands of dollars. It might seem simple, but it is the secret to conquering Long Term Problems.
As a last point in describing The Spreadsheet I’d like to point out the giant red bold note on the Dashboard tab.
“Until this debt is erased, the mortgage is priority number one.”
This should ideally be read every fortnight or so to continuously remind you that no, you’re not rich. No, you shouldn’t be going out and spending that money on useless crap. You want to mutilate that mortgage? Great! Then it is priority number one. Of all the tips, tricks, voodoo spells, spreadsheets, tweaks and so on, NONE of them are a substitute for not putting as much of your income as possible into the mortgage. This is what those throw away articles won’t tell you. They never address it because it is hard to do and hard to stick to but it is achievable, just pull up The Spreadsheet each pay day and make sure you’re on track. After a while you will be able to look back in pride as you see just how far you’ve come and how destroyed your mortgage is.