This post won’t give you any specific “trick” to magically kill your entire mortgage in one foul swoop.
This post however is about the one thing that I’ve repeatedly said is the most important when mutilating your mortgage.
This post is about your motivation.
If you’re not interested in properly motivating yourself to pay off your mortgage quickly then please stop reading now as I don’t wish to waste any more of your time. However if you haven’t yet got a specific reason why you are trying to pay down you loan fast then do read on, I think you’ll find what I have to say quite illuminating.
Most people will arrive either at this website (or one of the many irresistibly headlined major newspaper articles) with the want of getting rid of their mortgage. They are sick of having it drain their money away. They’re tired of it being such a drag on their finances or even creating arguments or serious problems in other parts of their lives. They want it gone and more often than not they will be dragged in by the tantalising thought that maybe, just maybe, there’s a little “thing” that they don’t know about (but that everyone else does know about) that makes paying off a mortgage super easy. And that that little thing is in that article, website or book.
In a way, I guess motivation could possibly be that thing. It fits the profile but unfortunately it’s a bit underwhelming for most people I think. They’re expecting an advanced mathematical quirk that enables them to just not have to pay half of their mortgage or something to that end. Motivation is something they already know about, so how could that help? But in all my years of toil sifting through the numbers, the spread sheets, the websites, the articles, the books and the endless opinions and “facts” from “professionals” motivation truly does seem to be the crux. The singularity. The nexus of paying down your debt (any debt) quickly and successfully and this point is exceedingly easy to prove too.
You have a debt of $300,000.
You inherit $300,000 from your dead aunt Betsy.
If you are not motivated to pay off that debt, if you don’t care about that debt… you won’t pay it off. You’ll piss the money away on something else. You’ll buy a Porsche and a holiday to Bora Bora for the whole family and redo the kitchen with gorgeous granite bench tops and anything else your heart “wants”.
Without proper motivation no other action matters.
Now queue the complainypants saying blah blah, that examples stupid, no one’s that dumb etc etc and I hope they’re not. That’s an extreme example to make my point but what if you received $30,000 instead of $300,000? Would ALL of it go towards paying off the debt? Would half of it go towards the debt and the other half to a new car maybe? This again all depends on (you guessed it) how motivated you are towards your goal.
When you read my articles, when you see those headlines in the paper “Top 10 Ways To Pay Off Your Mortgage Fast!” do you get the thought flashing through your mind “Yes! I WANT to pay off my mortgage (and fast too!)”? If you do, then I’d like you to stop and just have a quick thought about how much that “want” is. Do you want it more than say, a new pair of sneakers? A pretty new dress? A new car? Do you want it more than the food you eat? What are you willing to give up partially or completely in order to get it? How far are you willing to go?
So have a think now (I’ll wait). Come up with a point, some line you wouldn’t cross to get this want. As an example:
I’d be happy to clip coupons, eat less tasty food and buy only things that are on special but I wouldn’t give up eating healthy food.
Got it? If you do, I’d love it if you could just quickly submit it in the comments below.
Moving on though, this line you wouldn’t cross is very important because it gets you really thinking about what is important to you and also serves to kick you in the butt in regards to what you should be doing. Did you say paying off the home loan fast was more important than Foxtel? Well then why do you still have Foxtel!?? Kill it. Kill it with fire now.
For most people (myself included) the main reason for mutilating the mortgage is financial security. Owing nothing to anyone is definitely not the default scenario in the world anymore and provides you with countless extra degrees of freedom (which coincidentally makes for a much more resilient system that suffers less cascading failures). This desire to be more resilient and secure far outweighs trivial desires such as eating out at fancy restaurants, buying lunches at work or even driving to work instead of taking the train. I am motivated to kill our mortgage as fast as possible so that we will be more secure. With this high level of motivation we are on track to destroy our mortgage in around 6 years, far above and beyond anything I’ve ever heard anyone else (in real life) of ever doing.
When properly motivated anyone can achieve this or similar goals. Knowing how the math works, how compound interest works, which interest is better and which has hidden fees is all well and good. But motivation is the ignition key and the fuel that runs the mortgage demolition truck. Without it you spurt and stutter, start and stop as your motivation dwindles or worse, you never even start in the first place. If you find a truly deep and meaningful reason to motivate yourself then nothing will stop you and that mortgage will get killed quicker than anyone else you know too.