Level Up!

Before I was Mortgage Mutilator and before this site even existed (not to mention before we were paying 70%+ towards our mortgage) DW and I started this long, arduous trip down “paying off a mortgage lane”. I must admit in the beginning we were probably a little better than average as we were paying a few hundred dollars a fortnight extra on our repayment but we certainly had no idea what the hell we were doing. We’d very carefully done our maths and knew how much we could borrow and how much (roughly) it’d cost when we were moved out etc but it wasn’t until I started a new job that gave me lots of spare time to investigate finance and other things that it began to dawn on me hey… we could kill this mortgage really quickly if we focussed on it. It’s been over 5 years now and I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our end goal of mutilating this mortgage and paying it entirely off is starting to come into view. In DW’s eyes… not so much, but she says “next year she’ll likely see it” Smile.

When I first did the maths and realised that we could mutilate our mortgage in around <10 years (it was a lot less accurate back then, now I can calculate it down to the day) my mind immediately jumped to the next stage. What would we do AFTER we owned our house in full? My first response was “buy another, more expensive house” but that didn’t really seem to “gel”. Why go to all the effort… just to then be back in debt again!? And surely there was more to life than just buying slightly fancier properties over and over… so I asked a few friends proposing to them a “hypothetical situation” in which they no longer had a mortgage to see what they would do. The answer was a resounding “buy another, more expensive house”. I tried to point out and explain that they’d be “free” at that point and why would they want to go back into debt AGAIN… but alas that’s what they wanted. This was a long time ago now though and we were all a lot younger, so their views very well might have changed but I feel that it’s pretty much what most Australian’s do/feel. If you ever somehow manage to magically pay off that mortgage, as soon as you can, you buy the NEXT bigger, fancier, shinier house and get straight back into debt.

Now I don’t know if any of you mutilators out there have given this “next stage” in your life much thought but we have LOTS of very fun plans. One of the biggest things I’m looking forward to though is just that things will be different. When we make that final payment it will mark the end of our multi-year saga of being indebted and paying tens of thousands of dollars to the bank every year. We will have “levelled up” in the big game of life. Another milestone we’ll have reached far, far earlier than most people normally do. We could both quit our jobs and work 2 days a week whilst still living our current, happy lives. Staying home to care for children (or 10 puppies) wouldn’t be an issue. Saving up large sums of money very quickly also, not a big issue and so on.

We’ll be 100% “free” and no one will be able to take our home.

Now I’ve read that paying off ones mortgage is a fantastic feeling and I can’t wait to experience it, but I’m also really looking forward to moving on afterwards too, onto the NEXT challenge and stage. As the clock ticks down with around a year to go now everything is moving a lot faster and we’re racing towards that finish line. It’ll probably take a few weeks afterwards for it all to sink in properly but that feeling, that anticipated feeling of being free, being safer, getting out of the trenches of debt and being able to move forward in our life, THAT’S what I’ve been focussing on all this time and hopefully you all can too.

So why are you mutilating your mortgage? Is it just to get ahead? Is it because this random Internet guy has been yelling at you to do it? Do you want to feel more financially stable or just “stick it to the man”? Let me know in the comments.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel is a post from: www.MutilateTheMortgage.com!

For the newer readers... if you’re interested in learning more about being mortgage free in under 10 years, automatically and without cutting back on the things you love... You’ll probably like How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Early, Go From No Idea To Mortgage Free In Under 10 Years.

The benefits include: 1) How to pay off your mortgage faster than 99% of people with one hour a month of work 2) How to get rid of your debt and have the freedom to spend money on the things you love, guilt free 3) Clear outline of how to setup your expenses, mortgage and general finance 4) How offset accounts work and how to get the same result without being gouged by the big banks 5) How to cut through the crap and focus on the things that truly matter when taking down a mortgage 6) How to adjust the strategy so it works for you, even if you have kids, even if you only have one income 7) How to do all of these things and maintain a normal social life (and never be cheap).


Alex Shoolman

How To Pay Off A Mortgage Early - What if you could be mortgage free in under 10 years, automatically and without cutting back on the things you love?
Editor in Chief at Alex Shoolman - Learn how to improve your life with technology, see where it's going in the future and how you can take advantage of it.
Editor in Chief at Mutilate The Mortgage - We help people go from "no idea" to mortgage free in under 10 years.

  • MS

    Dear MTM,
    Your articles are a great read and thank you very much for sharing your mortgage journey with other Australians. Congratulations once again for achieving (or being very close) to achieving your dream of owning the house.
    Since I have a mortgage too and plan to pay off as quickly as possible, I too always think about whats Next after this. I do believe buying more property sounds not bad if this is an investment rather then a lifestyle upgrade. Also knowing that one now owns only one home as an asset for their whole life is also a scary thought! I mean if kids are involved most middle aged savings will go to towards care of family and knowing that the cost of retirement homes is exploding, one may find themselves working till 60 and even more to avoid retirement. So my question is how well will only one house serve as asset for two people ?
    These are questions I always ask myself when I think what will I do after I pay down the house. So probably retirement planning would be my next step :) Do you have any thoughts. strategies on this after achieving the first milestone of paying off mortgage?


    • This is where it gets a bit tricky as I don’t want to breach Australian law by “giving financial advice”. That being said there is a BIG mindset here in Australia that “housing never goes down” or “housing doubles every 7 years” or that basically EVERY investment HAS to be in housing. Housing is a great asset class don’t get me wrong but it’s just that, a SINGLE asset class of which there are a few. It also needs to be treated just like shares, bonds or other. It has its downsides (large up front costs, ongoing repair/maintenance/rates, selling costs, illiquidity, large minimum costs) as well as upsides (hedged against inflation usually, less volatile, tax advantageous). When analysing it like another asset class it didn’t make sense to own our house… and then plough another $500,000+ into yet ANOTHER house in the same asset class. Best to diversify I believe not to mention the housing here in Australia is going a bit crazy and I don’t believe it will “boom” again like it has over the past 10 years for quite a while. These are all of course my OWN opinion and I’m not recommending anything here, it’s just how I personally feel.

      The question of what to invest in is VERY personal and depends on a few key parameters such as how much you have, your risk tolerance, time investing, age and so on. I personally spent around 2+ years reading and learning about everything from basic economics all the way up to share investing and diversification and would recommend you do the same, it’s quite complex and you NEED to understand what you invest in. For us, we’re firmly in the MMM (www.mrmoneymustache.com) / ERE (earlyretirementextreme.com) camp :-) Save up 30+ times our annual expenses and then live out the rest of our days not *needing* to work if we don’t want to.