For all the talk and planning that goes on around here it’s easy to forget the meat and potatoes of it all. If you’re reading this it’s because you are interested in aggressively paying off your mortgage. It may be big ($700,000 anyone?) or small ($100,000) but regardless you for whatever reason want it gone and quickly but what might that feel like?
For us, taking huge chunks off your mortgage on a fortnightly basis really feels quite “normal” to be honest.
As a species we are very good at a thing called Hedonic adaptation which, simply put, means we adapt to whatever we’re given and that then becomes the normal. Now whilst most people use this handy function to forever destroy their finances and make their lives miserable*, here at Mutilate The Mortgage we encourage a different approach. You see, each fortnight DW and I have more than four times the “minimum payment” thrown at our loan (4.29 to be exact). In fact, come next week when DW no longer has to pay for a leased car (yay!) that figure will jump to five times. Whilst this might sound ludicrous to some people it has in fact become the normal thing for us to do.
*The most prominent example of this being “Lifestyle Inflation”.
By incrementing the payments up every so often over the years, increasing our ability to save, learning new skills and putting any raises straight towards the Mortgage it’s been a slow ride, but it’s never been “different” because the change is so gradual. Now that we’re at full mutilating capability life really doesn’t seem any different than what it was 4 years ago when we started, it’s just that now we’re automatically paying off our loan at an incredible rate.
Each fortnight our pays come in, the Automatic, Extra Mortgage Payments do their thing and we always have plenty remaining to pay all our bills, pay for sports, food and so on. There’s never any “overdue bills” or “final notices” or even worry that we might not have enough in our account or need to pay off that credit card bill (as neither of us have ever had even $0.01 on a credit card). Now whilst there are many people out there that would be thrilled to be in our situation I must admit that it is rather boring. We’re not flying First Class every week or riding around in an Italia 458 (although our car is red!) but we are achieving our goals and we are going as fast as we feel is needed. The only thing required of us is to simply stay the course and be patient.
So if you’re just starting out and looking forward to the “thrill” of Mutilating The Mortgage I’m afraid that it’s not likely to be as exciting as you’d think (at least not after a while of doing it). I don’t say this to discourage you from trying but more to properly manage your expectations of what’s to come. For example I could think that flying First Class everywhere and having an Italia 458 would be “amazing” and “life changing” or whatever… but chances are that if I did somehow get $100,000,000 or something and thus was able to throw my money away on such things I’d soon once again become adapted to them and eventually find them just as boring or normal as I currently find my life. This isn’t a bad thing though as it ultimately means that our lives are just as satisfying (or possibly more so) than that of the rich and famous.
Beyond this feeling of “normal” I will add though that there is a good measure of security and calmness. There are never any fights over “money” as it is all accounted for and directed precisely where we wish it to go. There’s never unknown costs or problems paying for things and it kind of just makes using money like turning on the light. You don’t sit there wasting power by having it on all day and night but at the same time you know that if it was desperately required for some odd reason you are able to do it. In the mean time you only use it when necessary and no more.
Soon (roughly 20 months from now) our entire debt will be gone and I believe our “feeling” towards our savings ability will likely change, however we have already planned for when this time comes and we definitely don’t intend to “ease up” in any way. For now though we’re happy with our normality and if you’re experiencing a similar thing, welcome to the Mutilate The Mortgage club!
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).