I know a woman who paid $800 for a pair of Christian Louboutins. And because they were on sale—yup, $800 was the sale price—she bought herself two pairs. All of this while carrying a $500,000 mortgage on her home.
Funnily enough, she never wears the shoes anymore. The affair with the sexy shoes was cut short when she found out how damn uncomfortable they were.
So what if she’d taken that $1,600 and paid it against her 35-year mortgage at just 3%? Well, she would have saved herself almost $2,800 in interest. Nice. And if instead of spending that $1,600 on self-indulgence every year, she’d used it to make a regular annual prepayment against her mortgage, over 20 years she’d knock almost $33,000 off her interest costs.
It doesn’t take a lot to make a big difference. Eliminate a bad habit or three, forego an indulgence, eliminate a bill or two that are unessential, or cut an essential cost back and you’ll have some money to throw at your mortgage. Round up, accelerate, pre-pay and you’ll be able to say, “I’m mortgage free” that much sooner.
Choosing to prioritize mortgage repayment over consumption of something new, sparkly or luscious can feel like settling for salad when you’re in a gourmet restaurant. But being disciplined enough to put your financial security above your need to scratch your consumption itch is what being responsible is all about.
We have a huge problem with people retiring still owing money on their mortgages. And it’s a problem that could easily be avoided if we started taking seriously the need to get to debt-free before we hang up our spurs.
Paying down your mortgage won’t be sexy unless you make it sexy. If you focus on tracking what you’re saving in interest costs and in time by getting to mortgage free faster, you can turn a mortgage-free home into a very sexy reality.