I’ve set myself a challenge.

I am so excited about this story about paying off the mortgage quickly:

I found it on the Simple Savings site about a week ago and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Their situation is vastly different to mine but the essential ideas would work the same for anybody. Cut out all unnecessary expenses and for a set time put your head down, grit your teeth and pay the mortgage off. I’ve been thinking that it’ll take me another 10 years to pay off this house, but this article kept niggling at me, so I reached up to the top shelf of the bookcase in my room, blew off the dust on my copy of Anita Bell’s ‘Your Mortgage and how to pay it off in 5 years by someone who did it in three‘, coughed a lot (I’m not a good housekeeper), then turned to the back of the book where the charts are. Most of the figures in the body of the book are out of date, but the charts at the back are very useful, as they show how much you’d pay per fortnight with differing rates of interest to enable you to pay out your mortgage in so many years. I had a bit of a look, then sat down and did some hard thinking.

This past year I’ve fallen off the frugal bandwagon somewhat. I can’t remember the last time I posted a “Skinflint Sunday” post, I only bake biscuits for school lunches every couple of weeks and I have let the veggie garden go to God this season. The weeds are frightening. I scream slightly every time I go out to the clothesline and see the mess. We’ve had a few Unbloggable Things going on, work has been busy and it has been easy to succumb to the siren song of the fish and chip shop, but I think it’s time for this to stop. I looked at those charts and saw that if I consistently upped my repayments by a couple of hundred dollars a month I could be free of the mortgage in 5 years. Imagine.

The year that my last child finishes school could be the year I’m debt free. (Apart from their uni fees, but that’s another matter. They’ll be paying those fees back, anyway.)

Some months it’ll be impossible to do. Evan4 needs braces, (I’ll be bringing that conversation up with Tony in the next few weeks… if I’m totally subsidising Tom1 now that Tony no longer pays child support for him and is not helping him out with uni expenses, then I’m damned if I’m going to totally foot the bill for Evan4’s teeth), the kids are at the epoch of their lives where they go on expensive school camps… (David2 is going to Central Australia for 10 days at a cost of $900. Next year is Tasmania for a couple of hundred less. The other two boys are following right behind, with the next 3 years having a kid at Central and a kid at Tassie. In my set of values, you should take every opportunity for travel. School camps are the cheapest way kids can see the country, anyway. Ryan3 has been invited to join the Orchestra. There’s Band camp. Hopefully not like American Pie…)… where was I?

Also there’s things like car tyres and repairs to appliances that blow up and all of the little things that life throws at us all. Still…

I’m really buzzing at the thought of getting out from under the mortgage. Currently I throw about half my wage at it. Imagine what I can do and where I could go if I had my whole wage to play with? I could travel. (Hi Scott!) I could make some decent investments so I’m not forced to eat pet food in my indigent old age. I could save up and pay cash for the renovations I’d like to do on the house. I could buy a semitrailerful of Aldi Gummi Bears and roll around naked on the top of them.

It turns out that I’m a saver, not a spender, at heart. I’m going to give myself the challenge to do it. And let’s face it; even if at the end of 5 years I haven’t paid off every cent, I’m still going to be far better off if I’ve reduced the mortgage by extra thousands. I can’t lose. The trick will be to chop heavily away at the debt while not depriving us all of the things we really need and want to do. We still have to enjoy our lives. I have to reset my priorities.

I’m so excited!!!!

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17 Responses to I’ve set myself a challenge.

  1. Kiwi Lindsay says:

    If you’re looking for more inspiration on how to achieve this, from this side of the ditch, check out http://pigtitsandparsleysauce.co.nz/

    Good luck!

  2. librarygirl says:

    Do it! We did. You’ve no idea of the peace of mind being mortgage free gives you. Well, you can imagine.

  3. moonspun says:

    That is an admirable challenge! I wish you all the luck!

  4. cathy says:

    You go for it girl!
    We did it many years ago and I am so grateful we did – I realise it was a ‘different time’ but our youngsters didn’t seem to go without. School camps and the like happened in the 70s and 80s as well and were as much a drain on the family as they are now.
    There are still so many of our age facing a mortgage payment every month when they should be out enjoying themselves.
    Now the other thing is – have the words quilts and knitting crossed your mind. Never mind the boys and their toys (travel is different) don’t deprive yourself of the good things in life either lol
    Oh and how are your thumbs now? I use Comfrey Cream (from the health food shop) on mine when they play up – usually when I’ve been playing with the needles to much. Just rub a little into the mound at the base of each thumb before bed and you will notice the difference in the morning
    Take care
    Cathy

  5. Fairlie says:

    You go girl! I, for one, can’t wait for the post when you describe how you bought a semitrailerful of Aldi Gummi Bears and rolled around naked on the top of them.

    Maybe not with photos though…

  6. saffronlie says:

    If anyone can do it, I know you can! I hope this also heralds the return of Skinflint Sunday. I loved your tips and could certainly do with more as I’m trying to save as well.

  7. libby says:

    hmmm rolling in a truck of gummi bears naked?? unique!
    good luck with the frugalling. I understand where you are coming from on all this, had outback camp last year and it all starts again… we are also hoping to go to the UK next year to visit relatives…mega saving to happen this year!

  8. Amelia says:

    Woohoo! So exciting. We’re in a seriously ‘tightarse’ stage at the moment having just got our first mortgage 2 1/2 years ago. We figure 4 or 5 frugal years and we’ll be able to relax a little for a while. Can’t wait to hear how you go!

  9. Scott says:

    The naked gummi bear roll. Is that an Olympic sport?

  10. Jayne says:

    Go for it, you won’t know what to do with yourself with the extra cash (though it’s damn handy for emergencies that crop up!).

  11. mary says:

    Go Froggie! I too am keen to follow your progress on this especially as I am a spender not a saver at heart!

  12. river says:

    Pet food in your indigent old age?? Have you SEEN the cost of pet food lately? Judging on cost alone, our furry friends eat better than we do. Here’s a better idea. A pot of water, a splosh of tomato sauce, a handful or two of chopped veg, makes a nice nutritious soup. Beef it up a bit with some pasta shapes, maybe add a bread roll. MUCH better than dog food.
    I’m a saver too. Not easy on my miniscule wage, but I try. No mortgage luckily, but rent every fortnight.

  13. Allie says:

    I wish I had your dedication… I need to learn to budget… after all i would probably be really good at a naked gummi bear roll….

  14. Good luck. Stay fit and happy and money becomes second in importance. (Though it never seems so when you’re short. )

  15. I soo have to hide this story from my Partner – he is the ultimate in this sort of thing – even try’s to save by not subscribing to the ‘Cheapscakes’ sites.

    He is even counting the trips to the Fabric stores! now I say were is the fun in life without that.

  16. Mwa says:

    What a wonderful thing to do.

  17. monica says:

    good luck to you! i think it’s a brilliant idea.

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