Alright, Alright! Here we go as we wind down to the end of this series on paying off your mortgage quickly.
As you put part 1 into practice, you’ll notice that you have extra funds coming your way. Then when you get to part 2, your mortgage balance will start to shrink in an astronomical way. But the biggest challenge will be this next part; living on one income, preferably the smallest of the two for couples (or half your income if single or if one spouse stays home).
Don’t dismiss this idea. You can do it. If you can’t automatically start off with living on one or half your income, Live off 75% of your total income, then go on from there.
Why is it important to do this? Well for starters, it really helps you to be mindful of your funds. Do you know how most people achieve success? Discipline. Having the discipline to cut things from the budget or taking your leftovers to work instead of going out to eat is priceless. Also, God forbid, if something tragic was to happen to you or your spouse, it’s nice to know that one person could cover the household financially.
After my husband and I finished paying off our consumer debts and decided to tackle the mortgage, we were putting extra money into our principal balance. But we wanted to accelerate the process even more. I started researching bi-weekly payments to add to the mix, but it just wasn’t our thing to have someone set this up for us or do it manually. Then we discovered a strategy that changed our lives. Once getting into it, we decided to put most of our income into this method because it allowed us to remove money from that account if we needed to. I will talk about this strategy in the next post.
But before discovering this strategy, we sat down to evaluate if we can live off one income and whose income will go to the mortgage principal. After evaluating our budget and listing every line item, we came to the conclusion that the smallest income can pay for groceries, daycare, utilities, and more. The only thing it could not include was the other spouse’s gas money and tithes. With the largest income, we decided to split it into 3 categories – savings, investing and paying off the mortgage (after tithe and gas money was removed). Most went into the mortgage principle since we had over 6 months of expenses saved in our emergency fund and we funded two Roth IRA investing accounts.
Guess who had the smallest income? It’s me. Actually, 3 years ago, my income was even smaller, but I took on a new job position that increased my salary by 8K, which has allowed us to take on this endeavor. Also my income accounts for 33% of our combined income. And we lived on that for a couple of years.
How did we supplement our income when we had major events or wanted to travel? Well, a big one was utilizing our side hustles. I wrote an article on how I am able to make an extra $10/day. So making an extra $150-$200 a month helps. My husband and I also have a business we conduct part-time. We set aside some income tax returns and bonuses for fun activities. All in all, we weren’t so strict on the plan, if we had to break it for a month or two we did. After the birth of my third child, we went back to living on 60% of our income due to hospital bills, once they were paid, we scaled back to 33%.
I must admit, it was hard for me to sacrifice my salary for the “good of the family.” I was left with $100 or less every 2-weeks for fun money once all the bills came out. I can say though it was worth it because after the mortgage was paid off, my fun money has increased significantly.
I truly believe this exercise can be applied to not only paying off the mortgage but to paying off any debt like credit cards, student loans, and car loans. I encourage you to just give it a try. I’m sure you won’t regret it.
So are you up for the challenge? Is living on one or half your income doable for you? Let me know in the comments below.