Following the Path to Mortgage Free Living:
Part One

Tired of writing that mortgage check every month, until you think you'll need a separate check book just for house payments? Tired of dealing with rising mortgage rates? You're not alone. Millions of homeowners feel the same way, and yet some of them are taking a chunk out of the burden and getting out from under mortgage payments years, sometimes decades before their neighbors. How? They make an effort to pay off their mortgage early and thereby can enjoy mortgage free living. Just the thought makes many homeowners drool with envy.

Living mortgage free is not a pipe dream. It's a reality that can, and does, occur with increasing frequency these days. Why? Because for some, it's their way of sticking it to 'The Man', while for others, it's the path toward financial freedom and no stress. Do you have to make a million dollars a year to attempt to pay off a mortgage early? No, but you do need about $100-200 extra cash every month so that you can pay extra on your mortgage payments. While many people think they can't afford even that, you'd be amazed at how much money you spend on a monthly basis just going out to eat, or entertaining yourself.

Check out the following Tips to help get you started on paying off that mortgage in less than five years.

Low mortgage rate and interest rate: Make sure you have the best interest rate you can find. Most home loan mortgage rates should be offered at between 6-8 percent interest. If you are higher, refinance. If you're lower, then what are you waiting for? Take advantage!

Cut Fuel Bills: In winter and summer months, take a bite out of electric or gas bills by wearing a sweater in the house instead of bumping that thermostat up. In colder climes, keep the heat set no lower than 45 degrees however, so that you don't run the risk of cracked pipes. In summer, try using floor fans or turning your air conditioning off at night and opening a window with a fan nearby to move cooler night air. You'll save hundreds of dollars a month.

Cut Back on Shopping: Yeah, that's a hard one for lots of people. Still, if you trim the fat from your grocery bill every month, and make due with fewer desserts, cookies and other non-essential items, you'll save hundreds of dollars every month.

Spend more time Window Shopping: You don't have to cut out your trips to the mall every weekend, but you'll need to leave those credit cards at home. Shop with your eyes, not your wallet. After all, do you really need that Coach purse, or those Jimmy Choo shoes, can you make due with the dozen or so other styles stored in your closet?

Shop For Less: When it is time for new shoes or clothes, stay away from the designer labels. After all, who's going to notice the difference if they don't look at the label with a magnifying glass? And who cares, anyway? Stop competing with the neighbors and buy generic. After all, you pull pants on the same way, not matter what name is on the label.

DIY: Whether it's home or car repairs, try fixing things yourself instead of calling in plumbers, electricians and pool repair men. Get a book and learn how to fix things yourself. Who wants to pay a plumber $75 an hour to take the trap off your sink when you can do it yourself with the use of a $20 monkey wrench?

Compare Home Owner's Insurance Policies: If you own a home, you need homeowners insurance. Instead of going with the first one you find in the phone book or on the Internet, shop around for better deals, but remember to make sure your basic needs are covered.

Your mortgage rates determine what your monthly payments are. Still, they are just the tip of the iceberg, and just those items will save most homeowners about $500 a month in expenses. Keep track of every penny that you spend for a month or two and you'll be amazed at how much of it is frivolous. Spend it on mortgage payments instead and get out from under the mortgage blues.


Following the Path to Mortgage Free Living:
Part Two

Paying a monthly mortgage year after year gets old fast, but most people just go through the motions, thinking there's nothing they can do about it. However, with a mortgage payment calculator, you might be able to save some money. The first part of this article explained that by merely paying extra on your monthly mortgage payments, you could shorten the life of your loan by years, if not decades. All it takes is a little sacrifice, some determination, and knowing that your efforts will pay off, big time.

There are considerations that need to be addressed when it comes to determining how you go about paying off a mortgage in under five years, and that may depend on how much of a down payment you made, your current balance and interest rate, it is possible to take 6 years off your mortgage payments by sending in an extra $100 a month on your house payment.

By using a mortgage payment calculator, you can find ways to save money, and save big. Now, if you cut corners and reduce frivolous spending, most people realize that they can save that amount, but if things are really tight, you can still send in an extra $50 a month. Either way, you'll save thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars on the life of your loan by following these pointers.

Whether you come into some money or not, there are ways to curtail and cut back on extra spending every month that will allow you to pay an extra $50, $100, or even more on your monthly mortgage payments, which will save you between thousands to tens of thousand dollars on payments that mostly go toward interest and not principal.

Our last article gave you ten tips on where you can cut back spending. Using a mortgage payment calculator, you can insert different amounts of money that can be applied to your monthly mortgage payment and see how many years you can take off your loan. This article will give you several more.

These are just the obvious basics, but if you spend a little time, you'll be able to come up with more as well. This doesn’t mean you have to live a boring existence for the sake of paying off your house, it just means trimming the fat. You can still enjoy that steak dinner or the play or Disneyland, but just not as often as you used to. Living mortgage free is worth some sacrifices and belt-cinching after all, and just think of all the extra money you'll have then to entertain yourself to your heart's

Here are some additional tips on where you can trim the fluff out of your monthly living budget.

Cut down on Entertainment Expenses: Do you really need that golf club membership or those season tickets to the football or baseball games? Do you have to attend every play or event held at your local opera house or theater? If you expect your kids and spouse to cut back, then you have to as well.

Cut back on Car Expenses: Can you walk to work? Take the bus? If you can, do it! You don't need that six CD-player installed in your car, either. After all, you can only listen to one CD at a time anyway. The same goes for frivolous extras like fancy rims, tires and accessories.

The Power of Saying 'No': Sure, we all like to treat our kids, but we don't always have to buy that bike or guitar that's just going to start gathering dust in a few months anyway. Kids are amazingly resilient, and if you treat them with less expensive gifts and fun, they'll be content. Really.

Clear Your Credit Card Debt: Sure, we live in the age of plastic, but try to curtail that as well, especially if you're paying more on interest than 10 percent. Get rid of your high interest credit cards and try to keep them at home more often.

Make Money at Home: Many people have special talents, whether it's playing musical instruments, creating crafts or other skills. Start taking in students in your spare time and offer language, guitar, craft and other types of skills to others willing to learn from you.

The possibilities are endless, really. By taking advantage of tools like a mortgage payment calculator and focusing on saving money, living mortgage free is not a pipe dream. It's a reality that's attainable by just about everyone, no matter how much money you make or if you're just getting by. There's always a way to cut back on living expenses, and that's the key to making it all possible. So, what are you waiting for!

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