4 Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

Two-thirds of American homeowners had to take out a mortgage to finance their home purchase. If you’re serious about joining the list of debt-free homeowners, then you need to start thinking of ways you can pay off your mortgage early. We all know that mortgage payments can be stressful, especially when you have other major expenses to handle.

Check Writing

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So, how exactly can you pay off your mortgage early?

Opt for Biweekly Mortgage Payments

This concept is pretty simple. Instead of making monthly mortgage payments, you start paying every two weeks. That will result in 26 half mortgage payments, which is 13 full-monthly mortgage payments each year. That may seem insignificant, but that extra mortgage payment can knock 8 years off your 30-year loan depending on the interest rate charged for the loan.

Locate your principal amount, interest and tax and insurance fees you pay every month and divide the total by half. That will be your biweekly payment. Find out from your mortgage lender if they accept biweekly mortgage payments. The good news is, popular mortgage options like FHA home loans allow bi-weekly payment arrangements, according to OnQ Financial.

Make Extra Principal Payments

Do the best you can to pay extra towards your monthly principal payment. Every time you do this, you get to save yourself a significant amount of interest charges as well as getting closer to paying off your mortgage several years ahead of the loan term. The most important thing is ensuring that you can do it comfortably without jeopardizing your financial stability.

For instance, if you’re paying $1046 a month, consider adding some extra cash to make it $1100 and dedicate that extra amount as a loan principal payment. Even if you pay just an extra $50 or $100 a month, your principal amount will add up much faster than you would think. Make sure to also check with your mortgage lender before you make additional payments.

Refinance Into a Shorter-Term Mortgage Loan

Have a 30-year mortgage? You could consider refinancing it into a 15-year mortgage. This will blast you through your mortgage loan much faster, and will probably get you a more affordable interest rate, because shorter-term loans come with lower interest rates. An article on how to refinance a home loan notes that those who refinance their mortgage pay a lot less in interest.

To see what savings you’ll make, simply pull up an online mortgage calculator and play around with different numbers to see how much you would have to pay each month for a 15-year mortgage refinance. If it’s affordable, go ahead and do it. If it’s above what you can afford, you can consider a 20-year loan instead.  

Put That Extra Cash Into Your Mortgage

If you have an extra source of income, then it’s obvious you should be setting aside that extra cash into paying your mortgage. Many taxpayers get tax refunds at the end each year. If you direct all or part of that cash as an extra mortgage payment, you can make serious progress in getting your mortgage paid off early. Dedicate any windfall: a bonus, holiday or graduation gift or raise you receive towards paying down your loan.

 

Five dollar bill

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Note that the highest interest loan should always take priority, But if you don’t have an adequate emergency fund, and your mortgage is the only debt you have, then you should be adding any extra money you get to your mortgage payment as additional principal. A Marketwatch article offers some insights into whether to pay off your mortgage or invest that money.

Conclusion

The more cash you put into paying your mortgage early, the less money you’ll end up paying down the line in interest. This will eventually add up to lower mortgage loan payment, making it easier for you to pay off your mortgage early.

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How Much Does a Dental Implant Cost?

“How much does a dental implant cost?” is not a question I ever wanted to know the answer for.  However, last fall we found out first hand just how expensive a dental implant is. Mr. Money had a tooth that had become painful and he made a trip to our general dentist for an exam. She checked him out, decided he needed a root canal, and sent him to the endodontist.  The endodontist drilled through his tooth to discover it was too far abscessed and that it wasn’t able to receive a root canal but would need to be pulled instead.  The endodontist charged us about $200 for his discovery.

Mr. Money was then sent to Dentist Number Three, who was the tooth pulling dentist. He extracted the tooth, sent him home, and told him to come back in a few months for preparation for a dental implant.  This dentist charged us about $200 for the extraction.  Mr. Money asked about leaving the tooth spot empty and not receiving a dental implant but both Dentist Number One and Dentist Number Three said it would be better to receive a dental implant as teeth often move in the absence of other teeth.  Mr. Money went back to Dentist Number Three a few months later, and he started working on his dental implant.  He screwed a post into his jaw bone and sent him on his way.  This procedure cost us about $1720. Unfortunately, at this point we didn’t have dental insurance since as Mr. Money was unemployed.

About a month later, Mr. Money returned to our regular dentist for her to fit the crown part of the dental implant on.  I am estimating that cost about $300.  As of right now, Mr. Money has a fully functioning dental crown and we are now in debt to Dentist Number Three for about $1200 still, after making payments for the last few months.  We are thankful that the dentist is working with us on a payment plan!  I am estimating we will have him paid off in roughly a year. I think medical debt is probably the least fun debt you can accrue.

Honestly, I’m not worrying myself sick to get this paid off because it will get done when it will get done.  Right now, we’re paying $100 a month to the dentist, which is the best that we can do. I don’t like debt but at this point in our financial journey it is what it is.  It will eventually get paid off, and hopefully we won’t accrue any more debt any time soon.  We’re doing our best to make this happen, and we are both trying our hardest to brighten our financial future.  I’m hopeful that next year this time things look so much better!

The moral of this story is- take care of your teeth.  Brush, floss, and visit your dentist regularly to hopefully prevent anything terrible from happening.  I don’t think Mr. Money could have done much differently to prevent his tooth from becoming abscessed, but routine maintenance is always a good thing to do!  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

How do you feel about debt?  Are you currently working to get out of it?

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When Frugality Becomes Necessity

When Mr. Money lost his job last year, we went into survival mode.  Obviously, finances were incredibly tight as we figured out what our income was going to be and how we were going to work things out.  Mr. Money has been studying software development for over a year now, and actually was accepted to a coding boot camp last year.  He attended his first session in January and graduated from the Front End Web Development program at the end March. He’s now studying the C#/.net framework and is attending classes to further his knowledge on the subject and hopefully help him get a job in the near future.  I’m hoping by the end of the year/beginning of next year he will have a junior software developer job.

While Mr. Money is working on this new career advancement, I’ve been in frugal mama mode with our budget. We’ve been bare bones for awhile (basically since he lost his job last summer), but thankfully since we’ve always lived pretty minimally/frugally, this is not a shock to our lifestyle.  We have stopped contributing to retirement and college for the meantime, and I’m confident that once he secures a new job we will be able to resume contributions.  Here are some of the things I’ve been doing to help save us as much money as possible.

Stay Home

We have been spending a lot of time at home. When we don’t go out, we don’t spend money because we don’t have to pay for gas to get places, and we also  aren’t tempted to spend money at stores  or places on things that we don’t need.  Staying home provides gratitude and contentment for what we have. Once really fun thing we’ve been doing is hosting many play dates with friends!  I love inviting my friends over and spending time with them in our backyard.  We’ve made it into a kids’ oasis!  We also do have friends that live  about a quarter of a mile away and we’ve spent many days over at their houses too!

Meal Plan

A meal plan helps us tremendously because not only do we have a game plan for what’s for dinner, but we also know what groceries we need to buy when we go to the store.  I generally meal plan around what’s in our freezer, fridge, and pantry.  I stock up on meats and things when they are on sale, and Costco has amazing prices on their organic frozen vegetables! I like frozen vegetables because then I don’t have to worry about them going bad, plus their nutrient content is usually excellent.

Cook at Home

Cooking at home goes hand in hand with meal planning.  When we go out to eat, it costs us a minimum of $25 for a casual restaurant.  We don’t visit sit down restaurants generally because it’s harder with kids, and it costs more when you have to leave a 20% tip.  Eating at home is so much cheaper!

Frugal Activities

We don’t just stay at home and never have fun.  We partake in so many frugal activities with our family and friends. We often have potlucks with our friends where we all contribute a portion of the meal- one person does meat, the other a vegetable, and the other a side or dessert.  It works out well because then one family isn’t responsible for the whole meal.  We also attend church every Sunday (it’s only 5 minutes away and we love the fellowship!) and we go for walks around our neighborhood.  Many days we will pack a lunch and have a picnic at our local park. We’ve been taking trips to our libraries- one is really close to our house and one is about a fifteen minute drive but is a lot larger and has more activities.  The summer reading program will be starting soon, and Penny is really looking forward to that!

Side Hustles

Thankfully I have been bringing in income for years through my various side hustles.  I’m thankful that I started my blog when I did, and that it does provide income that is so needed for our family.  I also try to pet sit and baby sit whenever someone asks me to.  I prefer pet sitting as it’s much less stress, but Penny really enjoys when I baby sit and I don’t ever turn those jobs down either!

I’m so thankful that we have lived frugally/minimally for years so it’s not like this is a shock.  I am looking forward to the day where things aren’t so tight and we are able to go on vacation.  Every day I am thankful for what we do have and the blessings that continue to come our way!

Is frugality a necessity for you? Are you working on paying down debt, or saving money?

 

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