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8 Easy Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage

8 Easy Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage

STOP WASTING MONEY ON INTEREST PAYMENTS! If you’re like me, you have a 30 year mortgage that you’d love to pay off.  Paying off your mortgage early would not only be a huge financial weight off your shoulders but could save you thousands in interest payments.  Through budgeting and careful planning, being mortgage free is attainable.

Here are 8 easy ways to pay off your mortgage early:

1. Bi-weekly payments plus $200 extra per month.

Making bi-weekly payments instead of monthly payments could easilly turn your 30 year morgage into a 22 year mortgage. Automatic bi-weekly payments set up by your bank are an excellent way to save money on your mortgage without thinking about it every month. Just be sure to check with your bank to ensure you’re not paying extra for this service.

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2. Pay an extra $500 per month towards your mortgage.

This might sound like a lot but you would be surprised how easy it is to budget an extra $500 per month to pay down your mortgage faster. This extra monthly payment, especially in this beginning on your loan term, will really cut down on the high interest payments. Trust me, it’s worth giving up a your daily Starbucks coffee for!

3. Put all of your extra bonuses on your mortgage.

Do you get a yearly Christmas bonus? Or quarterly bonuses? Or sales commissiones for extra sales? Putting all of your extra bonuses on  your mortgage can really add up and will quickly payoff your mortgage. Make it a plan today to automatically transfer all bonuses to your mortgage. Better yet, set it up through your company as an electronic transfer so you never see the money and get tempted to use it on something less important (like a new TV!).

4. Put your annual tax refund on your mortgage as a one time extra payment.

If you’re like MANY people, you are still getting an annual tax refund and it might even be thousands of dollars. Put that towards your mortgage and it might be even a full extra payment each year. But again, decide today that you will always put the tax refund on your mortgage. Don’t just spend it on another family vacation. Pay off the house first and then take debt free vacations later!

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5. Refinance to a 10 year mortgage.

Refinancing your mortgage from a 30 year mortgage to a 10 year mortgage can save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest. Of course, there are additional closing costs and fees associated with refinancing, so find a reliable online mortgage calculator and compare the costs.

6. Refinance to a 15 year mortgage plus extra

Refinancing to a 15 year mortgage along with making extra payments every month is another surefire way to pay it off quicker. Switching to a 15 year mortgage instead of a 30 year will likely be only a couple hundred dollars more per month than your 30 year mortgage. So getting a 15 year mortgage could mean a savings of around $100,000 in interest. Wow!

7. Refine your budget

Look over your budget and use the extra money to pay down your mortgage. Budget, Budget, Budget. It’s all about prioritizing the budget to “find” extra money that is currently being used for something unnecessary (and then redirecting it to your mortgage payments).

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8. Make it automatic online.

Consider making your extra payments online so you don’t have to make extra money payments each month. Making your extra payments automatic will also keep you from spending the extra money on something else that you don’t really NEED.

Remember, paying off your mortgage early instead of paying it off in the scheduled 30 years could save you up to $100,000 in interest!! Try some or all of these tips to payoff your mortgage early. Set a plan today and make paying of your mortgage early a priority!

How much money could you save by paying off your mortgage in 10 years? $50,000? $80,000? $120,000?

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I’d love to hear how much money you’re saving by paying off your mortgage early.

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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