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Kick Your Coffee Habit and Pay Off Your Mortgage

Kick Your Coffee Habit and Pay Off Your Mortgage


    The following is guest post by Charles LaReaux. He is a partner at the Las Vegas, NV real estate firm, Hakans & LaReaux. He specializes in real estate for the entertainment industry and enjoys finding creative ways to help his clients save money.

    Do you wake up in the morning looking forward to your trip to Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, or your local coffee shop on the way to work? Do you have a mortgage that you’re working to pay off?

    If so, you have an amazing opportunity to make a healthy habit change and save thousands of dollars on interest on your home mortgage and pay it off sooner!

    The Health Impacts of Coffee and Caffeine

    The experts have trouble agreeing on whether coffee is bad or good for you.

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    Livestrong.com discusses the dangers of caffeine overuse in this article. Here are some of the side-effects of heavy caffeine use (500+ mg per day) mentioned by the author:

    • Restlessness
    • Rapid heart rate
    • Nausea
    • Muscle tremors
    • Insomnia

    The article also addresses the concern with addiction and mood. Caffeine addiction can actually lead to anxiety and irritability – not something we need more of in our world.

    On the other hand, this article from WebMD notes several health benefits associated with coffee including reduced risk for Type 2 Diabetes, certain cancers, and Parkinson’s disease.

    However, the article also acknowledges some of the downsides of caffeine including the fact that it is a diuretic and can cause heartburn.

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    Aside from the dangers associated with caffeine, if you get one of those fancy lattes or caramel macchiatos, your coffee is also loaded with empty calories and sugar.

    In fact, a “tall” (8 oz) Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks packs 180 calories and 23 grams of sugar! If you’re an average-sized woman, that’s close to 10% of your daily recommended calorie intake and close to your recommended allotment of sugar (100 calories or 6 tsp).

    And coming from a slightly different angle, Lifehack contributor Tucker Cummings suggests that drinking too much coffee will sabotage your productivity!

    Ultimately, you don’t need coffee. It doesn’t add any nutritional benefits that you can’t gain from other sources, and it can actually be detrimental to your health and productivity.

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    How to Save Thousands by Cutting Out Coffee

    Here’s the kicker. Let’s say you spend $3 for your coffee, five times per week (this is not unusual!). That is $15 per week or $780 per year.

    Further, let’s say you have a $200,000, 30-year mortgage with a 4% interest rate starting at the beginning of this year.

    If you put your coffee money toward an annual prepayment on your principal loan, you will save over $18,000 over the course of the life of your mortgage. You will also stop making house payments more than three years sooner!! Can you say early retirement??

    To see exactly how much you will save, check out this awesome mortgage amortization calculator (click on “What If I Pay More Every Month?).

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    How to Kick the Caffeine Habit

    “That’s all fine and dandy,” you say. “But I’m addicted!”

    Don’t worry, there are steps you can follow to kick your caffeine habit:

    • Start slow. Going cold turkey is not going to feel good.
    • Take a magnesium supplement (read more about why and how here).
    • When ready, switch from coffee to black tea for a week.
    • Then move from black tea to herbal teas. You’re now caffeine free!

    Feeling sluggish after kicking your coffee habit? Try taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes every day. It’s free and it will save you a lot of health costs down the road.

    Here’s to paying off that mortgage — while improving your health!

    (Photo credit: Too Many Sugars via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on April 3, 2019

    How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

    How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

    Debt is never a fun thing to be in. But, there are many actions that you can take that will help you rid yourself of the burden of debt once and for all.

    By coming up with a set plan, eliminating your debt can feel much easier than constantly thinking about it.

    This post will provide some tips on how you can do this to help you nix your credit card debt in less than 3 years.

    Hint: there are ways that are easier than you think.

    1. Consider Consolidating Multiple Credit Cards If Possible

    This may not be applicable to you, but if you have multiple cards – it is something to consider. Keeping up with multiple bills is time consuming.

    It will depend on the balance you have on each. Consolidate ones you can but do not do it to the point that you get too close to the maximum limit. Also, it is ideal to pick the card with the lower interest rate.

    Consider if there are any fees or alternatively, rewards, with transferring a balance to another card. Watch out for fees. Note that some cards offer rewards for transferring a balance to them. This is extra cash that can help go towards paying off your debt.

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    Having one or two cards can make nixing your debt much simpler than keeping up with the balance of a bunch of cards. Keeping track of paying the minimum towards a bunch of cards is time consuming. Spend the time to consolidate instead to make the overall process simpler going forward.

    My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

    Why do I suggest doing this? Having one thing set to auto-pay is one less thing to think about. One less thing to waste time on. Same idea with consolidating to one main card. Tracking down too many is a hassle.

    2. Try to Pay the Full Balance You Spent Each Month at the Very Least

    You need to pay off the amount you are spending each month when that bill comes in. This is the amount you spent THAT month.

    Do not let the debt keep accruing while you work on paying any unpaid debt that has accrued. It will become a never-ending battle. Try as best as you can to be current on paying for each month’s expenses when that month’s bill comes out.

    If this is a strain, consider why. You may need to cut expenses. Or you may need to consider other cards. Or look at where this money is going.

    3. Pay Extra When You Can – Every Small Amount Counts

    This cannot be emphasized enough. If you are looking at a lot of credit card debt, it can look daunting, but each extra amount that you can put towards the debt will really add up – no matter how small it is.

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    It does not just reduce the principal amount that you have left to pay off, but it reduces the amount that is collecting interest. You will always save money with that reduced interest.

    4. Create a Plan on How to Pay Extra

    Back to the main point, having this plan is giving you one less thing to think about.

    This plan should be a plan that works for you. If it does not work for you, your spending habits, and your views on debt, then it will not be an effective plan.

    For instance, if a set plan of an extra $50 (or another amount that you know you can afford) works for you, then do that. Set that aside every month and pay that extra amount. Treat it like a bill. Choose an amount that works for you and pay it like clockwork as though it was a bill you had to pay each month.

    Little amounts will not nix it entirely, but they will help tackle it and having a set plan can make it less of a chore. Creating a new plan of how much to put towards it each month is an unnecessary added stress.

    5. Cut out Costs for Services You Do Not Use

    If you are signed up for subscriptions that you do not use because of some free trial or for some other reason, cut it out. Your overall financial position will look better.

    In turn, that will make cutting your credit card debt easier. Look at your statements to find these expenses. If you do not use them, you may forget you are paying some unnecessary amount each month. Cutting it out can really add up in savings that you can put towards other needed expenses.

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    6. Get Aggressive About It

    Consider these points:

    Depending on the interest and the level of debt, you may need to give up a few indulgences. For example, instead of ordering delivery or going out to eat, cook at home. Everything adds up.

    Other things may be more of a sacrifice. It may be a trip you wanted to go on, or a daily latte habit you’ve picked up. In these instances, consider how important it is to you and if it’s worth the sacrifice. And if it is a costly expense, think whether you can wait to indulge.

    Cutting an extravagant expense can really help make a dent in your overall debt. Try not to add to debt when you are trying to pay it off. It will be a never-ending battle. Make it less of a battle with these tips and it will feel easier.

    Bottom line: Do what you can to make this process easier for you. Implement steps that do this. It takes time now, but will help overall. Also, keep track of your spending and paying down of your debts. Which is the next point.

    7. Reevaluate Your Progress at Set Intervals

    Doing a regular check-in can help you see your efforts pay off or maybe indicate that you need to give this a bit more effort. If you check every 3-6 months, it will not feel so much like a chore or feel so daunting.

    By doing this, you will be able to better understand your progress and perhaps readjust your plan. Bonus: if you see it pay off, it will feel great to do this check-in. You will get there.

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    Finally (and most importantly)…

    8. Keep Trying

    Do not get discouraged. Pushing it off will make it worse. Just keep trying.

    Once your debt becomes lower, each monthly payment will reduce the balance more. Why? You are paying less towards interest. It will be a snowball effect eventually and it will become much easier to manage. Just get to that point. And know once you do, it will feel easier and motivating.

    Start Knocking out Your Debt Today

    The best way to eliminate debt is to get started right away. Begin by implementing the above steps and watch your debt just melt away. Try out some of the above strategies and see what works best for you. Soon you’ll be on your way to a debt free life.

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    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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