My family are looking forward to our best new year’s celebration ever.
In 2008 we set ourselves a goal: to own our own home within 10 years, so we could enjoy life without a mortgage. We’ve been pouring two-thirds of our income into home loan repayments ever since, and January 2018 will see us making our last one.
Don’t get me wrong – it hasn’t always been easy.
Life doesn’t always play fair, and there have been car breakdowns, IVF treatments and family illnesses that have threatened to derail us. But through it all we’ve stuck to our guns and pulled off what many feel is the impossible.
There seems to be this belief that owning your own home is no longer possible for young people, certainly not in 10 years. People assume we had help from family or are in really high-paying jobs but that’s definitely not the case.
We were on a single income for quite a while, and even now I only work two days a week. My pay covers our bills and day-to-day expenses, and most of my husband’s wage goes towards the mortgage.
Just because we don’t spend a lot doesn’t mean we miss out on life, though. There are so many incredible things you can do without spending a cent! We go on camping holidays instead of staying in hotel, we take picnics to the beach instead of eating out, and coffee with friends usually means stopping by their homes.
The best bit? Anyone can do what we’ve done!
My top tips include:
- Know where your money goes. Record a four-week snapshot of everything you spend, and write a sustainable budget based on your findings.
- Start making extra mortgage payments. Even $10 a week makes a big difference over the life of your loan.
- Look for unneeded direct debits such as Spotify or Netflix subscriptions and redirect the money you save to your mortgage.
- Don’t redraw your mortgage for anything!
- Explore your own backyard for a while instead of travelling abroad.
Life’s too short to be chained to a mortgage. Start taking small steps now and it will make a huge difference to your future.