, Date : 10 February, 2016

Mortgage Free By 30 Round 2 Racing Toward Freedom

Made a $7,025 payment!


We've been working our butts off here this past month in order to pay all of the regular bills and stay on track to pay off the mortgage by Andrew's 30th birthday in October. I am proud to announce that we were able to pull together enough money to make another payment over 7K for month #2, putting us ahead of our $6,400 average monthly goal over 10 months.


We've reduced the mortgage from $62,200.84 on Dec. 31 to $49,175.73 as of Feb. 1st. It feels amazing to finally see that mortgage number with a '4' in front of it!


What We've Been Doing

In order to make these massive mortgage payments, we've been carefully watching our food spending (our biggest money pit)- shopping at Aldi for the essentials and only going to the more expensive traditional grocery stores for whatever else is left on the list. That effort alone has reduced our grocery bills by about 30%.


We've also been prepping food and snacks ahead of time and making our own 'snack packs' for easy grab and go lunches while planning out every breakfast, lunch, and dinner so that nothing gets wasted. This helps us not spend $300 a month on food and drinks at work (which we were previously doing) and it allows us to shop smarter. In addition, we've had a much closer eye on our nutrition which has its own benefits; I've lost 4 ½ lbs this month and Andrew has gained some muscle and a ton of endurance from all of the healthy eating and exercising we've been doing!


We've also both been picking up overtime at every opportunity. It's super-painful to do, but working towards a common goal makes it easier. We figure that since it's winter and gross outside anyways, we're not missing much by spending a few extra hours at work here and there. The way we see it, the more we work now, the more sunny days we'll have off to enjoy together later in the year, and the less interest we'll have to pay the mortgage company by racking up some extra dough and paying as much as we can now.

We've been doing well on eBay; no large-ticket items have sold lately, but it's been steady. I'm hoping that my gorgeous diamond hoop earrings that were appraised for $1,200 sell for my asking price of $450 in time for Valentine's Day-that would help us tremendously this month to make another mortgage payment over 7K!

We've also been trying out some new side hustles that we highlighted in 50+ Ways to Make Extra Money, and we can't wait to share the results in future posts. We hope you'll find our experiences as funny and inspiring as we did!

What We Haven't Been Doing

Unfortunately, we haven't had enough free cash to take advantage of auctions like we've been accustomed to over the past few years. Some days we might spend upwards of $800 at an auction, and sell off the inventory over weeks or even months to realize the profits. If another great auction came along a few days later, we'd have to spend even more, and then again the next week and so on. If our stuff sold before the next auction, great, but if it didn't, we couldn't let that stop us and squander an opportunity. We'd have to keep a big bankroll of cash on hand to take advantage of these situations, but now that bankroll has all gone back into investment accounts because we're not investing new money right now-it's all going to the mortgage.

"You go after it and you give it all you have. If you lose it at least you tried.  "I failed" is ten times more of a man than someone saying "what if?"" - Greg Plitt

Neither of us wants the stress of having to sell all of the auction inventory off by the end of every month to get our money out in time for the mortgage payments, so we've eased up on the frequent auction-going in favor of kicking the mortgage in its teeth for a few months. We'll get back into it in the spring, but we're not going to be tying up a bunch of money.

Another thing that we haven't been doing is turning up the heat past 65 during these cold months, which is helping to keep our heating bills significantly lower than last year. We installed a programmable thermostat a few months ago (which we wrote a handy DIY post about), and it's been working really well to keep us comfortable and keep our bills low. It's one thing to talk about and estimate numbers for money savings, but it's almost a surprise when your method actually works and you see it for yourself!

We've surprised ourselves in many ways lately with regards to how much money we can actually save and make when we get a little creative with our methods and stop making excuses! We still have a long way to go, but we're (hopefully) establishing good habits that should help carry us forward to reach our financial and personal goals.

What do you guys think? Any advice for making our food prep or any other aspect of our lives more streamlined?

Feb Payment

Slaying The Mortgage Dragon. The Amount Left On Our Mortgage.

49,175 / 144,000


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13 Comments on “Mortgage Free By 30 Round 2 Racing Toward Freedom

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Maggie! No matter how much you can kick that mortgage with every month, all that’s important is that you’re trying your best! The way we see it is the more we can shovel onto the mortgage now, the more time we’ll have together in the future. We’re making sacrifices now, but it’ll pay off in the long run!

  1. That’s awesome that you guys are so close! Light at the end of the tunnel. :) I’m not sure if you guys are planning on having a family, but doing all of this (OT, tons of extra mortgage payments) is awesome to do now instead of if kids are in the picture.

    We are actually the exact opposite right now. We want to switch my wife’s car out for a micro van (I call the Mazda5 that, no one else does). But we aren’t in a rush. We are diverting some of our extra cash towards the car for the next year or so. We will still be paying an extra $82 towards our mortgage every month though – this is what we paid per month on PMI for 14 months and we plan on paying that throughout the life of the mortgage!
    Chris @ Flipping A Dollar recently posted…Life Changing Events and eBayMy Profile

    1. The light is getting closer every month! Hopefully our cars can both hold out until this mortgage is over with, as they’re both pretty old and have issues.
      Awesome job on putting the previous PMI towards your payments even now that you don’t have to anymore-have you figured out how many years that’s going to take off the mortgage and how much interest?

    1. Thanks! We weren’t focusing on the mortgage until just this December when we changed our minds about investing and where we wanted to be with our lives in a year. That was when we came up with this whole Mortgage Free By 30 idea and decided to go for it.

  2. I can’t think of anything to do differently. Our two largest monthly expenses are food & insurance (health, car, life). Shopping at ALDI is a great way to buy on a budget, other than buying in bulk from the internet. If and only if the bulk savings justifies having the reduced storage space & you can eat it all before the shelf life expires.
    Josh recently posted…How The Grinch Stole Valentine’s Day??My Profile

    1. Our biggest expense is still food :-/. Aldi only has the basics around here and the stores are really small, unlike in Germany where they’re full-service stores. We still have to go to traditional stores for meats, which is of course the most expensive part of grocery shopping anyway. There has to be an easier and cheaper way to eat and mass prep healthy, unprocessed foods-we just haven’t gotten to that point yet.

  3. Nice work, you two! Such awesome progress. This is a little crazy to say, since we are planning to pay off our mortgage only about a year after you, but until reading this post, I had never thought that there will actually come a day when we don’t pay any sort of housing payment. The 1st will roll around, and we won’t send a rent check or make a mortgage payment to anyone. (I know — duh!) But I just realized how weird and awesome that will feel! And you guys are soooo close. Keep up the great work!
    Our Next Life recently posted…How We’ve Grown Up Together FinanciallyMy Profile

    1. Like many life altering events, I don’t think it will sink in for a while afterwards. The question that we keep asking ourselves is: “Will we notice that the extra money is there?” (because everything goes into accounts automatically, it will just be diverted into investment accounts) “Will anything feel different?” “What will we do differently?” Those are questions that we don’t have definitive answers for yet. The future always seems so mysterious until it’s upon us, and then all the worries and doubts dissolve and you’re like “Of course it feels like this!” even though you had no idea what it would feel like. Thanks for the encouragement and keep chipping away at your mortgage as well-it’ll be over in no time!

    1. Thanks Claudia! Yes, we’ve done the crock pot thing and need to give it another shot. The only thing that turned out to our liking so far was the chili. Some things that were more adventurous were a little creepy. I see tons of “freezer crock pot prep” stuff on Pinterest, so I’m going to get to pinning. Send me some good recipes if you have them-you know where to find me! 😉

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