October 11, 2011 at 3:12 pm #255881KristyMember
What are you willing to do to become debt free?
I’m 29 single and have a mortgage of around $200,000 and can see it’s going to take a long time to pay that off.
Have you bought cheap land further out and lived in a caravan or shed? Worked two jobs? Scrimped and saved?
I am just wondering what I would be prepared to do to reduce my debt, so that I could actually see myself paying it off.
What are your thoughts on working towards being mortgage free?October 11, 2011 at 3:20 pm #510034AnonymousInactive
Hi Kristy I am 40 and have the same debt and 2 small children…would really like to hear peoples ideas on this one. I have a book called how to pay off your mortgage in five years, but have yet to put many of the ideas into practice, however if you are serious it is agood book and worth a read. The lady who wrote it managed to pay hers off!! :jawdrop: TheresaOctober 11, 2011 at 9:23 pm #510035mauziMember
Ooh, this is a big and somewhat complex post. Every situation is so so different and what different are willing to do is so individual.
My personal experience is that to be free of debt is the most freeing experience and enables one to make so many choices that are not available if one is caught in the cycle of debt.
Many years ago, we decided that we would not be in debt and changed our lifestyle in the extreme to do this. We bought a very cheap set of flats, did them up with our own skills and sold them for quite a profit that not only cleared the debt but enabled us to purchase a bush block and left a substantial amount for improvements. We then lived in tents while we built our new house, rammed earth with a light timber upper, got creative in how we did this and once again sold for a good profit. During this time we lived almost completely self sufficiently, learned a lot of new skills, and did courses to fill our gaps. Of course there is a lot more to the story but keeping it simple we were willing to do without, saw different possibilities, worked with those and each time improved our circumstances while still remaining debt free and learning to enjoy simple pleasures and a simple life and pleasures that we would have missed out on had we taken a different path. It bought us very close as a family and looking back now it was the best choice we ever made.
It also meant living within our means and still means living further out (but of course now that is a pleasure and not a hardship and would be the same choice whether we had more money or not). We had a discussion the other night regarding what would we do if we won the lottery and we both laughed and said – exactly the same – wouldn’t change a thing – guess that means we are happy with our life and everything in it – quite a gift I think, and all due to choosing a simple life – but what a life we have led.October 11, 2011 at 9:55 pm #510036AndreKeymaster
Hi there Kristy :wave:
Yep.. a simple question, with many and varied answers.
What really is debt-free?
I was fortunate enough it get acreage (60) at a very reasonable price. :tup: (still owe $85k)
I had a general plan when I bought it, but over the last few years, and being introduced to this site and its (mostly) :whistle: fascinating people, my ideas have changed somewhat.
Now that my DD is out of school (and off to Uni to study law!), I have very slowly made headway in reducing debts like the mortgage and credit cards (but don’t get me wrong, I still owe!). My overall plan is, once the house is built and the garden established, to do away completely with full-time work. I hope to not have to go to ‘work’ ever again, and rely soley on what I can glean from the produce on the property. (this will include workshops, B&B, art and crafty stuff etc)
The term ‘work’ for me doesn’t include maintaining the property and doing all the ‘crafty’ things. That to me is a labour of love … not work I know I will never be idle.
Perhaps a pipe-dream, but you have to aim somewhere. 🙂
Other ‘habits’ I’ve modified: I’m now a vegetarian, make my own soap, toothpaste and shampoo & conditioner, will be an owner-builder of a load-bearing strawbale/rammed earth house made predominantly from recycled materials (the earth for the render and the rammed walls are sourced from the property) Will increase my skills in knitting and sewing etc ..
But I reckon I will always require money to pay rates, phone, internet etc These things are not so much a loan, but a debt nevertheless (except in the most extreme cases) as there will always be a requirement to pay for them.
CheersOctober 11, 2011 at 10:52 pm #510037mauziMember
I did forget to say that while we were building our house we both worked part time which kept us going and still allowed us time to develop the property and our lifestyle. We also made some income from selling produce and our livestock’s progeny etc. and some crafts, so all in all it was a very interesting period with lots of growth on all levels.
Andre, I don’t think it is a dream, it is very very possible with a little planning, some skills and the heart to carry it through (which I am sure you have) so good luck with your plans.
MauziOctober 12, 2011 at 1:12 am #510038AndreKeymaster
Awww.. shucks :kiss:
:blush:October 12, 2011 at 11:12 am #510039
I’d get around like minded “living simply” kind of folks and then when you get to know a few ask them to be housemates. They would have to pay their way but could also help with any projects that would also help to free money to pay off the house. I’d even live in the garage or borrow someones caravan so that I could rent out my room.
Sell your car, if you have one and get buy without it. That would free up a lot of money for the mortgage.
Get around some garage sales for second hand gym equipment and then cancel that membership… (if you go to the gym that is… )
A blog I have followed for a long while is Frugal Queen, she has many great tips.. Plus you can go back over time and actually see her paying down a shit load of debt…
A bit of a random post but I hope it helps… :hug:October 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm #510040KristyMember
Thank you everyone for taking time to respond to this thread…I knew the topic seems simple, but isn’t a simple question at all. So many variables depending on each individual situation. I am loving reading all your responses. It gives me so many things to think about in my own situation.
Mauzi I agree that being debt free would be so freeing… I can also imagine it will give me more options for what to do for work or for starting to my own business, but at the moment feeling stuck. I loved reading how you manged to get out of debt. I might pm you as I would love to pick your brain a little more if you don’t mind…
Andre I absolutely love your dream and agree with Mauzi that I am sure you will get there… I say this as I have a dream and I would love to attain this dream too… Andre I agree that there will always be things to pay for, but living without a mortgage and loans would be a huge help…
Starting Over I love your thinking… I would love to sell my car and it has been something I have looked at in the past, but I live in the country so couldn’t cope without a car…
Does anyone know what the rules are for living in a caravan on a block of land? A know a lot of councils won’t allow it. Is it only allowed out of town areas do you know or will councils occassionally allow in tiny towns? I know although hard it would be quite doable for me, my two cats and a dog to live in a caravan with an annexe for a while, whilst paying off the land loan…October 12, 2011 at 1:01 pm #510041
when we finally sell here I want to move to 5-10 acres.. I want to buy a nice caravan, old but comfy and put it under a double carport… Then I want to landscape it and put in an outside shower and compost toilet and rent it out to someone who wants the lifestyle but not the means to do it for themselves.. I would then have someone to help me, they would benefit from anything grown and someone to look after any animals if I want to have a holiday… This is a very condensed version and will need a lot of tweaking…October 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm #510042froot_loopzMember
I wish, as a single parent with a mortgage, that isnt going to happen for a long time.
HOWEVER, when the housing boom finally hits Adelaide ( which wont happen for ages, more people leave SA than come to live here ) I plan on selling this place and buying a house somewhere that I can pay for with cash, wont have to be in the metro area of a city, country will do, any state but TAS will do. wont have to be anything flash either.October 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm #510043IdunaMember
Well there is the pay off as much of your debts as you can. Start with the credit card (if you have any)that has the highest interest rate pay it off or transfer the balance to a different card that has a lower interest rate. Take into account fees. Work your way down the list till all are paid off. Cut up the cards and cancel your membership/what ever its called as you go. Don’t get another. If you can’t afford to pay cash you can’t afford it. Next would be personal loans pay them off, pay more than the minimum amount, and pay how ever often you get paid.
The same goes with the credit cards and any loan. See if you can live on your block in a caravan/tent/shed. Things like if your caravan has wheels is not/is allowed and a caravan without wheels is/is not allowed. My in-laws have a block on Kangaroo Island and they have a bus they have “outfited” that they are going to put on the block to live in. They can use it as long as they don’t take the wheels off
Part of paying off your debt faster is what you are willing to live without. What you need is more important than what you want. You live a litter more frugally for a few years and you knock even more off the time of your loan. We have only had our 30 year loan for 2 and a half years but our loan is down to about 22 years. I’m hoping we can make a lump sum payment after we redo our retaining wall ourselves and drop the loan down to 21 years by the end of the year, 20 would be awesome
It doesn’t sound like much but this is on just one wage. The wage is also below the average Australian.October 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm #510044glam1Member
while i dont own property as yet, i would highly recommend the how to pay of your property in 3yr? by anita bell. It has some great ideas for budgets.
i have put alot of them in place and it has allowed me to pay $14000 in debt and purchase $10000 worth of vechiles since feb 1 2011. Equates to 60% of my pay.October 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm #510045
Well done, Guys!! What a fantastic achievement…. :clap: :tup: :hug:October 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm #510046COBMember
Budgeting. Sounds boring but it worked for me.
I wrote down every cent I spent everyday for a three month period to work out where the money was going and being wasted.
I then looked at where else I could find money such as using the credit points from cards to purchase things and also had no spend days. Started with one day a week and went from there.
Buying in bulk and cooking from scratch helped a lot.
I worked through a list of all the expenses and made us spend less with each billing cycle and week, such as power and phone, fuel, everything. Had my mobile disconnected.
When your under full swing you can then search for a better deal with your bills such as insurance and internet.
It was a lot of planning but well worth it in the end.October 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm #510047VanessaMember
Grrrr!!! I had written a reply and it didnt save.
Second version of the story:
Work out what is important to you and what you are willing to sacrifice and work from there. Everyone is different.
Also if you like where you are and want to get rid of your debts sooner, as other people have said, work out where you can cut costs and how to pay more off your mortgage. Every little bit helps, if your mortgage will allow it try paying a few more dollars here and there, it will make a difference.
Kristy, I’d be happy to have a look at your budget, (or help you set up one), or share some of my “secrets” for the price of a tour of your garden and a coffee 😉
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