By paying off your mortgage early, you won’t just increase your available funds each month—you’ll also reduce the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan. That’s more money you’ll have later down the line to put toward those big dreams.
1. Cut Your Expenses
When it comes to finding extra money to put toward your mortgage, expenses are a smart place to start. By reducing your expenses, you just might find some wiggle room in your monthly budget that can go toward paying down your mortgage faster.
2. Make Scheduled Extra Payments
First, you’ll want to figure out how many extra payments you want to make each year—whether it’s an extra payment each quarter or one extra payment a year, there’s no wrong answer. Once you figure out the total dollar amount you want to spend annually on extra payments, you can set up an automatic savings plan at your bank to sweep some cash each month into a special savings account.
3. Convert to Biweekly Payments
First, you’ll want to explore if biweekly payments are available with your current lender. As a note, you should never have to pay a fee to set up a biweekly payment option. If your lender charges one, you’re better off making an additional principal payment each month along with your regular monthly payment.
4. Refinance Into a 15-Year Mortgage
Many borrowers initially opt for the lower monthly payments that come with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in order to free up more cash flow. As incomes and lifestyles change, however, you may find that you’re able to put more toward your mortgage each month. While making the leap from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage does involve a substantial payment increase, you’ll also pay off your mortgage in roughly half the time.
5. No closing costs
You may come across lenders that offer “no closing costs” refinancing options. While those look appealing on the surface, there’s simply no such thing as a free loan. Compare interest rates and other fees, and you’ll find where the lender makes its money.
When you’re working from home without a traditional home office, it can be difficult to tune out the distractions of daily chores and household needs. Establishing a go-to work zone will help you regain that focus. Not convinced you have the room? Get inspire…
1. Set Up an Office on a Stair Landing
Put an awkward landing space at the turn of a stairwell or top of a staircase to work by situating a desk there. Just select a slim setup so that the “office” is narrow enough that it’s not in the way for anyone trying to pass by.
2. Create a Kitchen Command Center
The kitchen is where all the action happens, so if you’re the cubicle type, this arrangement may not work for you. But if you’re a good multi-tasker—or need an afternoon homework station—this is where it’s at. This kitchen office utilizes dead space across near the fridge, and provides plenty of room to spread out.
3. Move a Desk into the Living Room
There’s a certain advantage in camping out on the periphery of the room: an optimal vantage point, for one, and more privacy. When doing a walk-through of your house, consider any unused nook as a potential home for your office—whether or not it’s in a common area.
4. Set Up Shop Under the Stairs
If you’re truly space-starved, you don’t have the luxury of ignoring any unused square footage. Unless the area under your stairs is necessary for the structural integrity of your home, open the space for an office!
5. Establish an Office in the Entryway
If yours is a busy household with members frequently coming and going, you need some resolve to set up an office in the entryway, as pictured here. But a mudroom, with all of its already-built-in storage, makes a lot of sense
6. Bring a Desk into the Bedroom
It’s not the best idea to work where you sleep, but sometimes there’s no way around it. If you do decide to keep your home office in your bedroom, add storage with doors, so you can shut papers, printers, or other distractions out of sight.
Never miss a talk! SUBSCRIBE to the TEDx channel: http://bit.ly/1FAg8hB Jon is a farmer from northeastern Thailand. He founded the Pun Pun Center for Self-reliance, an organic farm outside Chiang Mai, with his wife Peggy Reents in 2003. Pun Pun doubles as a center for sustainable living and seed production, aiming to bring indigenous and rare seeds back into use. It regularly hosts training on simple techniques to live more sustainably. Outside of Pun Pun, Jon is a leader in bringing the natural building movement to Thailand, appearing as a spokesperson on dozens of publications and TV programs for the past 10 years. He continually strives to find easier ways for people to fulfill their basic needs. For more information visit http://www.punpunthailand.org About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)