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Imagine owning every square inch of your house—the kitchen, the living room, the bathroom, even that awkward little closet under the stairs. No more mortgage!
Now, imagine what you could do with that old mortgage payment. You could give outrageously, invest in your future, and leave a lasting legacy for your kids and grandkids.
Wherever you are on your debt-free journey, paying off the house early is a definite high point. And you’ll get there sooner than you think. To help you picture a payment-free future, we asked three Ramsey Solutions team members for some advice on sticking to Baby Step 6.
Here are their top tips for staying motivated and even having some fun while paying off your house:
Make It Visual
Robbie P. says visual reminders are a must. “We had a thermometer on our bathroom mirror that we filled in together every single month with ‘Debt Free Forever’ at the top. It made even the smallest step forward feel like a victory.”
“We also used visual aids to help keep our eyes on the prize,” says Jason B. “We had a drawing of a house and colored it in as we paid down our mortgage. It was cheesy, but cheesy kept us moving toward our goal with focused intensity!”
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Michael F. and his wife used their imaginations. “The way we did it was by visualizing how much of the house we paid off. We divided our house into the various rooms by square footage. This helped us to stay intense by attacking the mortgage one room at a time. Sure, it was nerdy, but we loved it!”
Clearly, visual aids—either mental or actual—are a great way to get excited about kicking your mortgage debt to the curb.
Stay Focused (and Have Fun!)
When it came to sticking to their goal, Robbie says he and his wife found inspiration by helping others on their debt-free journeys. “You might think I’m saying this because I work at Ramsey Solutions, but seriously, if you want to stay gazelle intense, lead a Financial Peace University class. You will be amazed at how your progress accelerates as you pour into the lives of others.”
Jason and his wife learned to dream about the future, instead of buying what they wanted in the short-term. “We would often talk about the giving that we could do if we had no payments, the family trips we could take, and the freedom that we would have.”
“We really liked the challenge of finding ways to have fun while spending little to no money,” Jason adds. “We would work out together, take our kids to all of the different parks in the city, play cards with all of the neighbors, and spend our weekend evenings sitting on one of the neighbors’ patios visiting. Our family became really close during this time, and we became connected with our community. We continue to reap the rewards of that time together.”
A Final (House) Note
If you’re thinking, yeah, but these guys work at Dave’s office, so it must have been easier for them, think again! Obviously, they were passionate about being debt-free, but they didn’t have any unfair advantages.
Each of these families made the necessary sacrifices to reach their goals. That meant living on less of their incomes, passing on vacations, and foregoing new cars. In fact, by the time he wrote his last mortgage check, Robbie says the combined value of their family cars was $3,000!
But it doesn’t have to be all sacrifice and no fun. When you hit Baby Step 6—the final hurdle on your debt-free journey—look for your own ways to make it fun and stay excited.
Imagine relaxing in your paid-for hammock, in your paid-for backyard, looking at your paid-for house. Yeah, you’ve got this.