Mortgage Free by 40

I never, ever thought I’d be saying the words, “I’m mortgage free before 40”.

If you had asked me even a year ago if I thought I’d be mortgage-free at age 37, I’d laugh and say absolutely not.

But here I am, saying exactly those words.

*In full disclosure, that cute little house in the picture above is NOT mine.  We are still a little ways away from our closing date so no pictures yet and while I am excited about our new home, I’m gonna be honest and just say it isn’t as cute as the one above (until I get my hands on it and use some creativity to make it our own.)

And so today, I want to share with you how it happened, in case you want to figure out a way you can do the same. Because, who doesn’t want to be free of their monthly mortgage payment?

There are various ways people become mortgage free when they are younger, and this is just one of the ways. I know many people who scrimp and save and have enough disposable income that all their saving makes a huge difference in their mortgage balance. Eventually they become mortgage free this way.

I knew this way would never work for us.

You see, we have modest incomes, and housing is not cheap where we were living. We could save all that we wanted, and maybe if we were lucky we could take a few years off of our mortgage, but there was no way we could be mortgage free in a few years with this method.

We had too many expenses, and while there were a few that were unnecessary, most were necessary. I remember telling my friend once what our monthly expenses were and even she thought it was quite low. So I knew there wasn’t much we could do to save more.

But there was one way we knew we could be mortgage free. However, it would require a big change.



We could sell our house, and take the the money we made from the sale of our home and move to a place where there was cheaper housing and we could downsize.

Now, when you tell people you are going to downsize at this stage of life, when your kids are 9, 12, and 14, people look at you like you’ve lost your mind.

But we knew that would be the only way we could do it.

We also knew we had to move from where we lived because the housing costs were high, and getting higher every month it seemed.

So, we sold our house, paid off our mortgage, and moved 7+ hours north.

Oh, did I mention we didn’t have a house to move into? We wanted to take our time to find the right house that would give us financial peace, and the area we were moving to was so small the housing market was a lot slower than where we moved from which meant waiting listings.

So, we put our stuff in storage and have been living in our ’28 foot travel trailer for the summer until we move in to our new house that we finally just found last week.

It wasn’t an easy process, and it wasn’t comfortable, but we knew if we wanted to be mortgage free it’s what we had to do.


The mortgage broker wanted to give us more and more money and the Realtor recommended bigger, “ideal” family homes.

On paper we could have bought a bigger, more expensive home if we had taken the large mortgage we qualified for. And I’m not going to lie, some houses had us starry-eyed and we had to sit down and remind ourselves what our goals were, and our purpose for moving 7 hours away (among a few other reasons.)

Some people couldn’t understand why we would want something smaller. It’s not normal to downsize at this stage of life.

But my husband has recently adopted the famous Dave Ramsey quote that we need to “live like no one else so we can live like no one else.”

If it was easy to get out of debt, or be mortgage-free at a younger age everyone would be doing it. It requires doing what others may give you the side-eye for. It means going against the grain.

But the benefits are many – and we haven’t even officially moved into our house yet.


So, what are those benefits?

We can pay for sudden emergency expenses.

Last month our truck went into the shop once and our van went into the shop twice. We also needed to take a quick trip back to where we moved from to deal with some things, and my daughter went to summer camp which we needed to pay for.

Normally all those expenses combined would have put us in the red. But it didn’t. We were able to pay for them all without a problem.

The funny thing is, I worried about all those expenses when I saw them come up because I’m so used to it, but when I paid for them all I realized I had nothing to worry about – we had the money.

We can give more.

We always struggled with being able to give financially. We knew it was important, but we struggled to make it a priority. We already notice a difference in this area. For us it is no longer negotiable to give financially and living below our means makes it possible.

We don’t carry constant financial worries.

We’ve spent a lot of our lifetime worrying about money. I’d lay in bed worrying. I’d wake up worrying. I’d spend my afternoons worrying. Obviously I clearly have a worry problem, but living paycheque to paycheque made it worse. Now I don’t find myself worrying nearly as much.

So, let’s recap:


  • Downsize your house
  • Move to an area where there is cheaper housing
  • Buy a smaller house than what the mortgage broker and realtor is telling you that you can afford
  • Scrimp and save absolutely everything

*For tips on how to start really saving and living a frugal life, try these 80 frugal living tips to get you started.


What I’ve learned over the years is that it doesn’t matter where you live, you can create a home no matter what. In the country, in the city, in a small town. Big, medium, or small. In the prairies, or in the mountains. It really is what you make it.

And so, if the thought of downsizing to a home that isn’t your dream home gets you feeling down, remember that you can create beauty wherever you are.

5 years ago we bought our country property. We were in love with the property. The house was nothing special to us, but we were so grateful to have a couple acres.

But to become mortgage-free, we had to say goodbye to that.

And now the house we just bought is in a small town. Something I said I’d never do again. I wanted to live in the country forever. But I’ve learned that the peace that comes with financial freedom was worth it and that I could make our home a haven no matter where we are.

We hope that this house will be a stepping stone to building our own house on a plot of land in the country when the time is right, but in the meantime I plan to still homestead on my 1/4 acre of a yard by growing my own food in raised beds, canning and preserving, going wild blueberry picking in the woods which is common in my area, hanging my laundry out to dry all summer,  and making my own food from scratch.

I’m still not ruling out backyard chickens either again one day on this property if we decide to take that route.

I’ve watched many people homestead right where they are. I’ve watched people live a simple, fulfilling life in tiny apartments, big houses, off-grid, on the grid, and everything in between. We are only limited by our imagination.

Have you ever dreamed of being mortgage-free? I hope today’s article has inspired you to work towards that goal if you so desire.  It IS possible.


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