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How to Live Mortgage Free (2024 Guide)

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  By Forrest McCall | Last Updated:  December 21, 2021

How would it feel to own your own home? Never having to worry about a house payment or if you paid the bill on time.

Well, it's entirely possible!

Mortgages can account for a large portion of your monthly budget, so you might be wondering how to live mortgage free.

In this post, I'll explore how to live mortgage free, reasons to live mortgage free, the best ways to save money so you can pay off your mortgage early, and some tips to reaching financial independence. Let's get started!

How to Live Mortgage Free

Best Ways to Live Mortgage Free

Below are some ways to live mortgage free so you can avoid a monthly mortgage payment! While not every option is suited for every individual – there's sure to be something for everyone looking to live mortgage free.

Purchase a Cheap Home

Living cheaply is one of the best ways to live mortgage free. There are many cheap housing ideas out there. You could purchase a small home, condominium, or even an apartment.

If you want to go even further, some frugal people choose to live in RVs, tiny homes, or even a bus.

If you're in the earlier stages of your life, purchasing a house that is a fixer upper can be an excellent way to keep more money in your pocket each month so you can pay off the mortgage quicker.

Related: 65+ Frugal Living Tips

Find a Good Deal on a House

Whether you believe it or not, good deals are out there if you spend enough time trying to find them. Finding a fixer upper can save you a large chunk of cash on your house so you can start living debt free.

But deals are available even if the house is in decent condition. By understanding the market, trends, and your location you can find a good deal so you can pay off your house faster.

Live in a Rural Area

Live in a Rural Area

Another way to reduce your housing expenses is to live in a rural area. This can be a great option if you have a job that allows you to work remotely. Not only will you save on rent or mortgage payments, but you'll also save on transportation costs and other expenses like property taxes and food costs.

Some of the lowest cost of living states include:

  • Tennessee
  • Kentucky
  • Indiana
  • Texas

While you might be thinking living in a rural area might save you pennies, it can actually end up being a large amount of money.

Live Out of the Country

If you don't necessarily want to live in a rural area but you're okay with moving – consider moving out of the country to save on your living expenses.

Many times, you can get a big house for much cheaper than a similar one locally.

While it may not be your forever home or exactly what you want – it can be a great temporary option so you can reduce your expenses and start saving money each month.

Do some research before moving so you can find a location that meets your wants and needs.

Start a Side Hustle

Starting a side hustle is a good way to expedite the process of paying off your mortgage and living mortgage free.

By using the extra money you make from your side hustle you can apply these earnings to your mortgage to reduce the amount you owe. While it's not going to happen overnight, over time you can pay off your mortgage much faster.

There are many side hustles you can consider but some of my favorites include:

Even if your income is just an extra $500 a month – this money can be used to pay down your loan and decrease your debt.

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Live in a Duplex or Triplex

Living in a duplex or triplex is a great way to have your mortgage paid for you by others. Just like living with roommates – this method of house hacking allows you to live separately from them while still having your mortgage paid through rent payments. It's the best of both worlds.

Pay Cash for a House

This goes on the list of more obvious ways to live without a house payment – but paying for a house with cash is one way to achieve it.

If you inherited a lot of money or have a large savings account – using your money to pay for your house is an easy way to eliminate the need for a mortgage company altogether.

Just keep in mind you'll still need to pay property taxes for your house come tax season.

Dividend Investing

Invest to Make More Money

Investing is essential if you want to reach financial independence and retire early.

Depending on your financial goals, you might want to invest in real estate, stocks, bonds, or other types of investments.

When you invest your money wisely, you can make more money and use these earnings to pay off your mortgage much faster.

There are investments that pay daily, monthly, or more infrequently. You'll want to choose an investment that suits your risk tolerance and financial goals.

Some my favorite investments include:

It's important to understand that investing won't make you rich overnight – but over the course of a few years you can start to build wealth and generate compound interest.

If you want extra cash to pay off your mortgage early – investing should be a piece of your financial plan.

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Refinance Your Mortgage for a Lower Payment

Refinancing your mortgage is an awesome way to lower your monthly payment on your mortgage so you can pay it off faster.

However, refinancing often lengthens the duration of your loan (but you can still pay it off quicker!)

For many borrowers, receiving an interest rate that is 1% lower or more can be an excellent way to reduce your overall monthly payment and interest payments. Depending on your house and the interest rate you currently have – this can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Refinancing will require you to complete the steps required for a mortgage application so you'll want to be sure your credit score is in as good as shape as you can get it.

When refinancing you also have the option to lower the loan term of your house. Some individuals will choose to change their loan from a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage to cut down on interest payments.

Ultimately, refinancing can be an easy way to reduce your payments and save money if interest rates are low.

Move-In with Friends or Family

Are you looking for a way to live mortgage free that doesn't take much time to achieve?

Moving in with friends or family is one way to live rent free – but many people might not want to.

Thinking of moving in with your significant other? There are tons of questions you should ask before you move in together that can help ensure it's a good fit!

This does come with one downside in that there might be some tension if living arrangements don't work out. But, if you can find a way to make it work, this is an excellent way to save money.

With the money saved from living with others – you can pay down debt or boost your retirement savings.

Ask for a Raise

Asking for a raise is one of the best ways to boost your income without having to do any additional work.

However, it's not as easy as just asking. While you might be able to receive a raise just by asking in some cases, most of the time you'll need to do some research and have numbers to back up your raise.

For example, mentioning how you've increased revenue by a certain percentage or cut costs in your departments would be great justifications for a raise. Additionally, if the average salary of those in similar positions in your area is larger than yours, this could justify a raise.

By landing a raise, you can use your additional income to:

  • Pay off debt
  • Invest to grow your money
  • Save for an emergency fund

Even if you don't receive a raise, it's always a good idea to keep up with current rates for your position and possibly look at other companies if you are being underpaid.

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New Job

Find a New Job

Just as getting a raise is a simple way to earn extra money without any work, finding a new job can be equally as rewarding.

Many times, whenever you switch companies, you can easily receive an increase of pay anywhere from 10% to over 50%.

There are many ways to find a new job including browsing job boards, asking friends and family, or even visiting company websites.

It can take some time to land a new job and complete the interview process but it can be well worth it.

Make Additional Mortgage Payments

Making additional mortgage payments is an easy way to reduce the total interest you will pay if you can afford it.

By making bi weekly payments on your mortgage, you can effectively make 1 additional payment each year. By doing this, you can save thousands of dollars each year.

While one additional payment might not seem like much – in some instances, it could reduce the length of the loan by 5 years.

If you don't already have bi weekly payments set up, give it a try so you can start paying off your mortgage faster.

Find a Job That Covers Housing Costs to Start Living Mortgage Free

Finding a job that pays for you house is an awesome way to live the mortgage free life – although it's easier said than done.

For example, working as a travel nurse offers many perks and many times you'll receive a stipend to cover your living expenses. It's wise to live in a small house so you can pocket the remaining cash and invest it for the future.

Some good jobs that offer free housing include:

  • Travel nursing
  • In-home caregiver
  • Resort worker
  • Cruise ship worker
  • Military member

Find Roommates to Help Pay Your Mortgage

One of the best finance hacks you can make is by living with roommates so you can pay off your mortgage fast. By having additional people living with you, you can charge each of them rent and make extra payments on your home.

For example, if you own a house and your mortgage payment is $1,400 a month and you live with 2 additional roommates you could charge them each $500 a month meaning you would only need to pay $400 of the mortgage.

Over the years, this will add up and help you to pay off your mortgage faster.

Pay Off Debts

Paying off debt is essential if you want to live without a mortgage.

High interest debts like credit card debt and some student loans can make it difficult to get ahead financially and start living mortgage free.

Construct a plan to start paying down your debt so you can keep more of your cash each month.

My favorite debt reduction plan is known as the debt avalanche strategy. With this plan, you should pay your debts with the highest interest rates first before moving on to those with lower interest rates. This will save you the most money on interest in the long run.

Another option is called the debt snowball method. With this strategy you'll pay the debts with the smallest balances first before moving on to those with larger balances. This is to help you get motivated to keep paying down your debts.

No matter which strategy you choose, paying down your debts is a good way to create a stronger financial situation for yourself so you can live the mortgage free life.

Build an Emergency Fund

Having an emergency fund is a great start if you want to start living mortgage free. An emergency fund helps your finances by keeping you from needing to take out a loan or use credit cards if something unexpected happens.

Emergency funds should only be used for true emergencies, however. Things like home maintenance, car maintenance, or Christmas gifts shouldn't be funded by your emergency stash.

Many families make the mistake of using emergency funds for things other than emergencies. Some examples of emergencies include:

  • Car repairs
  • Hospital bills
  • Unexpected life circumstances

So, how much should you have saved for your emergency fund?

Experts are split, but most would recommend anywhere between 4-12 months of your traditional living expenses. If you pay off your mortgage early – your fund would need less money. Check out the video below to help you decide how much you should save!

Take Advantage of Retirement Accounts

Retirement accounts like a 401k and an IRA are great ways to save for retirement and live without a mortgage.

These accounts can lower your taxes at the end of the year and allow you to purchase your dream home come retirement.

While retirement accounts alone won't pay off your mortgage – they enable you to start paying off your house because they act as a nest egg for your years to come.

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Lowering your monthly expenses is a great way to save cash and pay down your mortgage.

By using apps like Truebill you can have your bills negotiated for you so you can automatically save money each month without thinking twice.

But that's not it. Truebill can also spot reoccurring subscriptions and recommend stopping them to help you save even more.

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How to Live Mortgage Free Peace of Mind

Benefits of Living Mortgage Free

There are many benefits of living mortgage free. While the most obvious is living without the stress of having a mortgage payment due each month and owning your own home, that's not the only one.

Peace of Mind with No Mortgage Payment

Having no mortgage payment will give just about anyone a little peace of mind.

Having a paid off mortgage and knowing that your home is actually yours can be a great feeling. There is no one hanging over your head in case you lose your job or need to pay an unexpected medical bill any longer.

Ability to Save More Money

Once you pay off the mortgage, your ability to save cash each month can rise drastically. Imagine how much you could save not having to pay for your house each month.

You could have enough money to travel the world, get a nice dinner, or maybe save for your children's college fund.

Ability to Invest More

If you live debt free – your ability to invest more money becomes easier. This is because you no longer have to use your money to pay off debts but can instead invest it and watch it grow.

By paying off your mortgage you could potentially save a thousand dollars or more each month, which can then be invested.

Over the course of time, this can become worth hundreds of thousands of dollars that you can use to retire or reach a new financial goal.

Go on Vacation More Often

While this might not be important to everyone, it certainly is for some. Mortgage free living will allow you to take more vacations and relax knowing you don't have a mortgage payment upcoming.

Reach Financial Freedom

Reaching financial independence is much faster if you have no mortgage payment. Because your monthly payments can be a large portion of your entire budget, not having this expense will allow you to reach financial freedom quicker.

Tips to Reach Financial Freedom

Financial freedom allows you to do whatever you want whenever you want to. No longer are you tied to an office cubicle making money for others.

One of the most common reasons we can't be financially free is because of house payments.

Let's be honest. If you didn't have a $1,500 a month house payment for your single family home, it's going to be difficult to quit a job because your expenses are too high.

But if you eliminate your house payment, you'd just be paying for taxes, utilities, and maintenance – which is much more realistic if you have a side hustle or passive income to keep them paid.

Reaching financial freedom will take some time and certainly be challenging during some points along the way, but it's completely possible for almost anyone.

Final Thoughts on How to Live Mortgage Free

How does mortgage free living sound? Great, right? The good news is that it's completely attainable for many people.

If you're wondering how to live mortgage free – there are plenty of ways you can live without a mortgage. From moving in with friends or family to making additional bi weekly payments to pay off your mortgage fast – you can live the mortgage free life if you have a plan in place and the motivation to get there.


Forrest is a personal finance, entrepreneurship, and investing expert dedicated to helping others obtain life long wealth. He has a Bachelor's degree in business and has been featured in many popular publications including Forbes, Business Insider, Bankrate, CNET Money, and many others. To learn more about Forrest, visit the About Us Page for more info.
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