So, for reasons I can no longer recall, I started to follow David Ramsey for Australians on Facebook. I have a history of reading personal finance blogs, and whilst they often drive me insane (the content is very repetitive, and they all want to monetise… And a little ranty). This is how I’ve come to know the bible belt financial gospel guru. Aside from books, he also has a podcast. I do not listen to it.
I know the basics – there’s baby steps, and they are pretty darn simple and logical to me, a daugher of a banker
- Save a $1000 emergency fund
- Pay off consumer debts, start with the smallest debt and work through them. AKA Debt snowball
- Save for (three to) six months of expenses
- Pay into your retirement fund at 15% of income
- Save for your children’s education
- PAY OFF YOUR MORTGAGE
- Spend/donate etc
That’s from memory… If I got it wrong, I’m not too fussed. My post is about what reading all these posts have made me wonder…
How long would it take me to pay off my mortgage?
I kept turning the idea over in my head, and couldn’t work it out. So I broke it down.
First I’d get my offset account to “fully paid up”. For long term readers, you might recall that I go to this point with a previous lender. I am onto my third lender – each time the fixed term component ‘matures’ I review the market and go for the lowest interest rate. Cause.. loyalty gets you no where. So I started with
- ANZ (2 years, all fixed), then went to started in Dec 2011
- Bankwest (3 years, 20% variable with offset, 80% fixed), and now I’m with
- ING (2 years, 40% variable, 60% fixed) started in Jan 2017
When I looked at my regular ‘inputs’ to my offset account, I could work out roughly what goes in monthly, less what goes out monthly (namely, moving money out of offset to the two mortgage components), and a quarterly strata bill. I did a calculation and found out I could do it 10 months. Which was pretty darn close. And then… I received an inheritance, quite unexpectedly (and I never count those sorts of things). And now I’m close to 6 months. (And I don’t plan to put all the inheritance onto the mortgage, I plan to purchase two ‘big ticket’ items which I see as heirlooms – one is a gorgeous desk and the other is getting a ring made. Cause… a paid of mortgage is great, but the two items will hold memories, and were things I was saving for before this unexpected windfall). Let’s call that out – it would be January 2018! Wow. By my birthday!
And then, I looked what would happen if the same monthly amount *could* go onto the fixed mortgage month on month, knowing it can’t due to stupid rules. That’s not the point – the point was to motivate myself with the timeline of when I could have it ALL paid off – and the answer was, that amount would take 2 years and seven months. I was gobsmacked it was such a small duration of time. You ‘buy’ 25 and 30 year mortgages! And I’m talking about August 2020.
Of course, I don’t have a step 5 to fund of Dave Ramsey’s plan. (And I’m at 12.5% +$50p/w on my retirement). And I’m at prime child rearing age, so I’d happily have this plan hijacked by having kids. But each month I’m not pregnant (ha! I’m single!) is a month I could shoehorn some money into that mortgage and get closer to that end goal of NO MORTGAGE!
Oh, and 2020 is a much mentioned year where I work. Because politician Fred Nile got it written into law that if our company was sold (aka long term leased) there could be NO job reductions until 2020. Well… provided there wasn’t an agreed forced redundancy policy introduced – and you can be sure our strong union will die fighting a forced redundancy policy. But there’s this concept of job guarantees (when we have 3,570 employees, and Treasury did also say that could be certain types of contractors) until 2020. And… well… No one knows where we are at relative to that magic 3,570. To me, it doesn’t matter. Working hard is what matters. Take it a day at a time. That being said, so many people say ‘well we won’t have jobs in 2020’. I cannot think that far in front of me, there’s enough going on RIGHT NOW. But, that some mythical 2020 is when I could have a mortgage paid off. Imagine… I could be someone who takes in rent from my tenants (ha) and due to the rent differential, could live on the spoils. Ha! It’s not a plan I conceive actually happening, but it’s fun to imagine!
Now every time the doom and gloom mongers say ‘2020’ I will think about having no mortgage. What fun!
Feel free to check in, in a few months. Who knows, I might get seduced by international travel, and adjust this back a month or two… Let’s see.