Young and Mortgage-Free

Some commenters on this article about a young man who built a very nice home out of truck trailers focus too much on the fact that he had a place to park his new home, and not on the fact that he has found a great way to save a fortune on rent.

Today’s economy is forcing young people to be creative like this. How much better to build your own home on your folks’ land instead of wasting away in their basement!

Young and Mortgage-Free

I feel sorry for young people these days. Most of them don’t earn nearly enough money to pay for rent or a house payment, because housing prices are ridiculously high compared to incomes in many places.

But limitations spur creativity, as Thomas Edison used to say. This young man has come up with a way to have his own space without spending a small fortune on housing each month. More power to him!

How to Stiff the Banks

One of the best things about being debt-free is that you get to keep the money you would have given to the bank as interest if you still had debt. That money can go into savings, be spent to do what you like, or be given to charity. Personally, I love knowing that no banker is making money off of me each month!

If you don’t own a house, you just need to get your bills under control and refuse to borrow money unless you absolutely must. But if you have a house, you have to commit to paying off that mortgage. The sooner you start, the better. As this couple learned, there is tremendous savings to be had if you prepay your house loan.

A Life Unencumbered with Stuff

Imagine spending your retirement on a cruise ship. No cleaning or cooking, just relaxing and dancing every day, if that’s your thing. Sounds great! Of course, not everyone can afford to spend over $150,000 a year doing this, but if you don’t require such a fancy stateroom, and you have enough retirement money saved up, you might get to enjoy the good life, too.

I think this goes to show that you can have a good time without a house full of possessions to weigh you down. This lady sold her house and car before embarking on her life on the seas. Even if you can’t afford to retire to a cruise ship, living lightly is absolutely doable.

Get and Stay Debt-Free While You’re Young

This 68-year-old woman had a good income and assets, but thought she was rich and lived like it, buying stuff like there was no tomorrow. She ended up in bankruptcy court. The native Californian ended up moving to the Midwest, where the cost of living was cheaper than it was on the west coast. Now, she finally has a handle on her finances, and sees hope for the first time.

But had she become debt-free back when she had decent money coming in, she could have had a much easier time of things as she approached her old age. This is why it’s so important to work toward debt freedom while you’re young.

We became debt-free at age 44 when we paid off our mortgage. A few years later, a failed business (our main source of income) forced us to sell our house. The proceeds paid for a small house in a cheaper area, and left us money to live off of while we figured out what we would do for a living in the future. I don’t like to think what would have happened to us if we were not debt-free before the business failed.