How paying off a mortgage in 2 years changed this woman’s life

How paying off a mortgage in 2 years changed this woman’s life

All year long,’s Michael Timmermann is sharing quick and easy ways to save money as part of our Michael Saves series. Check in every Monday as he puts new and familiar savings strategies to the test. Sign up for our newsletter to have these stories delivered to your inbox!

Kim Anderson approached her husband one day with an idea that caught him by surprise: “Why don’t we just pay off our house?”

At the time, Kim was a stay-at-home wife who wasn’t involved very much in the couple’s finances, but her husband quickly got on board when they sat down together and made a budget.

The couple had previously given up credit cards and gone cash-only, so the mortgage was their only remaining debt.

How one couple paid off their $93,000 mortgage in 2 years 

“We figured out that if we could pull back and live pretty minimally, we would be able to pay off the mortgage in four-and-a-half years if we worked really hard,” Kim told

They ended up eliminating their $93,000 mortgage in less than half that time — two years — while still in their 20s.

Mortgage payoff strategy: Earn more, spend less 

While her husband continued to work as a well-paid engineer, Kim picked up side hustles and went all-in with the cash envelope system. Here are some of the ways she reduced expenses:

  • Had friends over for Crock-Pot meals instead of eating out
  • Shopped for clothes exclusively at thrift stores
  • Ditched cable and streamed video content online

Tax refunds, work bonuses and monetary gifts also went toward reducing the mortgage principal. They wiped it out completely by dipping into some of their savings.

The reality of what they accomplished didn’t hit Kim until she deleted the mortgage line item from their budget.

“Knowing we have a home to call our own, that’s something we value. You have to decide what you value and want out of life — and we wanted flexibility,” Kim said.

How paying off the mortgage changed Kim’s life 

What happened after the couple paid off their mortgage and became 100% debt-free is just as incredible.

Now a mother, Kim began to do some soul-searching. “Who am I going to be in 20 years when my kids grow up? I have to figure out what I’m going to do with myself,” she recalls telling herself a few years back.

Kim’s answer was to start her blog, Thrifty Little Mom, which grew into a full-time career. She has also written a book.

Her blog became so successful that Kim told she started to bring in more money than her engineer husband. He eventually left his job to work from home as well.

The couple believes that paying off the mortgage early has set them up for a lifetime of success.

“I’m just trying to find the life I want with the money I have to work with. Most people can — they just need to get rid of the dead weight and make their money do a lot more,” Kim said.

Read more about Kim’s story at!

More stories you may like: 

Weather and Traffic