parent opinion

'I'm a mum of twins. Here's how I paid 200k off our mortgage in two years.'

As a mother of two young children, I used to have sleepless nights thinking about our six-figure mortgage.

My mind would run wild with thoughts. 

'It's normal, everyone has a mortgage.' 

'My parents still have a mortgage. This is fine.'

'Our friend has a much higher loan. If they can manage, we can... but can we?'

In reality, I didn’t want a home loan at all. (I mean, who does?) I wanted the freedom for my husband Jake and I to take time off for a holiday and to not stress if our children fell ill.

But the fact was we couldn’t do without one. After we were blessed with conceiving twins, we upgraded from our two-bedroom half renovated home to a five acre property with plenty of room for growing.

Watch: The difference between how men and women negotiate their salary. Post continues below.

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When we initially bought our new home in March 2020, we began with a $615,000 home loan - more than double what we were initially paying for our two-bedroom home. On top of that, we now had two little people to feed and look after.


At the moment, my personal focus is paying off our home loan. In fact, over the last two years, we've managed to pay over $200,000 off our mortgage by creating extra streams of income and selling unwanted items lying around the house.

Here are 14 hacks we've used to pay extra off on our home loan:

1. Selling unwanted items around the home. Last year we sold items from around the house that totalled over $9,500! If it doesn’t bring you joy, sell it!

2. Utilising rewards programs such as Woolworths Everyday Rewards, Bunch Program, etc.

3. Forming a great relationship with our mortgage broker who keeps us updated on the best rates and reviews our interest rate annually.

4. Bumping our minimum weekly repayments up to a rounded-off number. (Every cent counts!)

5. Constantly reviewing our daily expenses and calling around to compare the cost of different services etc to ensure the best price possible.

6. Surrounding myself with like-minded people who want to do the same. (Search #dfc on Instagram or check out the Australian Debt Free Community on Facebook). Surrounding yourself with people who have the same goals makes the journey easier!

Clara's twins have fun in the mud! Image: Supplied. 
7. Having a reward system. After every $10,000 we put towards the mortgage, we reward ourselves by purchasing an item between $100 and $500.


8. Having a visual goal tracker. Taking the idea out of your head and visualising it makes the journey so much more real, practical and manageable. Plus, it's fun to see your progress! On low-energy days, it certainly makes me feel better."

9. Living a basic lifestyle. Think camping, caravan parks, local weekends away, and purchasing new clothes on your birthday. I’m far from frugal but making mindful frugal lifestyle choices can reduce your expenses.

10. Tax returns go straight onto the mortgage.


11. All of the side hustles! Extra streams of income can dramatically impact your debt numbers. Whether it's transferring $1 to the mortgage or $100. It all counts! (Examples of side hustles include flipping furniture, completing online surveys, or renting out an unused room/space.)

12. Having yearly budget goals. Break these goals down into monthly goals and then review them at the end of each month.

13. Having an emergency fund. Start with one month, aim for six. 

14. Organising monthly grocery shops (with weekly fresh produce top ups) and freeze/save bulk buy items.

Clara, Jake and the twins. Image: Supplied. 


For me, having stable finances has always been a big priority in my life. 

My mum had me at just 17 years old and she raised me on her own while working multiple jobs.

After overcoming a lot of adversity growing up, my goal now is to create a safe and secure environment for my children. 

That’s why I’m sharing my tips so that others can feel encouraged and uplifted in their financial journey too.

For us, it hasn't always been easy. My husband and I started our own structural landscaping business from scratch. And only a few short years ago, we earned under $50,000 combined income for the whole year. 

But now, we aim to pay off our house within four years.

Consistency is everything. If you hate budgeting like me, the start will be challenging, but once the momentum begins, you will surprise yourself. The only limit you have is your mindset. 

Clara Riddle owns a structural landscaping business with husband Jake. She's created a blog on Instagram ( where she shares educational tips for everyday people on how to save and make money. 

Feature Image: Supplied.

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