Home » The Power of Freedom: MSM’s Story

The Power of Freedom: MSM’s Story










  1. Congratulations MSM on being debt free, I mean truly debt free without a mortgage. Not carrying any credit card debt or student loans is one thing, by actually paying off your mortgage is quite something special. I’d like to hit this mark in about 15 years as I just financed a 30 year loan with 20% down.

  2. You have an inspiring story, MSM! I love the point you make about having the freedom to follow your passion at work. Debt freedom can definitely give you more choices. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  3. Holy cow, I can’t imagine a $400,000 mortgage–and especially with three roommates. Ouch. At least that was your only debt though, so that’s pretty rad. I salute you for paying off such a huge mortgage in under 8 years–that’s a fantastic feat, it really is.

    Did you still keep roommates while paying off the mortgage? I’m sure that would really help with the payoff as well.

    • Hi Mrs. Picky Pincher! I had anywhere between 1 to 4 roommates living with me for those 8 years, from the time I moved in until I got married. Then 3 months after I was married, my wife and I were able to completely paid off the mortgage. My roommates provided a crucial stream of income in order to be able to pay it off!

  4. TPOHappiness says:

    My wife and I have only ever bought one piece of new furniture as well. It really is amazing just how much used (cheap in price, not quality) or free furniture we’ve been able to acquire from family, friends and Craigslist. Congratulations on the mortgage payoff!

  5. Really inspiring stuff MSM. You’re really in a crazy good position to do anything you want. Totally agree with furnishing your house with Craigslist. It’s a great way to basically rent furniture. Once you’re done with it, all you need to do is sell it right back for what you paid for it. Furniture surprisingly doesn’t really depreciate in value except between “new” and “used.” A table that looks nice and has been used for 1 year is basically the same value as that same table that has been used for 5 years or 10 years.

  6. Great story, MSM! When I got a new house, I also purchased most of my furniture on Craigslist. I still have the same sofa from years ago – leather is quite durable 🙂

    I did buy a new car out of school. After a few months it lost that new car smell and wasn’t as exciting. I ended up selling it and getting a used Civic. You didn’t miss much sticking with your Honda 😉

    • Hi Mr. Crazy Kicks,
      That is so great about your Craigslist furniture finds. You can really find some great stuff on there! Yeah, my Honda treated me well 🙂 I don’t regret not driving new or fancy cars since I had other goals in mind. Thanks for your feedback!

  7. Josh says:

    That is amazing that you were able to make that payoff in such a short time. I thought about getting roommates when I first graduated college and quickly decided against that. It was nice having my two college roommates and we still talk today, but, I could afford privacy.

  8. Nice work MSM! $400,000 in 7.5 years is very impressive! Delayed gratification is the key to financial success, as you mention.

    It seems that everyone is going to Iceland lately. It has been on my list for several years now. I hear it’s awesome!

    • You hit the nail on the head. Delayed gratification is definitely the key to financial success 🙂

      Iceland definitely seems like a trendy spot although I have to admit I haven’t met anyone that’s actually gone 🙂

  9. It is an encouraging story! Sometimes, almost all of us need some debts in our life course. The best way is to figure out how and when pay off debts before applying a loan. The life will be totally different after paying off debts. I also hope travel around the world. My family already traveled a few countries.

  10. Congrats, congrats, congrats! That was truly an inspirational story. It was funny to hear that you were a little embarrassed of your old Honda when your roommates (who were paying YOU rent, coincidentally) were driving around in luxury cars. My dream, growing up, used to be to have a BMW. I have been a full-fledged adult now for quite a few years and that desire has fizzled. These days, I’m perfectly happy with my Mazda 3. Ha! Zoom Zoom Zoom! Keep up the excellent work and enjoy those trips!

    Mrs. Mad Money Monster

    • I have to admit that now that I can afford a BMW that desire is totally gone. Not that I was ever really a car guy but having a dream type car is no longer the dream. Although from time to time I do look at a 4 door Jeep Wrangler and think that could be fun 🙂

  11. There is always something new that I can learn every time. I think that one of my weaknesses is saying no to people as I don’t like to make excuses nor am I good at it. However if I learn how to say no a bit better, I would probably be a bit more efficient with my money.

    • Thanks for sharing Leo saying No is really difficult. I didn’t want to come across as the bad guy but there came a point where I decided that by saying yes that I was saying no to my family. That kinda flipped a switch for me and made it much easier 🙂

  12. Congratulations. Not many individuals can boast of that achievement. And boast you should. That is commitment. It really says a lot about you in general.

    I’m not surprised that you received 2 promotions. Maybe the reason is because you are pursuing projects that appeal to you, but I believe you are not giving yourself enough credit in other areas.

    • Thanks for the positive affirmation Joanne. I have a co-worker that thinks I downplay too many of my achievements and should give myself more credit. I’m not normally one to boast and am more along the line of keeping my head down and focusing on the work. Crazy enough I just found out that I was nominated for a mentoring in excellence award. As an introvert I’m pretty proud of that 🙂

  13. Mrs. BITA says:

    Yay for your freedom from mortgage. Saying no to your friends must not have been easy, but you did it and it helped you achieve this financial milestone!

  14. “The first step is recognizing where you are and then determining where you want to be.” So simple, but a step I only took very late in the game. As someone who was in denial about my finances for a long time, I can tell you that it can be dreadful to “recognize where you are.” As for “where you want to be”, I settled for impossible daydreams of fabulous luxury – which I know now I don’t even want. Now, I know exactly where I want to be – and I’m getting there. Very interesting that you’ve enjoyed such success at work even though you haven’t been chasing promotion. Freedom is a great thing! Sounds like you’re using it very well : )

    • Thanks Ruth!!! When I was in debt I had these huge dreams of what life would be like after debt. Most of it revolved around spending money. Now that I’m out of debt, I have no desire to spend money on frivolous things. Amazing how our mindsets have changed 🙂

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