Buying a home is most likely one of the largest investments you will ever make. For many homeowners, the day they pay off their mortgage is the day they can truly start enjoying their home. And that day could come sooner than you think–it just takes some financial planning and strategy.

There are a few ways you can pay off your mortgage faster, the right choice all depends on your personal finances and what you are comfortable paying. Here are a few suggestions:

Put any ‘extra’ money towards your payment

Tax rebates, a work bonus, and monetary gifts are all funds that can be directly applied to your mortgage. Since these are ‘extra’ funds, this easy payment won’t have any effect on your monthly budget.

Make an extra payment

Set a goal of making one extra mortgage payment a year. It may require cutting back on going out for dinners with friends or making your own coffee every morning, but it’s a sure-fire way to pay off your mortgage early.

Round up

If you aren’t ready to increase your mortgage payment by a drastic amount but still want to make a difference, try rounding up the payment. For example, if you are currently paying $765, make it an even $800. If that extra $35 would otherwise be spent on take-out, then this is a much better use.

Accelerated bi-weekly payments

By choosing an accelerated bi-weekly payment plan, you will be making 26 smaller mortgage payments a year. By doing so, you will not only be reducing your amortization period, but also saving money on interest.

Buy a home you can afford

This last tip may seem straightforward, but with Toronto’s current market, some buyers may go beyond their means to lock down that dream home. Higher, unaffordable mortgage payments will only cause financial stress and a longer repayment process. Before you buy, work with a mortgage specialist or financial advisor to set a realistic budget.

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