Counting Down to Financial Freedom

Financial Freedom is a phrase you hear online ad-nauseum. It seems like every man and his dog is in the process of becoming bitcoin billionaires or tik-tok influencers. All making sweet, easy money to lock in their financial freedom. Exclusive clubs, high fashion and beach locations all year round. Oh la la. So glamorous but not very realistic for most people. Everybody wants to feel financial freedom, but how do you define it, and then how do you get it? And once you get it, will it actually make you happy?    

The Definition of Financial Freedom

If you want to find financial freedom you need to define it first. The definition will vary depending on your age, life stage and financial education. It could be a feeling, a dollar amount or a specific financial milestone. For some people it could be as simple as not living pay check to pay check. Or buying your dream car with no guilt. Or being able to work less or retire early. The main idea is having enough money to never worry about money again.

Or if you like, we can refer to that bastion of the English language, the Urban Dictionary for their definition of financial freedom.

Financial Freedom: The act of removing your swimsuit in a public swim area

Q: Why are your swim shorts around your arm?
A: Because I’m enjoying financial freedom

Urban Dictionary

It’s an aspiration most people have, but only a minority of people will achieve it. Where the average Australian salary is $67,000 a year, and inflation is eating into that amount. It does seem like a dream more than a reality for most. That is why the get rich schemes, be they bitcoin or buying Powerball tickets is so prominent. I know a few “crypto dads” who are bleeding money in an attempt to get rich quick. Bitcoin and Powerball are both similar, My pal Scott Pape said this and I agree, they are both gambling.

Some get lucky, but most don’t. Not one person I know trading crypto is ahead but they keep pumping more money into it. Waiting for that glorious day they WIN BIG. It seems like nobody wants to get rich slow anymore.    

The Three Steps to Financial Freedom

I was late to the financial freedom party, and I outlined my three levers to financial success. After I crawled out from financial wreck and ruin I developed and followed the following steps to get into a great financial position.

  • SAVE MORE MONEY (Manage money better, save where I can)
  • SPEND LESS MONEY (Be aware of expenses, extra curricular spending)
  • MAKE MORE MONEY (Work, raises and side hustles)

A few years ago, I was in serious debt, I was paying two mortgages and lost my job 3 times in 2 years. It was a nightmare. I was able to crawl out of the wreckage of that financial disaster using these principles. It isn’t a set and forget thing either. I’m always working hard to find a way to create new revenue streams and reduce any costs. All in the name of financial freedom. And in the name of transparency, I almost forgot…

The Two Bonus Steps to Financial Freedom

These two unspoken steps need to be spoken, just not out aloud for others to hear.

  • BE A RAGING TIGHT ARSE (Stay home, Don’t buy anything)
  • ENSURE YOUR PARTNER IS ALIGNED WITH YOUR GOALS (Likes to stay home, is a Tight Arse too)

OK, those bonus ones are a joke, but are also serious. A Partner who likes to not spend money is fantastic on the bank balance…. Onwards….

Debt Free Home Ownership: The Ultimate Freedom?

Most older folk, like Mr.Moneyman himself, believe that the ultimate financial freedom comes in two parts. The first part is actually saving a deposit, buying a home, signing your life away and then moving into the place.  That is a huge milestone in the game of life. Especially if you don’t hit up the bank of mum & dad and save that first home deposit yourself. It is a great feeling and having a place to call your own, even better. You have achieved something not everyone can. Especially if you read the depressing news that “an increasing number of Australians will unlikely to become home owners”

The next part is more difficult and requires more discipline. The ultimate freedom actually comes when you actually pay the place off and own it outright.  No more banks.  No more mortgage.  A home that is 100% your own.  That is the ultimate financial freedom. But I wonder how many people achieve it with the current state of house prices and escalating costs of everything. Not to mention, real life desires like actual living… holidays, school fees, fun times with your family and friends. It’s a balancing act that becomes harder as you head further down the road of life and have children.  

Get Mortgage Free… Or Die Tryin’

Friends I know have mentioned on numerous occasions that their way out of mortgage debt is when their parents die. Is it wrong to count that free cash so early? Does that opinion give you free license to not try Make More money, Save money or Spend less money. Is it an easy way out? A safety net to justify your Euro-trip and brand new cars? Maybe that attitude is more realistic. Where your kids inherit your mortgage and deal with the debt or sell when you shuffle off.

Well… I’m a little more ambitious then that. The ultimate financial freedom for myself is to pay off my home by the time I turn 50. I started late in my quest for financial independence (36) where I finally figured out what I needed to do.  From where I stand now, Financial freedom is 9 years away.  

I have a rental property, kids, schools and other small expenses that always pop up. The ultimate financial freedom needs some reality to actually make it happen. You cannot control everything that happens in life. Sometimes you need some luck.  I also believe you can make your own luck. Help tilt the odds in your favour so that “luck” can find you via financial opportunities.  That is a separate factor to contend with, but most importantly you need a system to help achieve your ultimate dream.  

You gotta be serious about paying off your mortgage

Counting Down to Financial Freedom

Financial Independence aficionados like to count up to capture their big number that encapsulates financial freedom. Rather than look at my Networth and count up, I’m looking at my home loan balance and counting down. I’ve read these amazing stories online (with Peter Thornhill being one of them) where home loans are paid off within 10 years. This is achieved by investing and using compound interest to smash their loans. Although I’m relatively new to personal finance and investing, I thought it would be amazing to pay off my home within a 10 year time frame.  

This year, I started a blog to document my countdown to financial freedom amongst other things. This is the plan so far:  

  • Pay off a 577K Mortgage in under 10 Years (before I turn 50)
  • Increase my Investment Portfolio
  • Decrease my mortgage payments ASAP
  • Have fun in the process

The blog will also detail the things I learn along the way. The various books and podcasts , along with my entrepreneurial pursuits and experiences. I think of the blog as a way to capture everything I learn, and everything that inspires me. And I can share that in the process and have have it available for others to use. But you better believe it’s a source of reference for myself. 

The intention of my blog is to document how I will pay off my home loan in under ten years. 2029 is the year I turn 50 and before I celebrate and cut the cake, I want to know I’ll never worry about money ever again. My mortgage is currently on 577K. Normal people spend their entire lives paying off a debt like that. Others wait for some free money to appear. I’ve never considered myself normal. I’ve always concocted plans to achieve more, and this is the latest.  

How to Calculate Your Countdown Timeframe

I love a good old fashioned burndown chart. It’s the best way to measure my progress. A burndown chart is a graphical representation of work left versus time. So your chart slowly goes down as time progresses.

To calculate my burndown chart, I plugged my mortgage amount and interest rate into an ING calculator. I played with the extra re-payment numbers until I could create the data I needed. Essentially, a mortgage of 0 dollars by the end of 2029 (before I turn 50). From there I exported the data and broke them down into monthly numbers I could use for my countdown.  

This data may need revising, as interest rates change or if I change banks. For now, the number is accurate and gives me a good gauge on my progress. The burndown chart is perfect to visually display my progress month after month. Nice and simple. This can work for any debt you want to pay off.

The Method to the Madness

Using the attached burndown chart, I have plugged in the rate that I need to beat (grey line) to completely pay off my mortgage by 2029. My current mortgage amount (blue line). This will track downwards, but I’m focusing on the orange line. This orange line is my current mortgage amount, my savings in a linked offset account. If I can stay under that grey line, I am on track to achieving my goal.  

I love the smell of a burndown chart in the morning

At the moment, the buffer below that line looks pretty healthy. Unfortunately, the 577K home I live in has two decrepit bathrooms that are leaking and falling apart. They are currently being renovated. And like any bathroom renovation, they are not cheap.

There are always a lot of variables that can impact my ability to get below that grey line. Such as my three children and the expenses that go along with that. Meanwhile, Covid-19 has reduced my working days. The only way I can achieve my goals is to focus on that Mailbox Money.

Financial Freedom = Happiness?

I’m not delusional and I know money won’t make you happier. But it can give you more freedom to do whatever you want. This can equate to a form of happiness. After decades of financial heartache, being in control of my finances makes me happy because I worry less. I’m not financially miserable and unable to get ahead anymore. I have some degree of financial education and financial freedom so that I don’t need to worry again. If I were to lose my job again… whatever. It should be fine.

I also enjoy giving my children what I never had, a financial education. I enjoy teaching them about saving money, making money and spending less money. Making sure they never have to be like me. Teaching them so that history doesn’t repeat and they learn from my mistakes. Giving them that education makes me really happy. And the mortgage balance at $0 in 2029 is the cherry on top of the cake.  


As you can see, my goal is simple. Stay below the line and I can achieve my goal by 2029. As I progress, I’ll document how I generate new income streams and the impact on that chart. I’ll also document other points of interest that relate to my finances. Please feel free to comment below. Am I crazy? Can I do it? Any tips? Let me know below.

M. Moneyman


Financial Failure to Financially Free

As a lifelong financial failure with a young family and deep in debt, I was made redundant 3 times in 2 years and in serious trouble. I had a “Financial Awakening”, I learned about personal finance and gained a financial education to accumulate 7 figures in assets.

My personal goal is to invest in myself, compound my knowledge and build wealth using three simple strategies. Save more money. Make more money. Learn about money. I’m living proof, that through the power of financial education, anyone can achieve financial independence. My sincere hope is that you will be able to learn from my journey and my blog.

2 thoughts on “Counting Down to Financial Freedom”

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