I Paid Off My Mortgage Today. Now what??

At some point today, I’m not sure when, my mortgage will be completely paid off.  Yay! I think. I’m actually not sure what to do now.

This house was not paid off with a pot of gold.

Cue the singing angels, and unicorns sliding down a rainbow – my house is paid off.  At least at some point today it will be, I just don’t know when. My plan is to stay at my computer and constantly refresh my browser until I see that the final payment has been made.

AND THEN ……. !!!!

I don’t know.

I guess I could have a glass of champagne or burn my mortgage agreement in the fireplace. That’s the sort of thing they do in movies but if the payment goes through at 9 a.m. it seems a bit silly to start drinking champagne unless I’m also wearing a feather trimmed organza house robe with matching slippers. And I don’t own any of those things including the bottle of champagne so I guess I’ll just keep a glass of ice water and an Alka Seltzer handy.

I’m toying with the idea of making up a big sign like this to put on the front lawn.

But that’s a lot of effort.  I mean it took too much time just to Photoshop the sign in this picture let alone  make a real one. That’s time that could be be spent deciding on what to do with all my extra money every month.  Purchase a castle? Acquire a small country?   Buy only organic?

I have to tell you.  I thought paying off my mortgage was going to be a lot more exciting. I realize I’m part of the problem what with not having a bottle of champagne at the ready, but it’s weirdly anticlimactic. Like trying sushi for the first time.

But paying off my mortgage doesn’t mean I’m going to have mountains of money to blow. I’m just going to have a mediocre amount of money to blow.

Like maybe I could rent a dancing monkey for a week every month. Or start using premium gasoline in my car.

Or, if I want to be extremely practical and smart, every month I could invest the exact same amount of money I spent on my mortgage.  Which of course is exactly what I’ll do because I am no fun.

Seriously.  Zero fun.  I get a lot of people comment or email me saying they wish we were friends because we’d have so much fun together. No we wouldn’t. You’d have fun and I’d be wishing you’d go home so I could get back to chopping wood and diagnosing my cat’s skin condition.

Now if I WERE a fun kind of person I’d allow myself to live a little.  Maybe buy a couple of things in my first few mortgage-free months.  Things I want but am too cheap to buy.   Which is stupid because they’re all things I’d not only use, but probably use for a lifetime.

Like a KoMo flour mill.


Or a Dyson hairdryer. 

Or 42 of these hand squirrel puppets.


I think we all know what I’d get the most use out of.  I mean, as so many of us do, I already have a finger puppet stage built soooo.

The other way I could go is to finally hire someone to work for me part time. That’s a kind of investment. But everyone knows that’s not as much fun as playing out West Side Story with an all squirrel cast.

I suppose I don’t have to decide right away. I mean it’s not like they’re going to suddenly stop making squirrel puppets.  They’ll be there next month if I decide to become fun Karen.

For now my extra money is going to stay in the bank safe and sound before I find out Amazon also carries sloth finger puppets.

Have a good weekend. I’ll be here constantly refreshing my computer screen.






  1. Ecoteri says:

    Currently running UP my mortgage costs to renovate house #2 – but house #1 homes a lovely family who rent it and need a home, and house #2 homes me and is now re-insulated (and de-aspestosed) (rewired, replumbed, re-well-plumbed, re septic pumped, de-sheded, mostly re-painted, double re-bathroomed, and generally is more livable. ). However I am a long way from mortgage free…..I will “rent” until I am dead, meanwhile 3 different families will live in really decent homes. … so, that is a good thing

  2. Julie Kasner says:

    Whohooo!! Congratulations!

    We paid off our house, our cars and our credit cards, and you know what happened?!!!……. my credit score went down. Apparently credit card companies think that means you’re either about to die, or your moving to BFE and cutting up all your credit cards. I think their just jealous. Lol
    Happy weekend!

  3. Sarah McDonnell says:

    buy another house, rip things up, put them back attractively, and start a Bed and Breakfast. Hire handymen and rename them all Larry, Daryl, or Darrell. Easy Peasey!

  4. Michelle says:

    Yay! Congratulations!

  5. Jamieson says:

    Congrats! How about investing in something fun AND practicaL, like building a gondola ride between your house and your garden plot?

  6. Jan says:

    Congratulations! We also felt it was anticlimactic when we had our farm paid for. So we saved, and then realized we needed a bigger truck, hello LOC, then a better tractor. The good thing was we saved and paid our debt off as quickly as possible. Yes we’re probably not lots of fun but when I was laid off, we managed. So it’s all good.
    Congratulations again! 👏👏

  7. In Britain people gave friends so they can badmouth them later. That’s always fun.


  8. Jeanne says:

    Go for the Komo. It’s fun in a practical way. I love mine! Dump those little wheat berries in and out comes fluffy fresh flour that smells so good (who knew that flour has a smell). It’s not cheap, and I guess it would take forever to “pay for itself” but it’s good, healthy fun. Congrats on your accomplishment.

  9. Grammy says:

    I don’t know how you’d withstand the siren song from that flour mill. Pizza and bread, oh my! So maybe splurge now on one cool thing and save the rest in whatever kind of interest earning account will let you have a lovely retirement when you choose to hang up the tools and keyboards and slow down a little.

    I know it’s not your nature to relax, but aging does have some impact on how much you continue to do in your golden years. Invest instead of save if you have a penchant for risk (I don’t), but you are going to have a wonderful rest-of-your life just having taken care of the biggest financial burden because you have your head on straight. Congratulations!

  10. LisaMc says:

    It will truly hit you NEXT month when that money goes elsewhere! We did two things when we paid off our mortgage. First, I made a cake that vaguely looked like a house and we devoured it! I reasoned that like when there’s no body at a funeral it wouldn’t feel real if we couldn’t see it. Plus, my house is brown (yeah, I know—but it’s redwood from the Brady Bunch school of architecture) so it was chocolately delicious. Second, we started fixing what we had neglected in the rush to kill the mortgage. Oh yeah, third. I put some money away each month so we could pay cash when we needed to replace the car. I too am thought of as fun until people spend time with me. 😉

  11. Maura says:

    That is HUGE, congratulations!!!!

  12. Cathy says:

    Congratulations! I know the feeling, it’s like loosing weight except the mortgage payments never returned. It’s the only way I could have retired.
    I even took a photo of me ( well my hand because it was a selfie) dropping the envelope into the mail. I did the boring “ investment “ thing but it has paid off exponentially now.
    One thing I did promise myself I’d buy some memories by traveling. Unlike things, no one can repossess your memories.

  13. Lynda says:

    Buy a rental property!

    • Karen says:

      I know, but those can be a LOT of work. I have relatives who have a few and there’s always something going wrong with one of them. I don’t feel confident I’d have the time to be able to devote to one. Kind of like bees, lol. ~ karen!

  14. Barb says:

    Oh yes! As a fellow blogger I totally understand! No time for fun since there is always that huge ‘Blog-parrot’ sitting on my shoulder painfully pecking at my head saying; ‘come on, get going and making/writing a post!’ No time to sit around enjoying yourself!

    • Judy says:

      Barb, I went to your site. I think your sentence, “No time to sit around enjoying yourself.”, is wrong. There’s no way you can make all those beautiful things without having joy in your heart. And sharing it with others, That’s love, baby. My mom used to say, “I’m going to play in the garden” I think we should take that attitude in every thing we do…playing. Even just using that word would make a lot of difference in our attitude.

      • Barb says:

        Ah, I think you misunderstood me. I think I should have said ‘lazing around’. I do absolutely love what I do! Otherwise I would have given up long ago! It is fun and I am happy to do it. Many think it’s an easy lax profession, but don’t be fooled there is much on the go all the time especially if it’s a one ‘woman’ show. I also teach at a college so I do know that attitude is super important! Gotta run and ‘do some making’…

  15. Sabina says:


  16. Catt-in-KY says:

    Major accomplishment! We paid ours off last year and it has been wonderful not to have a mortgage. Now if the property taxes could be permanent be paid off, now that would be a beautiful thing.

    • Karen says:

      Wouldn’t it though!! That’s part of why it’s anticlimactic. It’s not like you’re bill free. It’s just one of many, lol. ~ karen!

  17. TucsonPatty says:

    YES!!! Congratulations and happy day! Yeah, into the bank and on to the wealth manager mine goes. (I love saying that, instead of financial advisor. Sounds ever so much more posh, eh?

  18. Bryonna says:

    Congratulations Karen. A long (possibly hard) haul, and you’ve done it.
    A major accomplishment !


  19. Marybeth says:

    I think I love you. It’s 3am and why am I reading your blog instead of finishing my spring-house junk-purge? Because your blog makes my laugh every out loud every time I read it. Your writing is an inspiration – seriously. Congratulations on officially owning your house! Now let us know what you invest in with all that extra dough, why and how it’s performing. Unless you take the cash and produce the first ever finger puppet 1-Squirrel West Side Story – which I think Lin Manuel Miranda would approve of (“And the 1st Tony awarded to a finger puppet show goes to…”).

    • Karen says:

      I think it’s hilarious that what you should be doing at 3 a.m. is cleaning your house and not sleeping, lol! ~ karen!

  20. Judy McDonald says:

    In Scotland it’s a tradition to paint your front door red when the mortgage is paid off. That would only use a teensy bit of your newly burgeoning bank account.

    • Janet says:

      Such a cool idea! If you don’t want to commit, you could wrap it in red wrapping paper for a day and put a big bow on it, then sit in front of it on the porch and drink the bubbly.

  21. M J Korbol says:

    I vote for the Sloth Puppet‼️ You have to, have to treat yourself‼️ You have earned it‼️ Once you treat yourself, you can cogitate with your Sloth and become inspired for your next project‼️😊 Maybe a Sloth Castle❓❓❓❓❓❓

  22. Teri on the left coast says:

    Hairdryer. Get the hairdryer. And, if I may be so bold, Dyson’s stick vac too. Also life changing. Use Ebates to get some cash back. That way it won’t seem quite so profligate.
    Paid our mtge off a few years ago and didn’t do anything special. But the satisfaction of the words ‘clear title’ always gives me a thrill.
    Hearty congratulations for this great accomplishment and for having your head screwed on oh so right.

  23. Brenna says:

    Before you get used to the extra income and start spending more and have nothing to show for it but more stuff (that you then have to get rid of) why not put that monthly house payment into a real estate investment? You could buy a single family home and then let the renters pay the mortgage. And then put your profits into another one, etc. Eventually you could retire on the passive income generated by the rentals. And blog when you feel like it, not because you have to…although we’d miss you if we didn’t hear from you as often. At the very least you could afford better vacations.

  24. Lisa says:

    Fabulous news and congratulations…now buy the puppet…go on……for us…. ;-)

  25. Marna says:

    Congratulations! That’s a real accomplishment! I agree with others, buy something you want and that you will be able to use for some time. I am trying to pay down our mortgage, 2 payments a month as we are retirement age and don’t want the mortgage payments with less income. Scrimping now will be worth it. Good luck on whatever you decide! :)

  26. Laura Overturf says:

    I saw your Canada down coat you love in two other colors on sale today but can’t remember where….Have a spa day and eat some really nice chocolate. Many congrats for the hard work!

  27. Tina says:

    I remember when my parents paid off their first mortgage. My mother’s “what now?” Came almost immediately. The next morning she was out looking at properties to buy, either normal family homes to rent out or farmland she could rent out. Whatever it was, her money was going to WORK for her!

    She passed 2 years ago and all of her kids, her grand kids and her great grand kids benefitted from the way she made the money work.

    I took her money and bought property and had a house built. I budgeted to the penny and got exactly what I wanted.

    The rest of my money went to the investment lady. I have my monthly budget and I get a check sent. Life is easy.

  28. Edith says:

    C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S !!!!!!!

  29. Laura Bee says:

    Yay for you! I remember quitting smoking and thinking about the extra $10 a week or so I would have. I wish I had bought squirrels.
    Technically, I still have that $10 to spare since I have not started again. Where is that link…?

  30. karin says:

    Buy a castle or eat organic…yup… or eat Siberian Donkey Cheese…
    But you’d probably figure out a way to make it for the cost of a squirrel puppet

  31. Ron says:

    Congratulations, not you can start paying yourself instead of the bank.
    Open a tax free account if you haven’t already and fill it to the max.
    Invest some into Rogers sugar it pays a divident in the 6% range.
    And watch your money work for you for a change.

  32. Kim says:

    You need to go spend that first payment that you aren’t spending on your house on something awesome. The whole amount. Money has this way of seeming “bonus” only when it’s fresh new. Wait a few months and it will seem old hat (& won’t seem bonus enough to frivole away joyously).

    So splash out now. Be practical later. If you’re anything like me, & sounds like you are, you might not let yourself later!

    Or you know, be exactly like me and do what you were going to despite all the rabble bossing you about. 😆💁‍♀️

    Congratulations too!!!

    • Kim Domingue says:

      Exactly! ‘Bonus’ money very rapidly becomes ‘Dear lord, that’s a LOT of money to spend on _____’ money. Blow the first mortgage payment that’s not a mortgage payment on something you really, really, really want but have talked yourself out of repeatedly! Then go back to being being frugal and wise!

  33. Christine says:

    Congratulations Karen!!! What a wonderful accomplishment!!

  34. Thera says:

    Wow! Congratulations! And I agree squirrel puppets FTW!

  35. Toby Fouks says:

    Dyson makes hair dryers?
    Karen, treat yourself to something you really want that’s going to give you pleasure while it’s useful and maybe save you some time. [I am of a frugal practical bent]. Have you ever regretted buying something good that you have continued to use even though at the time you thought it was a major splurge? There are no guarantees … I don’t mean with all the money … but do reward yourself for coming to the end of paying out interest every month.

  36. Meg says:

    hooray! fun day!

  37. Dana Studer says:

    Congrats, Karen! I remember when I was little my parents were so thrilled to pay theirs off in 15 instead of 30 years. I was confused and thought we had to move because they weren’t paying to live there anymore.

  38. Deborah Burns says:

    Congratulations!! WooHOOO!

  39. Anne Faught says:

    Congratulations!! It’s a great feeling to know your house is YOUR house. I love it.

  40. Paula says:

    Congratulations! That is such an amazing accomplishment! I love how you compared organic prices to castles and small countries (-_-)

  41. Erkia Carter says:

    Huge congratulations Karen. Don’t worry the extra money will somehow disappear!!

  42. Sue says:

    Shhhh. Don’t EVER let your house or your car hear that there may be extra money. One or the other will suck up the extra.

  43. Lynn says:

    I too live in a paid off house. Knowing that it’s mine, all mine, and no one can take it away (unless I forget to pay my taxes) is an amazing relief. I didn’t know how much weight it had on my life until it was gone. The “leftover” money? Well, I’m eating organic…..

  44. Fonda Rush says:

    Congratulations! I’m no-fun Fonda. I’d invest the money. Good luck finding enough friends to play with your finger puppet squirrels!

  45. Maria Aponte says:

    That’s awesome Karen and a blessing! I’m right behind you . I can’t wait , especially to save that extra cash for something g fun!

  46. Robert says:

    Karen how have I missed telling you how fun I find you in this comments.
    Ps: you should always have a bottle of champagne in the house

    • Meg says:

      p.s. yeah! a reminder to go get a new one for my fridge. because there’s sometimes an impromptu occasion you need one. which sounds ridiculous until it happens! (Then if new year’s happens first, just drink that one, and pop another in the fridge. Which is what happened to my last one.)

  47. SuzanneLH says:

    Wow. Congrats
    Do you feel a sense of accomplishment.

  48. Muff Hackett says:

    We paid ours off this week too! We had the prosecco a couple of nights beforehand as half a bottle of wine on a work night is not the best plan.
    Our new found wealth will be invested in paying off the line of credit first (perhaps one or two of the squirrel puppets too)
    Congratulations on your achievement – even if it does feel ever so slightly anticlimactic

  49. Ella says:

    Wow, congratulations! That’s a nice achievement.

    And I gotta tell you….the Dyson hairdryer is life changing. Truly. Life.Changing.

    Go for it!

  50. Carol says:

    Congratulations! Wish we could pay our mortgage off! That would be one thing we would not have to worry about! Good for you! You should be proud!

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