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. PegB says:

    Congratulations. When I bought my first house, my dad said, you’re an adult now; then there was this huge sigh! I reslly think you should buy to KOMO Flour Mill as a good faith purchase. It will come in handy when you harvest that wheat.

  2. Barb says:

    Good for you! It may “hit” you when next month rolls around and you don’t have that payment to make anymore. Delayed reaction, so you still have time to get that champagne for some breakfast celebration mimosas?

  3. Jennie Concannon says:

    That is Awesome Karen – You could always adopt one of my grown kids. I am sure your extra money would disappear quickly. Our middle son and his wife are expecting their first child, which means I will be investing in everything that you could possibly buy for your first grandchild.

  4. Jody says:

    No, no, no – don’t burn the mortgage agreement. But I think you know that..

  5. JodyG says:

    No, no, no – don’t burn the mortgage agreement. But I think you know that. Congrats.

  6. Jan Johnson says:

    Hey, these potato chips are going to get stale if I can’t send them to your P.O. Box!? Jan

  7. Leslie Barnard says:

    Big congrats!! Frankly, the puppet thing sounds a bit squirrelly to me…

    Go. On. Vacation!

  8. Jane C. says:

    Don’t waste time worrying about what to do with all that extra money. Something always happens to suck it up. Not long after I paid off my mortgage, the waterline to my house, which was located underneath the basement floor, broke and flooded the basement. Between the plumbers and the backhoe and operator, the equivalent of several mortgage payments disappeared. I came home to find they had dug right through a flower bed.

  9. Vikki says:

    Congratulations! Release ALL the doves and cue heavenly music! You say you’re 0% fun–I say you’re 100% Smart!

  10. Idaho Girl says:

    I’m thinking you don’t really need financial advice, since you were savvy enough to get that mortgage paid off, so I’ll just say congratulations!!

  11. karen tomlinson says:

    And I have to say the dyson hairdryer is the best quilty pleasure I ever purchased. Worth every ridiculous cent!

  12. Benjamin says:

    It’s going to be a rainbows and unicorns kind of day !! Congrats…

  13. cussot says:

    My sister-in-law is in love with her Fidibus. She calls it that. “Fidibus and I are making buns … Time for Fidibus to make the pizza”, etc. And she probably mortgaged the house to buy it.


  14. Betty says:

    Karen, I was waiting until the end to be sure I didn’t repeat advice from someone else. Congrats on the accomplishment! – truly is a good feeling isn’t it?
    ONE thing to consider is to be sure you still have a line of credit on the house – or purchase title insurance. That way some evil person can’t impersonate you, and fraudulently put another mortgage on your home right under your nose!…..look it up,…it can happen in today’s world.

  15. judy says:

    It’s obvious to me that you must come visit all of us,your faithful followers. Purchase an old school bus,demonstrate converting it into a conveyance worthy of your talent, rent the paid for palace to a person worthy of its loveliness and set forth to meet us.each and every one. Possibly rent a stadium to accommodate those of us who live near one another.
    This generates a NEW blog. Bussing with Bertelson? That needs work…. Anyhoo just a thought,see you soon in Virginia…….

  16. Janet says:

    Always one to be practical, I advise you to ensure you discharge your mortgage. My 83 year old mother-in-law, who used to be in real estate, recently sold her cottage. Her real estate agent advised her that she had committed fraud by stating in the listing that there were no liens on the property. She informed my mother-in-law that there was still a mortgage registered on it. My mom-in-law said “Oh that thing was paid off years ago!”. Go figure. Didn’t matter. Still needed to be discharged and the vendors who took back her mortgage were now deceased. Somehow, by the grace of God, she found a paper that stated she had completed payment and paid a lawyer to discharge the mortgage. All ended well. I don’t want to hear you asking for bail money because you tried to sell your house and told everyone that the mortgage was all paid off only to find out they didn’t believe you :)

  17. Mary W says:

    Congrats – I’m celebrating for you as I just got one of the last squirrel puppets. It will be in our annual Pickle Prize at Christmas. Can’t wait to see their faces. You made me happy today! Thanks and what a grand feeling – to wonder what you could do with the extra money. Keep that feeling going as long as you can and something really special will come your way. I read that in a fortune cookie.

  18. Erica says:

    I’m so excited for you!!! That is my ultimate goal!

  19. Marilyn Meagher says:

    Good for you ! It is a nice feeling ! Try to loosen up a little and enjoy a month before you start investing ..it won’t hurt. Seriously think
    About going to Newfoundland if you haven’t been..

  20. Darla says:

    Congratulations! Buy a cheap fix-er upper and fix it up and flip it. Then we all can enjoy a new series of blogs of your adventures!

  21. Well done Karen. It is amazing how everything seems so much easier once that burden is off your shoulders. Can I advise RSPs. And have some fun now.

  22. Lynn says:

    🎉Congratulations Karen 🎉
    Painting your door Red is not only in Scotland a sign of having paid your mortgage off by the way.
    My suggestion would be to take 3 to 6 months and just fun enjoy not having the payment. Hopefully not spending completely all your newly gained rewards.
    Giving your self time too really think about what you what to truly accomplish. Best wishes

  23. Jenny says:

    My husband and I have been waging an aggressive war on his student loans (becoming a Physician Assistant is not cheap) and we are within a year of paying it all off. Sometimes we get excited with all the “extra” money that we will have each month and then we talk about what to do with it and whether it would make more sense to attack the mortgage or invest in something with a greater return. Which is not as exciting as going on a vacation or totally renovating our basement bathroom, but ah well. :) Responsibility!

  24. Betty S says:

    dancing monkey :)

    thanks for the smile

  25. Dru says:

    So this is a thing….
    “The lion statues spotted throughout Montreal and its greater area also have their traditional histories. In Quebec, homeowners traditionally place one or two lions in front of their house once their mortgage is paid off.”

  26. Maria says:


    Enjoy the relief I did a few different things when I paid off my mortgage.

    1. I had a celebratory a meal.

    2. Took 4/6months off of not having anything big to pay and I took long Ontario drives.

    3.Bought Long Term Care Insurance. (Not life insurance,big mistake,people doing that).

    4.I took the last amount of what I was paying in mortgage and started an investment portfolio.

    5. Bought a lot more of my favorite Matt red💄 lipstick.

    You are free,enjoy it for a wile.

    Love your posts!

  27. Jenni Reiz says:

    I remember that day! I took a copy of the paperwork with me to the Family Reunion that summer, made the big announcement, and, ripping the paper to shreds, threw it all up in the air, letting the bits fall where they might! It was fun! Congratulations to you! Jenni in Edmonton

  28. amanda says:

    Woo! Congratulations! Let the mad spending begin! (kidding….invest.) But reward yourself for a job well done with that flour mill. Please.🙏🏻🙏🏻 Flour mill!!

  29. Andrea says:

    I suggest investing half, and then using half to buy some things you can’t make.

  30. Bonnie White says:

    Invest in a rental! That’s what we are doing and it will be paid off when we downsize from our current place!

  31. PMMK says:

    Karen, I’m so proud of you and for you. I’m sure there were times when it wasn’t easy.

    Now it’s time to start being your own sugar mamma. Sure, use some of your cash for things that bring you joy. But …

    The best gift you can give yourself right now is to put most of that cash to work for YOU and make it earn back every penny of interest you have ever paid and then some. Be an interest earner, not an interest payer.

    First, educate yourself about various financial investments and how they are supposed to work and stuff like risk tolerance, risk mitigation and taxes. Enough so you get the lingo and make yourself less likely to get scammed. You may or may not have the appetite for becoming a full-blown investment expert. This does not preclude advice of other fans who suggested you become a landlady which could be a lot of fun … or a lot of heartache.

    Talk to a wealth manager (not an investment counselor in a strip mall – only in it for themselves) and make a plan. This person may tell you that you don’t have enough cash yet but persist. Get them to tell you what they recommend you do so that, when you come back, you do have enough cash. I’m pretty sure they will tell you that the first step will be to max your RRSP and TSFA contributions and put them into higher earning instruments than a savings account. That reduces your tax liability from the get go. Tax avoidance (legit) not tax evasion. Money you don’t pay out you get to keep and put to work earning you more money.

    We deal with a person through our bank (not our local bank manager) and I can assure you we are earning a helluva lot more than the 0.5% we would with a savings account. Some banks have better people in these jobs than do other banks. We have dealt with two banks, RBC and TD and an insurance company. RBC basically ignores us and we have neither earned nor lost any money there. We finally took the money out of the insurance company because they were the ones earning the money, not us. The TD guy comes to our house at least once a year and we go over everything together to make sure our short and long-term objectives are still being met. We don’t deal with the minutiae of individual investments; only with the performance of the portfolio as a whole. The details are his job. Of course, there is a tax deductible, earnings-based fee but worth every penny.

    We could have lived higher on the hog but now we own a nice house in the country and haven’t had jobs since 2006. Unlike many of our friends who used a different approach, we have weathered the ups and downs of market fluctuations and we have no reason to worry about money as we age.

    You bring so much mirth, joy and good advice to your fans. You deserve this kind of peace.

  32. Larry J Wachtel says:

    Paint your front door red. It’s an historic way to tell everyone that your home is paid for and it’s a fun house fashion statement.

  33. Karen C says:

    Congratulations, Karen!

  34. Tammy says:


  35. Amy says:

    Congratulations!!!! I’m not giving advice, but I will say that my hubby and I have rental duplexes. Two are paid off, the other two will be before retirement. The beauty of duplexes is you are unlikely to have no one contributing to the mortgage payment when one side is vacant. Buying carefully and “sweat-equitying” a lot, we were quickly able to get to the point that one side paid the mortgage, so with full rental, we were able to make swift progress. This is what we plan to enhance our retirement income. Just saying.

    Many congratulations!!!!!!

  36. Kimberly says:

    Congratulations!! I was a late bloomer so I have 26 years to go on mine, unless Mom wins the lottery.

  37. Laura Nazimiec says:

    Yay! I think you should celebrate by writing more posts about family members like Betty, pink tool belt, and fish pedicure.

  38. Sheila says:

    nothing better than freedom

  39. Deb Wostmann says:

    Fantastic and congratulations. The paid off mortgage is the way to wealth so they say. Relish it and at least buy yourself one thing you’ve wanted just to treat yourself for a job well done.

  40. Alena says:

    Congrats, Karen!
    Let me tell you that you are entirely normal (or at least as normal as me, which is always questionable). I paid off my mortgage last year in November and just like you, I waited for some Woohoo! moment or something but it never happened. I am a lousy drinker so of course there was not a drop of anything in the house. But I am glad it’s done. I guess I can pat myself on the shoulder for having paid the house off on my own, on a single income.
    I would have been done a lot sooner had not decided to sell my previous house some 13 yrs ago and buy this one. At that time, my remaining mortgage balance was at $45,000 but I purchases a house that cost $100,000 than the old one (the real estate market, in the meantime, climbed up).
    My goal was to be done with the mortgage by the time I am 60. I can check off that box because I still have almost 6 months to my 60’th birthday.
    By the way, a tip for those who still have a long way to go before your mortgage is paid off – do not pay monthly. Do not pay even bi-monthly, pay WEEKLY. It is the fastest way to knocking off the interest and still paying off the capital (each week by a bit more than the previous week). That was THE BEST decision I made decades ago.
    Any online mortage calculator will show how many thousands $ you save on the interest.

  41. Dan Stoudt says:

    Don’t spend your extra money on stuff. Invest in experiences. Visit other places at home or travel abroad. If you come here I can be your tour guide.

  42. Phyllis Kraemer says:

    Congrats Karen!

  43. Darlene Gardner says:

    Thats amaazing!! new found freedom. I’d be hopping on a plane to somewhere exotic (but perhaps I’m more fun than you)! (joking-you are way more fun and way more rich than me)

  44. Christine says:

    If only Jaguar made a pick-up truck!

  45. Gail Dedrick says:

    I think this calls for Cannabis.

  46. Beth W says:

    Woooo Hoooo!!! Congrats! It’s a huge accomplishment. I remember when my parents paid theirs off when I was younger… and it inspired me to get ours paid of early too (Feb 12, 2017 – yay!). I’m sure you’ve researched this, but make sure to request the discharge docs/paperwork. I’m glad we did, as for some reason the bank didn’t fully release it (someone forgot to press a button I guess) so even though we owed $0.00… when we bought a cottage, it showed that we still had a mortgage. GRR. Incompetence is my biggest pet peeve.

    Also… don’t buy a cottage. That was trapped in 1979. And then think you can renovate it yourselves… on weekends… from 1.5hrs away. Or maybe do it. You seem just crazy enough to survive. Although I bet you’re comfortable going pee outside in the winter, whereas I had to drive 15min into the nearest town for Timmie’s. But, there are few things better than a Lake Huron weekend away from my real life in London

  47. Sandy says:

    Congratulations! For me, paying off my mortgage was joyful. Not the day it was actually paid in full, but the time leading up to that goal. That’s when I realized that joy truly is in the journey. I’ve been steadily saving money since then, which allowed me to pay cash for my car when my last one was run over. I wish I had it in me to buy some investment property (so as to have a source of passive income), but I’m lacking that internal drive. Once I save another 30 grand, I guess I will start dumping most of it into index funds. One person’s idea of fun isn’t the same as another person’s idea of fun, so do you :) Keep on gardening!

  48. Kathy says:

    Congratulations! There is satisfaction in being mortgage free. I just have to have one of those squirrel hand puppets – it would be so much fun. ^^

  49. Eileen says:

    Congratulations. Our home is debt free and it’s comforting to know that taxes and maintenance are enough to deal with. Invest with a wealth manager, not from a bank, but someone who gets a fee annually based on results, not a kickback on what new investment they come up with or what they are connected with. If you have an advisor who keeps switching you to something else, that’s called “churning “ and they don’t have your best interests in mind. Also diversity of assets is good. Ok, enough. Congratulations.

  50. Heather says:

    Congratulations, Karen! Now we discover you have, among your many talents, the ability to manage money well. Maybe you could share a few tips with those of us for whom the idea of paying off anything is a pipe dream, because we can’t budget properly. Please, help me!

    • Karen says:

      Oh, I just don’t spend more than I have, lol. It comes from always having a tenuous job (television shows that could be cancelled) or working for myself. I’ve never really had the kind of job where there’s any sort of security so I was obsessive about not spending. Now I buy things, but still not anything that would put me in debt. So I’m afraid I don’t have a trick other than fear of running out of money and being in debt. Ha! ~ karen

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