The thought of owning your own home seems like a distant dream to many young people, but one Aussie mum has proven that paying off your mortgage doesn't have to fill you with dread.
Heidi Farrelly is a preschool teacher and lives in Sydney with her 35-year-old husband Clinton and their 7-year-old daughter.
They bought their Engadine home in 2008 and are set to make their last mortgage payment in January 2018, just under a decade later.
Farrelly says things you can start doing today will strip years and thousands of dollars off your debt, which she outlines in her books Mortgage Free: How to pay off your mortgage in under 10 years without becoming a drug dealer and Brilliant Budgets and Despicable Debt: How to conquer debt and master your budget without becoming an insomniac.
"I wanted to show people that anyone could use what they had and still get ahead," she told the Daily Mail.
She says paying off debt is all about sacrificing small luxuries and always looking for a cheaper alternative.
"Coffee is often at a friend's instead of at a cafe. We picnic instead of buying lunch out. We camp instead of hotelling," says Farrelly.
"We make do with what we have rather than buying new. Things we do need, we don't buy full price but wait 'til they go on sale."
She admits it is not an easy task to pay off your mortgage in 10 years but it is entirely possible and you don't have to be millionaires or live off rations for a decade to do it.
Writing for personal finance magazine Money, Ferrelly says they were a single-income household for quite a while and even now she only works two days a week, so her husband's wage pays the mortgage and hers covers daily expenses.
"There seems to be this belief that owning your own home is no longer possible for young people, certainly not in 10 years. People assume we had help from family or are in really high-paying jobs but that's definitely not the case," she wrote.
Farrelly confessed that she used to be terrible with money and had to teach herself how to be more financially responsible.
Her advice for people who have little financial knowledge or have trouble sticking to a budget is to start small and work towards their goals.
"You don't always have to have everything at once or start at the top. Work your way to where you want to be. Start small. No one likes to miss out, but it's all about perspective. Are you missing out, or just finding a better way?' she said.
"Essentially it's about short-term discomfort for long-term reward."
Farrelly's top tips to help you say goodbye to your mortgage:
• Know where your money goes. Record a four-week snapshot of everything you spend, and write a sustainable budget based on your findings.
• Start making extra mortgage payments. Even $10 a week makes a big difference over the life of your loan.
• Look for unneeded direct debits such as Spotify or Netflix subscriptions and redirect the money you save to your mortgage.
• Don't redraw your mortgage for anything.
• Explore your own backyard for a while instead of travelling abroad.