Q: I've been working hard to chew through my mortgage as fast as I can. By my rough calculations, I have cut my repayment time from 20 years to 13.

One of my secret joys is noting the widening difference between principal and interest payments.

This is how I'm paying it down:

• I've never reduced the payments as interest rates have fallen.
• I've increased payments with pay increases and promotions (helpful when I hated one better-paying role and moved back to a lesser-paying one. I hadn't got used to spending the extra money).
• I budget every year based on my minimum pay (I'm a shift worker and it varies) and maximum bills (for example, my power hits $150 in winter so I budget on that year-round). I have started to put the difference into a "skimming" account to pay down the mortgage at fixing time. It adds up surprisingly quickly!

A: All three of your ideas are brilliant. And the second and third ones also work well for people who want to boost their savings.

As you note, over time the interest component of

DIY health insurance


Bonus Bond maths

On-call interest


Simpler giving, No. 1

Simpler giving, No. 2

Entitled and rich?