Social Experiment: Pay off Joe’s Mortgage

I was told about an iPhone app expirament  called “I Am Rich” which cost $1,000 to purchase. Buying this app did two things: it added a pretty jewel icon to your app list — and it made the app developer a bundle of money.

I stumbled across an app in the Android Marketplace called “Pay Off My Mortgage” by Karl Rivers. He charges £100.00 for the application — the proceeds of which go directly to paying off his mortgage. All the app does is show how much money he has raised.

Others have done similar things (Paid By Pixels, One Million Pixels, etc.), but none have tried to unite a goup of people together to accomplish a specific task.

Joe's HouseSo I figured I’d try a social experiment called Pay off Joe’s Mortgage. The difference here is that the web is a much larger place than any mobile application platform (iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, etc.), and I’m not asking for a specific amount for you to be able to participate.

So, how do you participate?

First off, if you don’t want to donate money, that’s fine, just share this with your friends and pass-it-on. Share this page on DIGG, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, (use the “Share This” link at the bottom of this post), etc. You can send it to your email list (all the people that you sent the email about Bill Gates “sharing his fortune” if you just forward the email to all your friends). Let’s see how far we can make this go. It’ll be interesting to see just how far it reaches. Here’s the URL to spread around: http://bit.ly/joes-mortgage

Next, if you do want to donate, you can donate as much or as little as you want!

I’m going to update this post every week or so with a list of everybody who donates with a hyperlink to whatever address they want it to go to, categorized by amount donated (I’ll respect your privacy if you want to remain “anonymous” or don’t want me to brag about how much you donated, what ever you prefer).

How Can You Donate?

I’ve provided these easy links! I’m using PayPal as my payment gateway (don’t worry, you can use a credit/debit card, you don’t even have to have a PayPal account).

Will a good chunk of your donation go to Uncle Sam in taxes?

NO! As I understand the tax code (and I am not a lawyer), any person can donate as much as $12,000 in income-tax free GIFTS to family, friends, and others. So, by contributing, you are stating the following for tax purposes:

In appreciation of your efforts, I choose to make this GIFT to you. I am permitted by the tax code to make income tax-free gift transfers to family, friends and others as long as they do not exceed $12,000 per year. Because this is a GIFT and not a TIP, you do not need to report it as income on your tax return.

Of course, donations and gifts to me are not tax-deductible on your part, it just means that your full amount (up to $12,000) will go toward paying off my mortgage.

Total Raised So Far? Who’s Donated?

Total Raised So Far:
$16.00
Most recent donations by:
Steve H.
ChrisChavarro
Ralph & Sarah Allen: www.newdaynewway.com
$12,000+
$10,000+
$5,000+
$2,500+
$1,000+
$500+
$250+
$100+
$50+
$25+
$10+
$5+
Steve H.
ChrisChavarro
Ralph & Sarah Allen: www.newdaynewway.com
$2.50+
$1+
Anonymous
Less than $1

So what are you helping to pay off?

My nuclear family and I live in Syracuse, Utah (a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah). Zillow says the home is worth somewhere north of $200K; the mortgage is for less than that. There’s a picture at the beginning of this article…

Why should you participate?

You’re asking yourself, “isn’t this guy just begging for money?” You bet I am! But I’m not “guilting” anyone in to it. The bank isn’t going to repo my house if you don’t donate, or anything like that.

This is your opportunity to participate in something bigger than just you. How long does it take the average person to pay off their mortgage? Around 30 years, give or take. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could brag to all your friends that you helped some guy pay off his entire mortgage in a week (or a month, or whatever).

A million donations of $1 per pixel made a guy a millionaire in a short amount of time, and that was just to buy a pixel and a link on a web page. The same contribution here not only nets you a name and hyperlink, but goes towards something tangible.

Why not skip out on soda for a day, donate the $1.00 that you would have fed the vending machine. Skip Starbucks and donate the $5.00 you would have paid for that double mocha espresso latte. It’s not much to you, not much at all.

But, if ten thousand people skip their coffee for a single day, that’s fifty grand! If they donate $25 (or each one gets 5 of their friends to donate), that’s it, done, mortgage GONE!

This is really an experiment in numbers. Currently 1% of all visits to this page end up donating. That ratio isn’t bad! We just need to get the word out to more people! How many have you told?

18 Responses to Social Experiment: Pay off Joe’s Mortgage

  1. Thann S says:

    No offense Joe, but anyone who donates to pay off your mortgage is an absolute blithering idiot and should be rendered sterile post-haste!

  2. joelevi says:

    So should I use the $50 you donated against your vasectomy? ;)

    One Million Pixels made a million bucks just for selling pixel space… this
    is buying an entire house… besides, you're just jealous you didn't think
    of it first! ;)

  3. adam01g says:

    Hi Joe,
    My name is Adam, I am the marketing representative for superbrightleds.com. I recently was doing some searches for our company on Google and came across your post from February about a poor experience you had with us. I wanted to let you know that since the time you made your post our return policy has changed. It is now our policy that when the wrong product is mistakenly sent to a customer we will send out the correct product immediately along with a postage paid slip for sending back the incorrect bulb back to us and, just as you stated, if we do not receive the product back we contact the customer to let them know we will be charging them for it.
    I apologize for the poor experience you had with us in the past and I hope the change in our policy allows us to be considered by you for future LED purchases. Please feel free to email me directly if you have any questions.
    Thank you

  4. joelevi says:

    Adam,
    Thank you for the follow-up. I've gone back and updated the original blog
    post with the additional information, and revised my opinion based on the
    change to your policy.

    - Joe Levi
    http://www.JoeLevi.com

  5. joelevi says:

    Adam,
    Thank you for the follow-up. I've gone back and updated the original blog
    post with the additional information, and revised my opinion based on the
    change to your policy.

    - Joe Levi
    http://www.JoeLevi.com

  6. Oppolulse says:

    Hi everybody,

    I’m glad to provide at this page an interesting
    kind of earning. Can you imagine a person
    can make up to 3% a day through investments without limitations in sums ?
    I. e. that even if one has US$1.000,00 one can make the same money in a monthly!

    If someone is interested welcome to my blog http://www.theinvestblog.com .

  7. Steph says:

    What did you use to create your barcode?

  8. DF says:

    I was joking with a friend the other day about wanting to create a website for just this reason. Just think of how quick and painless a mortgage could get paid off. I was bored today and found your site through Google. Good Luck on your endeavor. Sorry no donation, will save my buck for web hosting my Mortgage donation :)

  9. joelevi says:

    Glad to see I'm not alone! Let me know when you've got something similar up!

    - http://www.JoeLevi.com

  10. DF says:

    I was joking with a friend the other day about wanting to create a website for just this reason. Just think of how quick and painless a mortgage could get paid off. I was bored today and found your site through Google. Good Luck on your endeavor. Sorry no donation, will save my buck for web hosting my Mortgage donation :)

  11. joelevi says:

    Glad to see I'm not alone! Let me know when you've got something similar up!

    - http://www.JoeLevi.com

  12. joelevi says:

    Social Experiment: Pay off Joe’s Mortgage http://www.joelevi.com/blog/index.php/20

  13. joelevi says:

    Just did some math, a $5 #donation ends up being over 200% that amount off #PayJoesMortgage ! http://www.joelevi.com/blog/index.php/20

  14. Brad says:

    Great idea if it works. check out this guy. Really interesting stuff.

    http://www.payoffourhome.com

  15. Anyone else thinking of re-financing the mortgage at the new low rates this morning? I’m seeing some 5.30 APRs for 30yr fixed w/ 0 points.

  16. burberry watch says:

    thanks so much! mem’ing. :)

  17. […] How can you properly show your appreciation for your favorite Joe? Why not help me pay off my mortgage? […]

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