The beginning of the new financial year is a great time for mortgage holders to review their finances and see what changes can be made. There are a few simple, yet effective ways to improve your financial situation that can make a huge difference in the long run.
1. Start at the beginning
If you’re serious about getting your finances in order you need to be honest about your finances. Open every single financial statement—bank, credit card, and mortgage statements. You will have a better chance at improving your finances if you know where you currently stand with your income and expenses. Consider signing up for online banking as you can keep an eye on your accounts from wherever you are.
2. Don’t go Cold Turkey with a budget
Develop a budget or spending plan that actually works for you based on where you are right now. Cutting out all luxuries at once can actually cause more damage as you may end up splurging. Instead, try to gradually reduce spending in critical areas. Sudden cuts to costs can often backfire in the long term because it increases the chances of big financial splurges.
3. Tackle your credit card debt
Control your credit, don’t let it control you. Every time you pay off a card with a 15 per cent interest rate, you get a 15 per cent return on your money. There are many providers that offer a low or zero per cent introductory offer for the first 6 to 12 months. If you can find a good deal, move your high-rate debt to that new card and whenever possible, pay more than the minimum repayment required.
4. Remember that it’s the little things that count
Memberships and ongoing contracts may only seem like small expenses, but these monthly charges add up over time. Change your mobile phone plan or get rid of the landline account unless you absolutely need it. Reconsider Pay TV and look at ways to cut back on utilities such as electricity.
5. Know Your Credit Rating
Get your credit rating by going to veda.com.au. If you have a poor credit rating, the two best ways to improve it are to pay your bills on time and push yourself to reduce your credit card balances. A good credit rating increases your serviceability, making it easier to get a better interest rate.
6. Get ahead in your mortgage
With interest rates at an all time low, now is a great time to make extra repayments on your mortgage. Also take advantage of your tax refund or work bonus and pay a chunk off your home loan. Even small amounts that are contributed to your mortgage will add up over time.
Anouska Linz is Manager, Online Sales at State Custodians and has over 10 years’ experience in financial services, both in broking and banking. Holding a bachelors degree in accounting, Anouska quickly discovered a love for mortgage lending and assisting people to achieve their home ownership goals. She leads a team of highly experienced lending specialists who are passionate about finding lending solutions which result in real wins for the customer. She is also a massive netball fan.
For more information on our home loans, visit www.statecustodians.com.au or call 13 72 62.