We all start the year off with good intentions. Perhaps you want to eat better, exercise more regularly, or maybe help out at the school a little more.
Are any of these resolutions sound familiar to you, as another year rolls around?
But what about New Year resolutions for the family finances? Financial goals don’t seem to get as much air time. Is it because we don’t make them? Or it is because we don’t want to share them with others?
We all know that the state of the family finances impact everything else. It can affect your stress levels, relationship with your partner and the quality of the time you spend with your kids.
So, if you want to end 2017 financially stronger than how you begun, let’s start by asking a few questions about the biggest household expense – your mortgage.
Are you paying for features you don’t use?
Are you paying for things you don’t need? If there are loan features you don’t use and you pay annual or monthly fees, it’s the same as buying clothes you never wear (Anyone do that too?!). Just because your loan suited you 4 years ago, doesn’t mean it still does. A home loan is not for life. Your financial needs change as you move through different stages of your life –your mortgage should change to reflect this.
Are you losing money by not taking full advantage of the loan features available?
If you are making use of the features, are you taking advantage of them fully? For example, if you have a 100% offset account, are you putting last dollar into this account to offset your interest expenses? If not, you’re missing an opportunity and handing over more of your hard earned money than you need to.
How does your current interest rate compare to what others are offering?
The home loan market is fiercely competitive and if you established your mortgage a few years ago, there’s a strong chance your current lender is offering a better deal to new clients and hasn’t explicitly extended the same offer to you.
Reviewing your home loans gives you a chance to see what other lenders are offering. It doesn’t mean you have to refinance, sometimes it’s just a matter of going back to your lender and asking them for a discount. You just need to know what to say and who to talk to!
Once you’re confident you’re not handing over more of your hard earned money than you need to, you can start setting other goals – like saving a set amount per fortnight or reducing the times you go out for dinner for example (it’s just an example!)
Like any big goal, you’ll get there by taking a series of small steps. Carefully looking at your mortgage is the first thing to do, because a small tweak here and there can make a massive difference.
Have you managed to save money on your existing mortgage? Share with us below.