December 19, 2016
The upcoming New Year holiday period is the perfect time to review your mortgage and other financial arrangements to get an accurate picture of what things may really be costing you, and work out the changes you need to make for 2017, says Refinancing.com.au.
Spokesperson for Refinancing.com.au, Peter Andronicos, says the upcoming period is traditionally the time when people decide to make resolutions for the year ahead, so auditing your finances to develop a more effective platform is one of the most importance places you can start.
This process can be carried out, anytime, anywhere with a personalised Refinancing Report. With only a ten minute investment of someone’s time they can find out where their existing loan sits in the market, what the comparative alternatives are and what they may be able to save.
There is no longer an excuse for not having the time to do it, he added.
Andronicos says for many Australians, their mortgage underpins the rest of their finances. So by looking firstly at their biggest financial obligation, then working down a list to review other key areas of spending, they can take a streamlined approach to fortifying their financial position for the future.
However, he says it’s not just about restructuring their financial arrangements, but is equally about looking at their general attitude to money and credit as well as their spending habits and behaviour.
The undoing for many people is that they are not conditioned to be disciplined with their finances. And this is when it’s not simply just about the loan, but more that they need to look at their lifestyle choices and if their finances can support that. And this part of the resolution means a process of honest appraisal, personal change and adjusting to a more consistent financial regime,’ he explained.
By concentrating on the following eight core household areas of expense, Andronicos says there are significant savings to be made:
Look closely at not just your current interest rate but the loan type and features to see if it’s still the most appropriate one for your circumstances. In the year ahead you may be planning to renovate, change jobs or considering the merits of a standard variable versus fixed loan to give you more flexibility or the certainty you require. Whatever your reasons for looking around, having that information at your fingertips before you make the change is empowering and puts you back in control.
Review all your credit arrangements, particularly if you are struggling to pay the interest, and consider consolidating the debt into your mortgage if you can. Once this is done you then need to change your credit habits and avoid temptation by obtaining a debit card to replace your credit card.
Look at the premiums on all your insurances and shop around among providers for all types including mortgage, health, life, car, house and contents. Premiums do change year on year, even with the same provider, so this exercise should always be done annually.
Compare providers and see where you can get the best deal, then look at implementing further cost saving through simple habits such as turning appliances off when not in use, reducing the use of dryers and updating old non-energy efficient appliances to lower your bills.
Review your water use as well. Small-and-often changes such as having shorter showers, washing only when you have a full load and using water-saving devices in the garden will all have a cumulative effect of saving you money over time.
With so many cheap bundled phone and internet plans among providers in a hotly competitive space, shopping around is a must, but ensure you are always comparing apples with apples.
Review how you holiday. If you always opt for the same style holiday, consider other cheaper options as an alternative, which will still have the same health and enjoyment effect, but will have less impact on your bank balance.
Review your regular transport methods. Do you need two cars or would one of you be better off walking or cycling to work? Or, can you catch public transport more often so you are not paying out for petrol, parking, registration and insurance.
Andronicos says doing this annual financial audit gives you the information you need to draw up a realistic monthly budget for all spending, including essential and discretionary.
This series of steps going into the New Year will really set the financial bar for the year ahead and provide the valuable blueprint you need to keep in control, he concluded.
Written by Refinancing.com.au
Refinancing.com.au is an end-to-end service that helps people refinance their home loan. We empower you to search for your home loan, and choose the process that suits you.
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