There is no denying that 2022 was a tough year for many mortgage holders with eight interest rate rises since the start of May, and unfortunately 2023 is tipped to bring out more rate increases. But kicking off the year with a few tweaks to your budget and habits you could be in a much better position to ride out future hikes.
Here are 4 simple new year’s resolutions that can help you keep your finances fighting fit.
1 – Is it time to ditch the unnecessary expenses?
The 2022 rate rises had a lot of us trimming back our budgets, but expenses can creep back in. Before you know it, those “free trials” you forgot to cancel become paid monthly subscriptions.
It is good to get into the habit of conducting regular expense audits… cut down on streaming services, take-away meals, and impulse purchases to make savings. That said, you don’t have to become an extreme penny-pincher. Little tweaks here and there can add up. For example, a daily $4 take-away coffee habit costs you $1,460 per year. But switching to a DIY French press brew can cost you $260-$400.
2 – Have you got an emergency buffer fund?
The last few years have taught us to expect the unexpected. Having money tucked away for emergencies or more rate rises, can give you added peace of mind.
You can use unlocked savings from your expense audit to start building up an emergency buffer. And consider adding even more to this fund by selling any unused or unwanted items on ebay or Gumtree.
Then, if rates go up further, you lose your job or have any unforeseen medical expenses, you will have the funds on hand. And you can get rid of some clutter in the process. It is win-win!
3 – Do you need to pay down debt?
Christmas is a time many of us cut a little loose on our spending, but it is important to make sure you pay off any debts quickly. Now may be a good time to either start paying back any money owed on your credit cards, get ahead on your mortgage (if you are able to), or vanquish any debts you might have.
Also, consider avoiding credit card or buy now pay later purchases if possible. If you forget to pay these on time, you could incur interest and/or late fees.
You may also find that quickly reducing debt tastes sweeter than a take-away mochaccino, and your credit score might thank you for it too, which can make purchasing your first home, a new property or refinancing that little bit easier.
4 – When did you last review your home loan?
If you have had your home loan for a while, you could be paying something called “the loyalty tax.” This is where lenders don’t pass on new borrower rates to existing customers.
An RBA study found that compared to new loans, borrowers are charged an average of 40 basis points higher interest rates for loans written four years ago.
Arranging regular home loan health checks can potentially uncover opportunities for savings. Not only could you secure a lower interest rate, but you could refinance to a mortgage with other features that may be a better fit for your circumstances such as an offset account, fixed period, or a linked debit card, to name a few.
To get started on your home loan health check and prepare for whatever 2023 throws at you, get in touch.
We will look at your financial footing, your mortgage, and the market to scope out suitable loan products and potential savings.
Phone: 1300 855 022
Zippy Financial is an award-winning mortgage brokerage specialising in home loans, property investment, commercial lending, and vehicle & asset finance. Whether you are looking to buy your first home, refinance or build your property investment portfolio, the team at Zippy Financial can help find and secure the right loan for you and your business.
About the Author:
Louisa Sanghera is an award-winning mortgage broker and Director at Zippy Financial. Louisa founded Zippy Financial with the goal of helping clients grow their wealth through smart property and business financing. Louisa utilises her expert financial knowledge, vision for exceptional customer service and passion for property to help her clients achieve their lifestyle and financial goals. Louisa is an experienced speaker, financial commentator, mortgage broker industry representative and small business advocate.
Connect with Louisa on Linkedin.
Louisa Sanghera is a Credit Representative (437236) of Mortgage Specialists Pty Ltd (Australian Credit Licence No. 387025).
Disclaimer: This article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information. This article is not to be used in place of professional advice, whether business, health or financial.