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Maximise your pocket change

Everyone knows that small changes can be made to give you a little extra coin in your pocket, but have you ever stopped to think about how much money you could actually saving?

Everyone knows that small changes can be made to give you a little extra coin in your pocket, but have you ever stopped to think about how much money you could actually saving?

When you're weighing up your choices (on a very small cost benefit analysis scale) it can be challenging to compare the long term benefits of sacrificing your morning liquid cup of gold or your lunch time pub grub.

Whilst you're lunch time hunger craving is a very immediate concern, it's worth trying to think a little longer term to find out what the impact a few extra coins in your pocket today can make to your mid-term goals and your long term financial security.

So let's crunch a few numbers looking using one of the most consumed beverages in Australia, coffee. According to the Coffee Economist the average price for a small takeaway cappuccino in Australia is $3.54.

While shedding that loose change to your hipster barista each day may not seem like much of a loss, a coffee every day quickly adds up to $1290 a year. Of course, it's no fun denying yourself a coffee every day for a year, so we'll be realistic. Let's say you knock it back to a coffee a week, that still leaves a healthy $1100 in the kitty each year for you to finance your long and short terms goals.

So how far does $1100 get you?

Let's start with the big one – your home loan. Let's say you've got $500,000 home loan, you bought your house 3 years ago and you're making monthly repayments at 5% interest. On average you've got about $91 to add to your home loan repayment each month. If you started putting the money you've saved from your coffee into your offset account or your home loan those numbers start to look mighty impressive. Just that sign in/home-loans/calculators/extra-home-loan-repayments-calculator.aspx">small extra repayment each month saves you a nifty $30,000 in interest and 21 months off your 30 year mortgage.

Of course $1100 a year doesn't have to be kicked into your home loan, there's plenty of uses for your well saved money.

  • Yearly comprehensive car insurance
  • Return flights to an overseas destination
  • The latest iPhone or Android device
  • Salary sacrificing the money into your super.

But what if you can't bring yourself to give up that beloved morning coffee (or the 3:30-itis coffee). Well there are definitely plenty of alternatives for easy penny pinching. Of course you can always look to take advantage of a work coffee machine. For $1000+ a year, finally learning how to operate the complicated contraption can be well worth the trouble.

But don't just look at your morning cup of coffee as the only way to save a few bucks. Little hacks everywhere can help you save money:

  • Adjusting your modes of transport: whether it's cycling or walking to work instead of catching public transport; or catching public transport instead of driving and racking up all of those tolls – if it's something you do every day and could be doing cheaper it's worth investigating.
  • Bringing your lunch instead of eating out – an oldie but a goodie, not only is it nicer on your wallet but you're much more likely to eat healthier too.
  • Going out for breakfast dates instead of dinner: they do say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Not only that but the meals are cheaper and you're less likely to rack up the bill with wine or extra courses.
  • Comparing your service providers and asking for discounts: rule number one, if you don't ask you don't get. Rule number two: ask more than one provider! Comparison websites can help you make sure you're getting the best deals.
  • Get a home loan health check – Mortgage Choice brokers can do fast and free home loan health checks to compare your interest rates, extras and fees against all of our lenders to make sure you're getting the right rate for your current situation.

If you want to find out how to knock a few years of your home loan or you need some help with establishing a budget, your local Mortgage Choice is there to help. Fill in the form on the right, and your closest broker will give you a call back to answer all of your questions.

Posted in: Lifestyle

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