It's no secret that buying a house can be a costly exercise so before getting serious about making the move, it's essential to clean up your finances and become conscious of your spending patterns. We all know how easy it can be to slip into poor habits with money but with the new year fast approaching, there's no better time than now to start making some better financial decisions. To get you going, here are 7 easy tips to help maximise your funds and start saving smarter:
Establish your goals (+ a budget)
Where do you want to be? Establishing some serious financial goals is the only way you'll ever reach them so it's important to be clear about what you want to achieve. After defining this, devise a realistic budget that will help keep you on track with your goals. This can also allow you to see more clearly where you can potentially cut unnecessary costs and inject the savings into your renovations or home deposit.
Review your financial obligations
Although reviewing your financial situation can be a little tedious, it's well worth doing if it can save you money. So, if you've been with the same bank, lender, health care or other insurance provider for a number of years, it can be really advantageous to shop around and see what other deals are now available. How? Jump online and compare/contrast the benefits and pitfalls of different companies, like fewer fees or higher interest, and see just how much you could be saving.
Automate your savings into a high interest account
Ever set yourself a weekly savings goal but either spend too much or simply forget? Saving money when it's just as easy (and twice as tempting) to spend it can be really difficult, so it's important to make the process as effortless as possible. Try setting up a direct debit that automatically comes out at the same time every week. And if you know you'll be tempted to spend it, create an account with a separate bank (and no card) to make accessing the funds as difficult as possible.
Collect your small change
It doesn't seem like much at the time, but collecting your loose change at the end of every day can add up to big dollars in the long run. And never fear, you no longer have to sort your coins and take them to the bank in little bags - there's a machine that automates that now, making saving for your house a breeze.
Cut out unnecessary costs
When you sit down and make a list of everything you spend money on throughout the week, it can be easy to see that small expenses can really add up over time. Things such as take-away, coffee and parking costs may seem insignificant at the time of purchase but can equate to big money over even just 1 year. Also try to be wary of impulse purchasing and remember to take a shopping list every time you go to the supermarket to ensure you get only the things you really need.
Gifted money + lump sums
We all know how tempting it can be to take our tax refunds, end of year bonuses or monetary birthday gifts and blow them on something fun. However, popping these sums all into the savings account can quickly grow your home deposit or savings balance with very little effort.
Find cheap/free activities
The Christmas holidays are great for one thing - spending money. Whilst we all want to go out to experience the silly season and enjoy our time away from work and school, keeping entertained for the entire break can end up costing a fortune. Even a trip to the movies can cost an arm and a leg, but thankfully, there is cheaper way to get entertained. Jump online and search for free events in your area, things like outdoor movies, low cost performances and art exhibitions. You'll be surprised at how much actually goes on at little to no cost to you - making it cheaper than ever to fill in the Christmas blanks.
Motivated to get that new house or renovate the current one? Start now and get there sooner! If you're ready to have a chat with a knowledgeable and reputable mortgage broker, contact George Cremona at Mortgage Choice today.