Take a look at our six money-saving resolutions for first home owners. They can bring real prosperity to your New Year.
If you’re kick-starting 2018 as a first home owner, it’s especially important to make your money work harder. So, as the silly season approaches it’s time to get serious about New Year resolutions.
We offer six smart goals for your home and your money, with hints to help you stick with them.
1. Pay your mortgage down sooner
Debt reduction was the most common New Year resolution for Australians in 2017, shared by one in three of us. And now that you’re learning to live with a home loan, it’s worth embracing ways to get ahead with your mortgage.
Making extra repayments can help you pay down your loan sooner, with the potential to save plenty in overall interest charges. If you don’t have much cash to spare, don’t stress – simply embrace the power of one.
The humble dollar can carry a lot of clout, and paying just one extra dollar each day into your home loan can make a valuable difference. On a loan of $300,000 for instance with a rate of 3.79%, paying $1 more off the loan each day can see you save up to $5,839 in long term interest and be mortgage-free around nine months sooner. Check out how much you could save with Aussie’s Extra Repayments Calculator.
2. Develop a savings plan
Aiming to grow savings is a common New Year resolution, and last year Australians pledged to increase their savings by $182 per week. That’s a solid target especially if you’re paying off your first home, but unfortunately, growing savings is also one of the resolutions most likely to fall by the wayside.
But there is a way to tick “build savings” off your bucket list for 2018. The solution is to make it easy by making it automatic.
Check out your budget to see what you can comfortably tuck away each pay day. Then set up an automatic funds transfer out of your everyday account and into a separate savings account or into your mortgage offset or redraw account (if OK’d by your tax accountant or financial adviser). This way your savings get top priority. Too easy.
3. Get a better deal on your bills
Don’t sit on auto-pilot when it comes to bills for utilities, phone and insurance. Instead, make a pledge to get a better deal.
Research shows four out of 10 Australians don’t question expensive bills – only 11% of us would jump online to compare prices and save money. But that’s exactly what it can take to trim major expenses.
Set a goal to review bills – check that the charges are correct, and be prepared to switch to a different provider if it could put cash back in your wallet.
4. Reduce your power bills
Energy costs are rising, and consumer group Choice says electricity and gas prices could rise by up to $400 this year. That makes it worth looking at ways to shrink your power bill, and your home’s eco-footprint. Small changes can have a big impact.
According to the Department of the Environment and Energy, running a second fridge chews through power – give the spare fridge the flick to slash about $172 from your annual power bill. Turn off gaming consoles when you’re not using them and save around $193 on electricity each year. And by giving the clothes dryer a miss just one day a week you can save close to $80 annually. Sure, your power provider will feel the pinch but that’s not your problem.
5. Enjoy fine-dining at home
Here’s a money-saving tip to really sink your teeth into. Make a resolution to eat in more, and eat out less. The savings can be impressive.
Industry figures show Australians spend an average of $94 each week on dining out. That can add up to almost $5,000 annually (not to mention the potential impact on your waistline!).
Set a goal to beef up your bank balance by enjoying dinner dates at home. After all, you have a wonderful first home to share with friends and family. If you want to splurge occasionally, head to BYO venues to trim the alcohol tab or try early bird specials that you let save by dining outside of peak times.
6. Become a home maintenance handyman
Just as a regular service keeps your car running smoothly, taking a planned approach to home maintenance can keep your place in great shape, and prevent small repair bills blowing out to major expenses later on.
It can seem overwhelming to add up all the tasks involved in home maintenance especially if you’re a first home owner. So break things down into weekly, monthly and seasonal chores. Or try one of the home maintenance apps like HomeSavvy or BrightNest to stay on top of it all.
Try one, or all, of our resolutions to give your finances a great head start for the New Year. And talk to your local Aussie Broker for more tips to forge ahead with your first home loan in 2018.
This article was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.
You may also be interested in Pay off your home loan sooner, Voluntary payments – The value of extra mortgage repayments and How to train yourself to be a better saver.