For most of us, a home loan is a long-term arrangement. Being comfortable with managing your loan helps you get the best out of your home.
It's a good idea to check in with how you’re managing your home loan, and if there are any changes you can make that will make a positive impact.
Bill smoothing is the practice of breaking down large household bills into smaller, more frequent payments. Utilities such as electricity, gas and water providers may send you a bill four times a year. These bills can amount to substantial payments– bill smoothing can make these payments easier to cover.
Most utilities are happy to organise different payment arrangements for you, generally through using direct debit. If you have the option to pay monthly or fortnightly, it can be helpful to time your bill payments with your pay cycle.
Bucketing can be a smart way to manage your money. It’s the act of setting up multiple bank accounts called ‘buckets’ and using each one for a specific purpose such as bills, savings or entertainment.
You can set up a direct debit for each of these buckets so that each payday some of your money is allocated to each fund. This can be helpful for managing household bills. If you calculate on average how much your utility bills cost per year, divide that number by 12 or 26, depending on whether you want to pay into your bucket monthly or fortnightly. This method can help you avoid bill shock when a larger utility bill comes your way.
Reviewing your bills to check if the cost is as expected can help you become more conscious of how you are using energy and even your water. Water Corporation has some helpful tips on how to save water in your home. You can make a big difference by making sure you don’t have any leaks in your home. Synergy also have some great tips on how to reduce your energy bills.
Home ownership is a journey. It might be beneficial to make a three to five-year plan for your home loan, whether you’re just starting out of if you’re considering refinancing your loan. Take some time to consider your future.
At Keystart we want you to succeed. If you feel like you need some help – reach out to us as soon as possible.
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This post is general information only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the information is suitable for you and your personal circumstances. Keystart recommends that you seek your own independent financial advice prior to making any decisions about your financial needs. Any examples given in this post are provided for illustrative purposes.
Find your financial feet with our Financial Wellbeing Guide to Interest Rates. We've compiled some useful tips and resources on interest rates and your home loan. Read the next steps below - or head back to the guide.
Like many big decisions in life, your home loan finance needs a wellbeing check-in every now and then. You might find it helpful to track how your home loan is going – and to make a plan for the next five to ten years.
Interest rates vary a lot between lenders, and between different home loan products. It's important to do some research so you can weigh up your options carefully.