fbpx

1st street Blog

How to save money - 03/06/2019

Saving money doesn’t just happen, but these steps could help you to reach your saving goals sooner.

How Australians save

Research has found that almost three quarters of Australians surveyed save by putting spare money into a savings account, whether they do this themselves or via an automatic transfer. Other popular savings methods include keeping savings money in an account they can’t touch, building up extra savings in their transaction account or depositing savings into their home loan offset account.i

But everyone is different and just as your strategy for how to save money might be different to these, so might your savings goals.

What are you saving for?

Recent research indicates that the most popular things Australians are saving for are a holiday, a rainy day, and to buy or renovate a home.i

Whether it’s one of those, or something else, the first step in saving is to figure out what your savings goal is. Then you’ll need to work out how much you’d like to save, and by when.

Money saving tips

Once you know your goals and timelines you need to work out where the money will come from. For some people, this might be the entire surplus between their pay and what they spend each month.

If you’re spending every cent that comes in, you’ll need to identify extra income you might be able to earn or think about cutting back spending to free up money for your savings goals. The following tips could help:

1. Create and track your budget

Creating a budget can help you track expenses you can avoid or reduce, such as expenditure on non-essentials like pay tv, gym memberships, buying your lunch at work, entertainment and eating out. Cutting back a little on expenses could make a difference.

2. Review your providers

Unfortunately, bills are a part of life, but it’s possible you may not be getting the best deals available in the market, especially if it’s been a while since you last contacted your providers. You can contact them directly or make use of the many product and service comparison sites available online

3. Think green and cut wastage

If you find you’re throwing out food at the end of every week, you might be able to reduce your grocery spending. Instead of replacing household goods consider whether items can be repaired, reused or upcycled.

4. Consolidate debts

Having multiple debts such as credit cards, personal loans and a home loan could mean you’re paying more in interest rates and fees than you have to. Not only could combining your debts help make money management easier, it could save you money.

Savings tools

Once you’ve identified your savings goals and found some money to save you’ll need to work out the best method of saving for you.

When looking for a suitable savings product you’ll need to consider many things, including the fees charged, interest rate, how accessible your money is, whether you can set up an automatic direct debit, and whether there’s a minimum amount you need to deposit each month.

We look at some of the key features of common saving product options below.

Savings accounts

Standard savings accounts are usually low fee, and your money is readily available, but they can pay a lower rate of interest. High interest savings accounts offer you the opportunity to earn a higher rate of interest on your money but there may be penalties for withdrawing your money before a set period of time has passed or ongoing minimum deposit requirements.

Offset accounts

An offset account can help you save money by minimising the interest you pay on your home loan. Putting any extra money you have into your offset account can help accumulate savings and also offset your home loan balance. This means you only pay interest on the remaining portion of your loan.

Term deposits

Term deposits lock your money away for a certain timeframe in return for a guaranteed interest rate return during that time. A general rule of thumb is the longer the timeframe, the higher the interest rate. Term deposits are generally low in fees, typically require a minimum initial deposit, and can sometimes require a minimum ongoing deposit.

Investment bonds

Investment bonds can offer a tax-effective way of saving for the long term (longer than 10 years). They typically require either a minimum deposit or minimum ongoing deposits, and you can choose how your money is invested.

We can help you get started on saving. Give 1st Street a call.

i ASIC Moneysmart, How Australian’s save money.

© AMP Life Limited.
First published November 2018

What kind of money parent are you? - 03/06/2019

Many parents approach the topic of money differently, but could your way of doing things influence your kids’ success?

The majority of Aussie mums and dads recognise that they’re accountable when it comes to shaping their children’s perspective around money matters.

A recent report published by the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA), revealed parents listed themselves (95%), followed by grandparents (63%) and teachers or coaches (59%) as the top three biggest influencers when it came to instilling money values in their kids.i

What money conversations are parents having?

As part of the research, parents said they mainly concentrated on day-to-day issues when talking money with their children, admitting that more contemporary issues, such as making transactions digitally, were sometimes overlooked.i

What parents said they discussed:i

  • 52% – how to spend and save
  • 43% – how to earn money
  • 32% – how household budgeting works
  • 24% – how much people earn
  • 19% – making online purchases
  • 13% – in-game app purchase
  • 5% – buy now, pay later services, such as Afterpay.

What approach do you take with your kids?

The research undertaken indicated that there were four prominent personalities parents assumed when discussing money with their children, with some parents initiating conversations more frequently, while others were sometimes a little more hesitant.i

The four distinct personalities that came out of the research included:i

THE ENGAGING PARENT

Common traits:

  • You have the most conversations around money with your kids and feel comfortable doing so
  • You tend to have a higher household income
  • You’re more likely to use money to encourage good behaviour in your children
  • Due to high engagement, your kids are often more financially prepared than other kids
  • Your kids have a greater interest in learning about all types of money matters.

The side-stepping parent

Common traits:

  • You are less comfortable talking to your kids about money so have fewer conversations
  • You may have less money coming in as a household
  • You’re less transparent about what you earn and money matters in general
  • You tend to provide the least amount of pocket money and as a result your children may be less interested in learning about money and how to make transactions.

The relaxed parent

Common traits:

  • You’re comfortable talking to your kids about money but don’t do so too often
  • You take a relaxed approach to money matters and are transparent about money issues
  • There is little financial stress in your home
  • Your relaxed nature may lead to your children missing out on opportunities to learn about money, which means your kids may need to explore money matters on their own.

The do-it-anyway parent

Common traits:

  • You’re not always comfortable talking about money but still have frequent conversations
  • You’re mainly concerned your child will worry about money if you talk about it
  • Despite your discomfort, your perseverance generally pays off
  • Your teenage children are more likely to have a job than the average child.

What approach is best according to the research?

Engaging parents were more likely to report that their children were more curious, confident, and financially literate than they were at their age.i

According to parents who fell into this category, their children were the most equipped to understand and transact in today’s digital world and their teenagers were the most likely to have a job and make online purchases for themselves or their family.i

In addition, the research found children with a paid job outside of the family home were more financially prepared to engage with money.i

They were also used to transacting digitally and showed greater interest in learning about paying taxes and superannuation than those who didn’t have a job.i

If you need help to manage your money more confidently so you can pass on good habits to your kids, give 1st Street a call.

i Financial Planning Association of Australia: Share the Dream – Research into raising the invisible-money generation 2018 page 6,

© AMP Life Limited.
First published February 2019

 

Take control of your finances now for the new financial year - 03/06/2019

6 ways to reduce credit card debt once and for all - 08/03/2019

Here are some tips to start paying off your debt

$45 billion. That’s how much Australians owe on their credit cards.i

Now, perhaps that’s no drama if we’re not paying too much to access credit and we’re managing to avoid interest charges by paying back what we owe on time.

But we paid a collective $1.5 billion in fees in 2016-17.i And we’re taking out new credit cards at an increasing rate. Two in five Australians are juggling more than one credit cardiand 300,000 new credit cards accounts were opened over the five years to 2017, bringing the total number of cards in Australia to a staggering 14 millionii.

So given all this it’s not surprising that almost one in five of us are struggling with credit card debt.iii 

 

Getting to grips with your existing debt…

If you’ve realised you might have a problem with your credit card debt, it’s time to take back control. Sit down, take a deep breath and work out a step-by-step plan.

  • Stop all but essential spending on your credit card. Try and get by without your credit card and use cash wherever possible while you work on your plan. You could even set yourself a challenge not to spend any money for a week!
  • It sounds basic, but start by listing how many cards you have and what you’re paying for them in interest.
  • If you have more than one card, start chipping away at the low-hanging fruit. Consider paying the card with the highest interest rate off first or if the rates are similar, work on clearing the smallest debt.
  • If you can’t pay a card off in full, see if you can pay more than the minimum each month to reduce your balance more quickly and save on interest. It could be worth setting up a direct debit on your payday to pay a fixed amount.
  • Once you’ve paid off a card, close the account and work towards having a single card to help make your finances easier to manage.
  • If you feel that your interest rate is too high, you could consider transferring any remaining balance to a card with a lower interest rate or rolling the debt into an existing personal loan or mortgage, these tend to have lower interest and fees. Many providers offer great rates to consolidate, but make sure you pay the card off during any honeymoon period with the new provider so that you don’t start accruing interest. Check the fine print—what interest rate will you pay after any promotional period ends? You don’t want to just kick the can down the road.
  • If all else fails, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your credit provider. There may be a way you can work out a spending plan that takes into account your financial circumstances.

 

…make sure you don’t build up more credit card debt…

Congratulations. You’ve consolidated your debt, set up a direct debit, closed a few cards and set yourself well on the way to pay off any remaining debt.

But how do you make sure you don’t fall into the same credit trap again? It’s all about developing more healthy financial habits.

  • Reduce your credit card limit to take temptation off the table.
  • Try not to use credit to pay for the basics like food, groceries and utility bills. See if there are any ways you could adjust your household budget or make savings elsewhere so you’re only using credit as a last resort.
  • Avoid cash advances because they may attract higher interest rates.
  • Be wary of store cards and any fees you’ll pay – they are just another form of credit card.
  • Keep track of your spending

 

…and take advantage of credit card reforms

The good news is that the Government is introducing reforms on 1 January 2019 to help Australians manage their credit card debt.

  • You can cancel your card or lower your limit online for all new accounts.
  • You won’t be charged any back-dated interest.
  • And you’ll be assessed on your capacity to repay your debt when you ask for an increase.iv 

 

Once the credit card’s sorted, it could be time to move on to any other debts you might have. Come and speak to us about taking control of your overall debt.

i Australian Securities & Investments Commission, REP 580 Credit card lending in Australia, July 2018, The credit card market in Australia, section 81, pg. 17, https://asic.gov.au/regulatory-resources/find-a-document/reports/rep-580-credit-card-lending-in-australia/

ii Australian Securities & Investments Commission, REP 580 Credit card lending in Australia, July 2018, Snapshot of the market, 2012-17, section 92, pg. 20, https://asic.gov.au/regulatory-resources/find-a-document/reports/rep-580-credit-card-lending-in-australia/

iii Australian Securities & Investments Commission, REP 580 Credit card lending in Australia, July 2018, section 99, pg. 24, https://asic.gov.au/regulatory-resources/find-a-document/reports/rep-580-credit-card-lending-in-australia/

iv National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Credit Cards) Regulations 2018, Schedule 1 – Amendments, https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00504/Explanatory%20Statement/Text

© AMP Life Limited.
First published December 2018

 

Fussy buyers snub houses that don’t present well - 08/03/2019

If presentation isn’t on point, many buyers keep looking, which is an important point to remember for those wanting to sell in the current market.

When property prices boomed, buyers would look past the 1970s bathroom and the untidy garden, but with prices coming down, those looking to sell need to go the extra mile if they are to maximise the sale price.

As prices move down and buyers become more fussy, real estate agents and buyers’ advocates say vendors risk not getting the price they want by not putting in the effort to present their property well. Scrimping on fixing-up the front fence or giving the property a lick of paint can mean the property is passed by.

“Buyers are very fussy at the moment. I’ve seen buyers not want to buy a property over the smallest things like a feature wall that you could paint over a weekend,” says Peggy Willcox, the founder of Mooney Real Estate in Penrith in Sydney’s west.

Bradley Willmott, the founder of Pursuit Property Advisory in South Melbourne, says the market has changed.

Willmott, who represents both vendors and buyers, but never on the same property, says: “If a [property] is not spot-on, buyers will keep looking because there are more out there.”

 

Looking for something bigger

Nolan Singh, 36, a finance director and his wife Mandy Singh, 37, who works in human resources are selling their four-bedroom house in Jordan Springs, north of Penrith in Sydney’s west by private treaty, through Mooney Real Estate in Penrith.

They are looking to buy a larger house in the same area, not only because of their growing family of three boys – Tristan, 13, Ethan, 11, Jaiden, 9, but because the family hosts a lot of visitors from overseas.

“The house is big enough, but we would like to have something even bigger and we would like to have a swimming pool,” Nolan Singh says.

The house is only a few years old and the couple has not had to do that much to prepare it for sale. Singh repaired the post box, re-stained the deck, cut the grass and hedges and fertilised the lawn.

The couple took the opportunity to throw away things they didn’t need to declutter the main rooms, such as lounge room, and store everything else into the garage.

 

Spruce-up to get an edge in “lumpy” market

Christine Roughead, who is semi-retired and works in human services policy, is selling her terrace in Richmond in inner Melbourne where she has lived in for 27 years.

“I bought it as an unrenovated terrace and had it renovated in 2000,” she says.

“The kitchen and bathroom are in really good shape; I had to update the appliances within the last 18 months anyway with a new oven and dishwasher.” She describes the property market as “lumpy”.

Roughhead is selling her house by private treaty. “It could take longer to sell or it could be quicker,” she says. Roughhead is working with vendors’ advocate Bradley Willmott who gave her some tips on how to present the house, which is being sold by agency Whitefox.

“I have only had to make some cosmetic changes like having the inside and outside painted,” she says.

Roughhead is moving to another terrace in inner Melbourne with a little bit more land as she intends to spend more time in the garden as she transitions to full retirement.

Willmott says it is important to make the house appeal to as broad a market as possible. Almost every house needs a coat of paint on the inside and outside, he says.

“[Inside] it’s important for colours to be neutral so that potential buyers can more easily imagine putting their stamp on the property with their own furnishings,” he says. The focus should be on decluttering of the key interior spaces, like the living room, he says.

Alan Yeung, a property consultant at Location Property Group in Sydney’s St Leonards, says making a house feel like a home is very important. “This might include having some bread toasting or coffee brewing when potential buyers come to view a property.”

If you are considering selling your property, give us a call to see how it could impact your finances.

– by John Collett

This article was originally published by The Sydney Morning Herald on 13 October 2018. It represents the views of the author only and does not necessarily reflect the views of AMP.

 

10 money conversations to have when your relationship heats up - 08/03/2019

It’s probably not the sexiest thing the two of you have on the to-do list but putting off talking about your financial expectations could see you butting heads.

If you have been together for a while or are edging on making a big financial decision together, having the money talk could make a big difference to whether you go the distance.

Here is a list of things worth discussing with your partner before you consider merging your money, moving in together, or buying any big-ticket items in both your names.

 

1. Your views on cash management

Talk to your partner about your views around spending and saving. Kicking off with a light-hearted conversation, without judgement, can often be a good place to start for couples. You might want to share some examples of past experiences that may have influenced your current views and behaviours.

 

2. Sneaky spending habits if you have any

About three in 10 Aussies hide transactions from their other half so with that in mind, now may be a good time to be forthcoming about common transactions you may not have been honest about in the past.i

 

3. Your income, expenses, assets and debts

Your financial situation is an important one to talk about even if you’re both earning a decent income (or have some assets behind you). Big expenses and potentially thousands of dollars of debt between you may impact any plans you have in the short and longer term.

 

4. Whether you’ve been paying your bills on time

If you’ve got any credit to your name, it’s more than likely a credit reporting agency out there has a credit report on you. This summarises how good you’ve been at paying your bills and making your repayments on time. If you have a chequered history, this could affect your ability to borrow money. To check yours, consider requesting a copy from one of the reporting agencies.

 

5. What’s on your bucket list now and down the track

If one of you has plans to travel, buy property, get married or have children and the other doesn’t, this could raise issues or perhaps opportunities for further discussion and compromise.

 

6. What a joint budget and savings plan might look like to you

Committing to something that you both think is fair could go a really long way here. If you’re not sure where to start, a good first step might be drawing up what money is coming in, what money is needed for the mandatory stuff and what may be left over for your social life and savings.

 

7. Your job security and whether you see a change on the cards

If you’re on the verge of quitting your job or are aware of redundancies happening at work, this is probably worth flagging with your partner as well. Speaking up so the other isn’t caught off guard could make a big difference to the holiday, wedding or new-car plan that you’re working on as a team.

 

8. Your contingency plan if one of you isn’t earning an income

One in five Australians doesn’t have enough money set aside to cover a $500 emergency, so it’s probably worth talking about whether either of you have an emergency stash of cash, personal insurance, or anything that may help you get by through a tough period.ii If you don’t have a plan b, now might be the time to talk about how you might be able to create one together.

 

9. How you’ll divide costs and or repayments

You may decide to tackle this 50/50 or proportionate to each other’s income. That is something you’ll want to nut out before you take on a big financial commitment together.

 

10. The potential risks that may arise if you merge your money

If your partner defaults on a repayment, you may be liable for the amount owing, even if your relationship ends. On top of that, ignorance isn’t an excuse, so if you sign papers you don’t understand, you’re no less liable for any loans or guarantees you may have signed off on. With that in mind, it’s important both of you understand your responsibilities and consider whether you want to put anything you might agree to in writing.

 

Coupling up your finances is a big step, give us a call and we’ll help guide you through it.

i https://www.finder.com.au/press-release-jun-2017- one-in-three-aussies-spend-secretly

ii https://www.finder.com.au/press-release-may-2016- rainy-day-savings

© AMP Life Limited.
First published January 2019

 

Does it pay to plan ahead when you travel? - 04/12/2018

You may be keen to go wherever the wind takes you, or you might be a plan-to-the-hour type of traveller. There are benefits to both styles.

Travellers often fall into two categories—the planned and the unplanned—and more than likely, you already know which of the two camps you belong to, or if you sit somewhere in between.

Whatever your preference, we look at some of the pros and cons of both approaches, which may provide some food for thought before you embark on your next journey.

Why it’s great not having a schedule

Travelling without a set timetable is often something that’s associated with youth. For example, as a young backpacker, you probably have less commitments and more time to explore.

As people get older, uncharted travel may seem a little less realistic. Although, with many Australians likely to spend 20 years or more in retirement, life after work could be a great time to have a little less structure when it comes to your next trip.

Here are some of the benefits of travelling with fewer plans.

  • You’ve got access to last-minute deals
  • There’s an element of surprise
  • You have more time to explore

When planning can have its benefits

It might be more your style to have every day, every meal and every event mapped out in advance, or it might just be a necessity to accommodate things like limited time, limited money, work, kids, or all of the above!

So, how does it pay to plan ahead?

  • You time it right
  • You make savings
  • Transport is available
  • Events are sorted

Things you should do either way

Of course all travel requires a minimum amount of planning—you’ve got to buy a ticket if you’re going overseas right? With that in mind, always consider the following before you travel:

  • Paperwork – check your paperwork is sorted, including that your visas and passport are valid. Keep in mind, some countries may refuse you entry if you have less than six months’ validity on your passport, beyond the period of your intended stay.i
  • Insurance – if something happens before you head off, or you lose something, are injured or sick along the way, you’ll be glad to have the right travel insurance organised before you go. With nearly one in four Aussie travellers experiencing a loss on their most recent overseas trip (that’d be covered by most travel insurance policies) it may provide peace of mind.ii
  • Money – knowing you have enough money for the trip and that it’s accessible is also worthwhile, as well as ensuring you have a little extra set aside in case of an emergency.
  • Your health – make sure you get the necessary vaccinations for where you’re going. Remember, some countries (in places such as Africa, South America, and Asia) also require proof of vaccination against some diseases as a condition of entry.iii
  • Your safety – take note of what’s happening around the world on the government’s Smart Traveller website. And, ensure you’re across the customs and laws of the places that you intend on visiting.

What else you may want to consider

There are pros and cons to different planning approaches, but ultimately it’ll come down to what suits you, your circumstances and commitments, and what you feel most comfortable with.

The main thing to ensure is you’re covered if things take an unexpected turn, and that regardless of your timetable (or lack thereof), that you have fun along the way. After all, that’s what holidays are all about!

i Australian Passport Office – Passport validity and foreign visas paragraph 2

ii Survey of Australians’ Travel Insurance Behaviour 2016 page 9

iii Smart Traveller – Health Checks and Vaccinations 8, 12

Here’s how to lead a happier life - 04/12/2018

From our beaches and outdoor lifestyle to our democracy and cultural diversity, there a lot to feel happy about in Australia.

However, living a happy life doesn’t always come easy. Concerns about money, relationships and the future can often stand in the way of living the life you want. The good news is there are ways to take charge of your happiness.

Measuring happiness

It may sound simple – but what is happiness? How do we quantify happiness?

The World Happiness Report, published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, uses six key variables to determine a country’s happiness levels:

1. Income

2. Healthy life expectancy

3. Social support
(having someone to count on in times of trouble)

4. Generosity

5. Freedom

6. Trust
(measured by the absence of corruption in business and government).

Countries that rank highly in these six areas tend to have ‘happier’ populations, with individual’s reporting higher life satisfaction.i

Australia ranked highly in the World Happiness Report 2017, coming in equal ninth place with Sweden.i Norway was first, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland and the Netherlands.

Canada and New Zealand were just ahead of Australia, in seventh and eighth place, respectively. The US fell to 14th in 2016 (from third in 2007) due to reduced social support and increased corruption.i

So, as a country we’re doing well – but what about happiness on a personal level?

Achieving happiness each day doesn’t need to be an elusive goal. By building a sense of purpose, strong personal relationships and financial control, you could be well on your way to maximising your happiness.

A sense of purpose

Off the south coast of Japan lies Okinawa, an archipelago that boasts some of the longest living people in the world.ii Along with various other lifestyle factors, their pursuit of other goals lead to a sense of wellbeing and give more meaning to life.

Okinawans have a strong sense of purpose – what they call their ‘ikigai’.ii An ikigai is what drives you to get out of bed every day, your reason for being. It could be sharing your knowledge and skills with others, looking after your family, cooking delicious food, playing a sport or musical instrument, or advocating for others.

Finding an ikigai, whatever it might be, and trying to live it each day could increase your happiness.iii Ask yourself, what is my passion? How do I find meaning in life? When do I feel most at peace or energised?

Strong personal relationships

Enjoying close relationships with caring, supportive people is a key ingredient of wellbeing.iv Having someone by your side to share your thoughts, dreams and fears with, and who makes you feel loved and valued, can help you overcome the obstacles life throws your way. But where to start?

Think about who you reach out to – or have reached out to in the past – to connect and share with. Keep in touch with these people, and put in the effort to rekindle any relationships you’ve been too busy for lately.

Join a group or club. From book clubs to sports teams, bushwalking groups to community advocacy organisations, joining a team that shares your passions is a great way to form a deep connection with someone – and even live your ikigai at the same time!

Financial control

Financial stress affects nearly one in three people in Australia, according to new research from Core Data, commissioned by Australian start-up Financial Mindfulness.v

Importantly, Core Data’s research showed that experiences of financial stress was not confined to low-income households but felt more widely across different salary brackets.vThese experiences of financial stress could include being unable to pay bills on time, afford a meal with friends or holiday, or raise sufficient funds in time for something important, among others.vi

So, perhaps minimising financial stress isn’t only about how much money you have – but how well you manage it.

While the idea of reviewing your finances and setting up a budget may provoke feelings of gloom, it could be an effective way to reduce your financial stress and increase your happiness.

If you need further assistance, we are here to offer guidance to help you to achieve your financial and life goals.

Reach out

Remember, it’s not possible to be happy all the time. Many other factors play a huge role in our happiness. If things are getting you down, support is available. Contact beyondblue or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

By finding your purpose in life, forming strong connections with others and achieving a sense of control over your finances, you can hopefully take charge of creating and maintaining your own happiness. And remember, you’re already off to a good start simply by living in Australia.

i United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (2017), World Happiness Report 2017

ii National Geographic, Blue Zones, Okinawa, Japan

iii World Economic Forum, 9 Lessons from the world’s Blue Zones on living a long, healthy life

iv Australian Psychological Society (2016), APS Compass for Life Wellbeing Survey

v Financial Mindfulness, Personal financial stress devastating Australian lives

vi Australian Bureau of Statistics, 6560.0 Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2015-2016

7 Money personalities you may identify with or want to avoid.. - 04/12/2018

Are you the friend that shouts more than what you can afford, or the one that’s happy with a handout because no one knows struggle street like you do?

When it comes to money and people’s behaviour, you may have a few labels or preferred ways of describing those nearest and dearest to you – and surprise surprise, they may do for you too.

I mean, how many times have you heard someone say so-and-so is stingy, or a show pony, or was born with a silver spoon in their mouth, or on the flip side, too generous for their own good?

If it’s something you’ve been thinking about, we’ve listed some common money personalities that may shed some light on where change, or consistency, may be of benefit to you.

Which personality type are you?

1. The scrooge

Generosity is not your strong suit and whether or not there’s a reason for it, you don’t like giving and you don’t like spending, unless maybe it’s on someone else’s credit card.

You might be under the assumption you’re doing it tougher than everyone else (whether that’s true or not) and may tend to favour people in your life who are financially beneficial to you, even if you’re a financial burden on them.

2. The gambler

You spend more than what you can afford and then spend the rest of the time trying to make ends meet. Whether it’s on the races, high-risk investments, designer labels or anything that drains you of cash, you tend to operate under a cloud of secrecy.

These behaviours can often be damaging to you and those around you due to a lack of financial security. If you do need assistance, the Gambling Helpline is available on 1800 858 858.

3. The show pony

You buy only the best clothes, phones, accessories and even things you’ll never use as a status symbol. You host parties on your credit card and generally prioritise possessions over all else.

You’re more than likely racking up some debt in order to keep up with the Joneses, while you probably know a lot of scrooges who are more than happy to take whatever it is you’re willing to give.

4. The spoiled

You’re happy to sit back and relax as you’ve got your parents, a partner or an income coming from somewhere that ensures you’re able to live the lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to.

The situation however is probably stunting your ambition to do things for yourself, which may create issues down the track should no one be there to do it for you.

5. The enabler

You’re probably quite sensible when it comes to spending. You may even have quite a lot of cash stashed away which you’ve cautiously saved over the years. Your downfall however is associating with those who are often spoiled or scrooges – those who function on the back of your hard work.

You give them money and you even loan them money that you know they’ll never pay back. They resist being money smart because they know you’ll always have their back. And, despite the fact you may think you’re helping, you’re more than likely hindering their ability to help themselves.

6. The mentor

You’re often seen as the sensible one and your success generally comes down to hard work and not necessarily the biggest pay cheque.

You’ve always had a budget in place to ensure you live within your means. You pay your bills on time. You save for the future. You compare your providers every 12 months. And, you’ve even got a little left over to put toward the fun stuff.

7. The free spirit

You probably identify with a number of money personalities to a degree. Some days you’re a scrooge because you have to be, sometimes you’re a show pony when you’ve got cash to blow, and sometimes you lend money to people you shouldn’t.

You know you have the potential to be a mentor but you’re a bit of a procrastinator and not a massive fan of hard work. However, you’ve often wondered what financial success you could have if you did spend an afternoon sorting out your finances and mapping out things to do on your bucket list.

Need a hand with your money matters?

Knowing which personality or personalities you resonate with when it comes to money could help you to make better decisions around the way you spend and save, and potentially work with others.

How can I own my home sooner - 06/11/2018

It doesn’t have to be the stuff of dreams. There are several 1st Street approved strategies that could help you pay off your home loan sooner. And it doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing the things you love doing today. 

The first step towards paying off your home sooner is to understand your loan—how much you owe, how much you are paying and what other financial commitments you have. 

Once you know where you stand you can start getting smarter with your loan. 

Consolidate your financial commitments

Over time, it’s easy to build up small loans here and there. Individually, they may not seem like a lot but it could mean you’re paying higher interest rates and lots of extra fees, which could keep you in debt longer and really impact your lifestyle today. 

By bundling all your financial commitments into one loan you can get a clearer picture of what you owe and potentially save money too. 

Make fortnightly repayments

If you can afford it (and you’re not doing it already), consider changing your home loan repayments from monthly to fortnightly. This can make a really big difference to your loan.

Of course, by changing your repayment frequency you may need to be more mindful when it comes to managing your money. 

One way of doing this is to align your pay dates and repayment cycle. Even though it may take time to adjust, you could keep thousands of dollars in your pocket that you would have otherwise paid in interest. 

Use an offset account

An offset account is a simple tool that can potentially help you save thousands over the lifetime of your home loan. 

Own your home sooner and still enjoy the things you love

If owning your home sooner and maintaining your lifestyle are both important priorities to you, consider speaking to your financial planner today. 

Based on your goals, and personal situation, we will be able to create a personalised plan that’s right for you. 

With expert advice from 1st Street Financial, you’ll be on track to owning your home sooner while still enjoying the things you love today.