It may be called the silly season but a few smart strategies could help you enjoy the festive season this year without missing a beat on your home loan. Check out our tips to share the Christmas cheer this year without breaking the bank.
Store shelves are starting to be lined with tinsel, ‘Santa stop here’ signs are popping up around the neighbourhood, and chances are you’re beginning to hum a few bars of Jingle Bells.
Yes, Christmas is just around the corner, and now’s the time to plan for what can be a pricey time of year.
After 13 rate hikes in close succession, plenty of homeowners are feeling the squeeze of higher home loan repayments.
The good news is that you (hopefully) won’t have to cancel Christmas this year. Below are three clever hacks that could help you manage your mortgage over the festive season.
1. Follow Santa’s lead – make a list (or two)
Plan ahead by listing all the fixed expenses you’ll face in December such as utilities, your home loan, car loan, and credit card repayments, as well as less frequent bills such as council rates that may fall due before Christmas.
Add up the total to know how much you need to set aside. It’s a good idea to try and prioritise these bills over seasonal spending.
Next, draft up a Christmas spending budget that allocates money to gifts, food, drinks and decorations.
Finetune your budget based on your ability to pay, bearing in mind the upcoming costs you identified in the bill list.
If things are looking tight this year, consider opting for Secret Santa instead of everyone buying everyone a present.
It can help make the giving experience more personal and is definitely gentler on the hip pocket.
Websites like elfster.com can help keep it anonymous and straightforward for everyone.
2. Plan for how you’ll pay
It can be tempting to pay for Christmas purchases with a credit card or buy now, pay later. But these options can just mean kicking the can down the road until January when payments fall due.
It’s also worth noting that late payments on either option could affect your credit score for any future home loan applications.
So where possible, consider reaching for your debit card for festive purchases. It’s hard to get into too much trouble when you pay using your own money.
3. Ask your lender for a gift
Christmas is the season of giving, so why don’t we hit up your lender for the gift of a lower interest rate?
Reserve Bank data shows there is still a gap between the rates on new versus established loans.
If you took out your loan through us, get in touch and we can either reach out to your lender on your behalf for a discount or, if they don’t come to the party, help you explore your refinancing options with another lender.
Don’t let Christmas spending ruin your home loan plans for 2024
It’s easy to get swept up in seasonal good cheer. But it can sometimes be important not to get too carried away with Christmas spending.
If you plan to refinance your home loan or purchase a house in 2024, a lender will likely look at your spending patterns over the past few months.
Hamming up your purchases in December can bump up your average living costs, and if you go way over the top, potentially see you knocked back for a new loan in the new year.
If you’re keen to get a head start on managing your home loan better in 2024, get in touch with one of our local specialists today. Understanding your options can start with a simple phone, web, or in person discussion.
Check out our guide on home loan refinancing!
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This article is prepared based on general information. It does not take into account individual financial objectives or needs and is not financial product advice.