For many of us, a mortgage is something that stays around for the better part of our adult lives. Not so for Heidi Farrelly and her family.
Farrelly grew up in New Zealand, in what she describes as a poor household that struggled to makes ends meet.
But she can only smile when recalling her childhood.
“My mum was a legend at making money stretch – pasta dinners, adding beans to mince. It helped me grow up with an appreciation of money,” she says.
Farrelly now lives with her husband Clinton and daughter Molly in Sydney’s south, working as a writer and a nanny.
She’s documented how she managed to pay off the mortgage on her $400,000+ house in her book “Mortgage Free: How to pay off your mortgage in under 10 years”.
Below she’s given us her five top tips.
Tip 1: Increase the frequency of your payments
Farrelly says that if you change your repayments from monthly to weekly or fortnightly, you end up paying slightly more over the course of a year.
That, in turn, means you’ll pay less interest over the course of your loan – saving you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Tip 2: Set a budget
If you don’t know where your money is going, you’ll struggle to identify where you can be saving, says Farrelly.
The best way to stop any wasted spending is to track your money over a few months and see where the leaks are. Once you have a budget, it’ll be much easier to set repayment goals, and stick to them.
Tip 3: Quit eating out
Once you’ve set up a budget, you may quickly realise that a large portion of your disposable income goes to eating out, coffees, takeaway, or nights at the pub.
If you cut back, you’ll find you have literally hundreds leftover at the end of each month to put towards your mortgage.
Tip 4: Check your bank statements
Most people don’t realise how much money is taken from their bank accounts each month, without them even lifting a finger!
Farrelly says that it pays to check for any direct debits you no longer need, as well as bank fees you weren’t aware off, and redirect that cash to your mortgage.
Tip 5: Have fun the old-fashioned way
Farrelly says it’s still possible have a fun and active social life while you’re saving – you just need to get creative! Take the family camping, have friends over for coffee, watch DVDs or play board games.
“There’s some amazing places you can camp, all within a stone’s throw of where anyone in Australia lives. It’s not super hard to have an amazing life without spending money,” she adds.
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