Stick to a budget
Setting a budget can be the most challenging part of homeownership. The key is setting up an effective budget that gives you enough left over to cover other expenses and enjoy life, which often means regularly adjusting the numbers.
Stashing an additional $100 every month into your mortgage adds up to $1,200 a year, which can reduce the term of your mortgage by a couple of years. And if interest rates do increase, be sure to re-work your budget and find that extra cash to reduce your repayments by the same amount as before.
Selling unused items around the house can add up to thousands over the course of the year, so make the time for regular clear-outs, keeping an eye out for places to sell items like school uniforms that no longer fit, old bikes, tools, books, records or kids toys no longer being used.
If you’ve got a collection of something that could be worth a few bucks, have it valued and consider cashing in and using the income to top up your mortgage. The same applies if you find yourself lucky enough to secure extra income, such as a cash gift for your birthday, a tax rebate or an inheritance.
Switch to solar energy
Making the commitment to switch to solar could save hundreds off your electricity bills, which you can put towards your home loan repayments.
Currently, more than two million Australian homes have made the switch to solar. It’s a more sustainable option because electricity is generated by sunlight. A large system can produce an equal amount of power for household consumption and can be used by all electrical appliances in the home during the day, and store energy in a solar battery for the evening. Any extra power you produce, in some cases, can be sold back to the grid, further increasing your savings.
Install costs depend on the size of your house, but basic systems cost from $2,000 after all the rebates, while the high specification systems are around $5,000 to $7,000 installed. Bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to solar systems, so speak to an experienced solar provider and settle on the right system for your current and future energy needs.
Learn more about the benefits of solar here.