How to manage a home loan and a young family
2 September 2019
Nappies, childcare, doctors, food, toys - for many young Aussie families, the list of everyday expenses can seem endless. Combine this with home loan repayments often on one income, staying afloat can be a struggle.
However, there are a few ways you can get some financial breathing space by taking control of your home loan repayments and budgeting for the future.
Create a budget
Having a member of the household not working while caring for a young child can be tough. It can seem like there’s no light at the end of the financial tunnel, however, there will probably come a time where both you and your partner can return to work. During this time you can risk falling behind on your home loan given other immediate household expenses. That’s why keeping to your repayments should be a priority.
While creating a budget for a young family to live by can seem overwhelming, cutting the little things out of your daily spending can help you save money in the long run. This could mean renting toys from the toy library rather than taking a trip to the toy store, sacrificing your barista-made morning coffee, or meal prepping for the week ahead rather than taking the family out for dinner.
Change spending habits
Just because you’re budgeting on the small stuff, doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy life’s pleasures. Simply adjusting the way you spend money can be useful in saving. Planning a holiday? Why not explore a ‘house-swap’ with other families, and save on accommodation. Staying in with the kids during winter or summer holidays but afraid to flick on the heater or the air conditioning? Consider shopping around for a cheaper energy plan. Are you and your partner both thinking about going back to work but can’t afford a nanny for school pick-ups? Try to find a ‘nanny share’ with other families in the neighbourhood.
Making minor adjustments like these can help you and your family live comfortably even when you’re paying off a home loan.
Make your mortgage work for you: Offset mode and home loan Cashback
Offset your mortgage
Offset accounts are a great way for you to put a dent in your mortgage by using the balance from a savings account, like your Suncorp Everyday Options Account, to offset the remaining balance of your home loan and pay less interest. By keeping a large balance in your everyday account, this will reduce the interest (how much you’re being charged to borrow) and can help to reduce the time it takes to repay it.
Home loan Cashback
If you’ve made some extra payments to your loan, applying for a home loan Cashback can be a great way to access those extra payments in times of need, like upgrading to a family-sized car or paying for school fees.
It’s important to note that fixed interest rate home loans can’t be used in offset mode and aren’t eligible for a home loan Cashback. However, at Suncorp you can ‘split your loan’, allowing you to get the security of a fixed rate loan and the flexibility of a variable rate loan. The way you split is totally up to you!
Plan ahead with a fixed interest rate loan
For those on a tight budget, switching to a fixed interest loan can give you more clarity on your loan repayments and help you avoid being caught out by fluctuating interest rates. This can help you paint a clearer financial picture for the future and help you to budget for upcoming expenses like extracurricular activities for the kids, Christmas shopping and even putting some money aside for a family holiday or home renovations.
If you’ve had the same home loan for years, it could be a good time to refinance. Explore your options by booking an appointment with one of Suncorp’s experienced Mobile Lenders. They can work with you to help figure out the best solution for your needs – potentially saving you thousands.
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