Ring in a happy new (financial) year!


Did you know dedicating your tax return to your mortgage could save you thousands of dollars?

With the end of the financial year near at hand, it’s time to think about how you plan to spend your tax refund for 2012/2013.

When you start thinking about ways to get rid of those dollars from the ATO, new clothes or a new laptop obviously sound very appealing. But if you really want to get the most out of your tax refund, it pays to look a little closer to home – literally.

Putting your refund towards your mortgage may not sound very exciting, but it could save you thousands of dollars in the long term, as well as bring you one step closer to owning your own home outright.

If you’re still not convinced, you might be surprised by how much you can actually save!

Small steps, big savings
When you take out a home loan, you will have to pay interest on the total amount borrowed or the total value of the loan. How much interest you pay over the life of the loan will ultimately depend on the size of the loan, as well as the interest rate.

While I’m sure this is hardly surprising, what may shock you is exactly how much this interest adds up to over a period of 25 years.

For instance, a borrower who takes on a home loan of $300,000, with a standard variable interest rate of 6.15 per cent, will pay $288,151 in interest over the life of the loan – that’s nearly as much as the principal sum itself!

There is only one way to avoid paying that much and that is to drive down the mortgage with additional repayments.

Using your tax refund to drive down the amount owing on your mortgage can be a powerful and effective way to reduce the interest payable, saving you thousands over the long term.

Based on the example above.  If you were to receive a refund of $1,000 and you put the refund straight into your home loan account, you could save approximately $3,600 in interest and reduce your home loan by up to two months off the lifespan of the loan.

Apply this strategy over the life of the loan and you are looking at a saving of tens of thousands of dollars, as well as wiping years off the life of the loan.

The best part of this mortgage reduction strategy is that you hardly notice the pinch.

So, at the start of the new financial year, dedicate all or a significant portion of your tax refund to your mortgage, make regular, extra repayments part of your loan management strategy and reap the rewards.

To find out about other simple mortgage reduction strategies, give us a call!

 
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Lose your financial blues


Worried about your current financial situation? If so, you’re probably not the only one

New research has found that 9 out of 10 Australians harbour some kind of fear when it comes to their finances.

A joint initiative of ANZ and Pacific Magazines, the Australia’s Money Confidence Survey 2013 obtained data from 11,957 Australians to assess their confidence around personal finances.

The report, which defined “money confidence” as “feeling and behaving confidently with money”, found that 93 per cent of Australians are worried.

Even more alarming, a majority of Australians who feel concerned about their finances are not planning to do very much about it.

According to the report, 83 per cent of those who aren’t confident either procrastinate or simply try not to think about it.

ANZ managing director of retail distribution Mark Hand said the research examined how people think and feel about money, and the findings show that many Australians worry about their finances even when things are going well.

“We understand these concerns and encourage all Australians to take action to build their money confidence, rather than putting it off or trying not to think about it,” Mr Hand said.

“Speaking with an expert can be the first step in taking control and putting a plan in place which, as we can see from the survey, can make a real difference to our health and wellbeing.

“A proactive plan can also help you make the most of your money and achieve goals faster, regardless of changes to the economy or other factors outside your control,” he added.

While Mr Hand encourages Australians to speak up about their financial woes, only 11 per cent talk with an expert to alleviate financial stress.

If you find yourself struggling with financial or mortgage stress, don’t suffer in silence. We are well equipped to assess your current financial status – from your savings regime to your current mortgage.

Stop living in fear and tackle your financial fears! We are here to help.

To organise a mortgage ‘health check’, or to chat about how you might be able to save on your mortgage, get in touch today.

 
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Keeping warm on a budget


Cosy doesn’t necessarily have to mean costly and here’s why…

Rising electricity prices, coupled with the soaring costs of living, have many people wondering, How can I afford to beat the cold this winter?

Generally speaking, electricity bills tend to creep up during the cooler months, but staying cosy doesn’t necessarily have to do damage to your loan budget or skew your investment strategy.

Keeping warm on a budget is possible – just follow a few simple steps such as the following.

First of all, your house is already full of ways to keep warm without turning on the heater: you simply have to use what you have at hand. Keeping blinds and curtains closed and doors sealed when it gets dark should help retain heat as the cooler weather moves in. Moreover, be sure to keep unoccupied rooms shut to retain heat in the main areas of the house.

Secondly, your local homeware store is full of affordable solutions that can provide warmth year in, year out. You’d be surprised just how effective a rug or the common door snake can be in keeping your home warm and cosy. Lay a rug in the main rooms of the home and place door snakes at the base of all entrances to the house.

If you are looking for a longer term solution, insulating your home is an easy way to cut your heating costs – it will also help keep your home cool in the summer! Insulating bats or fibre in the roof will prevent heat loss very effectively; insulating loose fitting windows and doors can also make a big difference.

While these measures will go a long way to slashing your bills and helping you to stay cosy, there are some nights that call for the use of heater. When that time comes, try putting your heaters on a timer switch to minimise wastage. And if you have central heating, knocking down the thermostat temperature by a few degrees could help save dollars when it comes to paying the bills.

Try these measures this winter and you’ll enjoy the benefits of a warm house without sending your bills soaring skyward.

 
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Wine review

Yangarra Estate Mourvedre 2010

Mourvedre (or Mataro if you're in the Barossa) is a red wine grape variety perfect for drinking as the weather cools outside.

The earthy, savoury and deep brooding flavours of this most beastly of grapes is right up there on the winter favourites list. Yangarra do it better than many, with their old bush vines just perfect for producing rich wines like this one.

There is certainly an elegance and fragrance to this Yangarra Mourvedre. Quietly delicious, this red has a cheeky viscosity and leaves you with a play of flavour that keeps the palate highly entertained. Great drinking now.



Rating : 4 stars
RRP : $33.50

 

App review

ShopSavvy

Find the right product at the best price! ShopSavvy is the fastest, most comprehensive and accurate barcode scanner and price comparison app around.

Sometimes when shopping, you find yourself wandering from store to store, checking the prices of the same item so as to not rort yourself. Five stores later, you are dead on your feet and you’ve found that the cheapest price is the first store you entered, and it is only cheaper by a dollar. If this scenario sounds familiar, ShopSavvy is a necessity for you.

ShopSavvy does exactly what was described, minus all the walking. Using the iPhone camera, you scan the barcode of the item you want and ShopSavvy will tell you which stores sell it and how much it costs in each store. It looks at both online stores and local stores, ensuring that you get the best bargain possible.



RRP : FREE
Available on :  iPhone and iPad

 
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Contact us

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Aussie Dream

T 1300 72 68 48
F 02 4733 4115
E info@gad.com.au

www.greataussiedream.com.au

Australian Credit Licence Number: 387787 | ABN: 84129326352

 

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