Why are Australian homeowners rushing to refinance their mortgages?

Record numbers of Australian homeowners are rushing to refinance their mortgages to take advantage of steep drops in interest rates over the past few months. In May, a record 21,000 Australian homeowners refinanced $10 billion worth of home loans by moving to different lenders.
Meredith Williams

“I’m feeling really stressed and overwhelmed, maybe i need to do a better job of looking after myself…but how do i do that?”

*Types furiously into Google*

Trust me, Google doesn’t have all the answers. You definitely don’t need another scented candle or that new surfboard.

Could it be that you’re feeling a little beaten down by money worries? Financial stress can adversely impact your sleep, self-esteem and your energy levels so rather than spending money, why not look for ways you can get on top of it and even save some?

Here are our 5 of our favourite tips for financial self care.

#1 Accept your past money mistakes

We have all been there – perhaps it’s a car that you can’t really afford, or making one too many Iconic purchases each month (guilty!). Or maybe it’s not planning better for retirement or just living paycheck to paycheck. Well, it’s time to forgive yourself and make a promise that you will do things differently from today.

Maybe you don’t know a lot about financial planning – that’s ok too. Many banking institutions offer financial planning services, maybe it’s time you picked up the phone and had a quick chat?

There are also some great financial planning apps and tools to help you get started on a new budget or consolidating your banking info, like PocketBook or Money Brilliant.

But, a really great place to start is just simply printing off your bank statements and going through them to tally up what you are really spending, and on what. Knowledge is power and a great way to understand your habits and behaviours with spending, so you can start to make a change.

#2 Get to know your spending habits

Our friend Olivia White from House of White is a budgeting goddess. Not only has she tackled a renovation and purchase of a new home in the last year, she’s made it look so easy. And now we know why.

Olivia’s has created her own approach to setting a budget which is a simple and most importantly a quick way to get on top of what you’re spending. A quick print off of your bank statements, a highlighter and her step-by-step guide will have you ticking this off in no time. 

She has even created downloadable spreadsheets so you’re not having to fiddle around creating your own, plus they are so beautifully designed, it makes doing a budget pleasurable.

#3 Find ways to save big

Think about some of the biggest expenses in your life, these are probably the best ones to tackle first as they can often reap the biggest savings. Take for example, your home loan. It’s likely to be the biggest expense most of us will have in our lifetime.

Did you know that Aussies are costing themselves more than $4.2 billion a year by not shopping around for a better deal on their mortgages? With rates so low and such a competitive lending market, there are tools available to help you find out if you could be on a better rate.

One quick way to check is by using a refinancing calculator, such as loanScore.

All you need is a few bits of information about your home loan and in two minutes you can see how much you could be saving, and decide whether you want to take action.

#4 Protect yourself from the unexpected

Why not set up an emergency fund – this can help you from borrowing money when unexpected costs pop up. You can always start with small amounts of money, perhaps even just setting aside $20 a week which can really add up (that’s $1,040 a year!).

It might also be worth thinking about some sort of insurance, whether that’s for your health, your employment, your life or even your pets. Knowing there is a safety net in place for when things don’t go to plan can help take some of the stress and burden off your shoulders.

#5 Budget for something that truly makes you happy

I know, “budgeting” certainly isn’t a super fun sounding word. But, what if I told you if you started to think about budgeting less like a chore, and more like empowering happiness that it might help you pursue the life you want and the things that really matter. Cheesy, I know. But changing the way you think and speak about things can often lead to you changing the way you feel about it and look at it.

Why not take some time out today to write down some of the things that make you happy and make sure you’re building out time and money in your budget/life to do these.

Need some motivation? Why not check out some of these cool apps to get you started.

  • Track Your Happiness – Invented by Matt Killingsworth during his doctoral research at Harvard University, the App sends you questions about what you are doing and feeling at the moment. For every 50 responses, you will get a happiness report so you can recognise exactly what makes you feel the happiest. 
  • Headspace – this App aims to help you live a healthier, more rested, and happier life with its mindfulness meditation and exercise guides.
  • Happify – Founded by three entrepreneurs in New York City in 2012, Happify aims to change people’s lives by providing ways to become happier.

Life can be stressful. There are a lot of things to worry about, including work, kids, home, and a million other things. But despite all the obstacles and challenges that life may throw at you, remember that there is always a reason to be happy.

And there are always tools and advice out there to help you make sure you’re living the best, and happiest life possible.

Meredith Williams
* Three year fixed rate, owner occupier, P&I loan with a maximum LVR of 95% and a loan amount >$150,000. Lender rates and products may change. We cannot suggest you remain in or switch to any loan until we complete our assessment. Fees and charges apply. ^ WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. The comparison rate is calculated on the basis of a loan of $150,000 over a term of 25 years. ± All loan applications are subject to uno assessment and lender approval. uno does not guarantee that it will be able to find a customer a better loan than the one they currently have or to save them money.