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WHEN TIMES GET TOUGH, SORT YOUR DOLLARS AND CENTS

Mortgage management for good times and bad

Keeping an eye on the leaks in your financial bucket is no less important in good times, but when a tough spot comes along, whether illness, redundancy or being overwhelmed by debt, it's a good idea to get out the calculator and do some good old fashioned penny-pinching.


Take it easy, James Bond. 

Income versus outgoings

Go through your bank accounts and create a spreadsheet of where your money is going.

Believe it or not, people on low incomes often know exactly where every cent is going - that's because it's easier to keep track of and they are more likely to have to account for every penny.

On higher incomes, where there is room for discretionary spending, all kinds of money leaks can creep in.

One only has to think of all those online things you can sign up for, using your credit card, which automatically renew when you are busy looking elsewhere - often whether you want them or not.

Then there are all the changing deals offered by power and internet providers.

The coffees and pies on the run...

By listing everything on a spread-sheet you will be able to break it up into categories such as Groceries, Takeaways and Technology and see where the wastage is.

Help if you're in a bit of a pickle

If you're in a bit of a pickle financially and you need a good financial overhaul or friendly advice, we discovered on the journey of writing this article the wonderful NZ Federation of Family Budget Service.

They share heaps of tips from 40 plus years' helping people get the most out of their money.  

Their online page alone is really impressive covering topics from 'no money to spare' to 'buying a car on finance' to 'coping with redundancy'.  

Take a look, it's a comprehensive site - not-for-profit good old Kiwi kindness and ingenuity.  

What a great service and it's free!

Bank fees 

You know you're paying too many bank fees but the thought of trawling through various bank websites is too daunting to bother. 

You may be pleased to see that Consumer NZ has already done a lot of the hard yards for you and have some great advice about how to cut your bank fees including: 

  • All types of fees charged 
  • Switching banks 
  • Fees calculators 
  • Avoiding fees 
  • Reducing fees  
  • Penalty fees 

Be mindful of how current the information is. Consumer NZ updates their fees every three months.

What else matters to you about mortgage lenders? 

Besides getting the best interest rates, there are other things to consider to ensure you can weather different scenarios.

How would you manage if you needed time off work, were made redundant or similar...  Is being able to take a mortgage holiday important to you and if so, do all the banks provide this?

It might sound great, but beware of the long term financial consequences of taking a mortgage holiday.*

Time for a change?

If you already have a mortgage and are looking at making some improvements or changes to your outgoings, for a broader range of mortgage related questions and tips, sorted.org.nz provide advice about how to:

  • review it
  • top it up
  • change lenders
  • insure your mortgage or
  • find out more about mortgage holidays*

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