Finance advice
Marie Mortimer

How to decrease your debt

By Marie Mortimer

Taking control of your debt will help you acquire more properties, more quickly. Here are some steps you can take to reduce your liabilities. 

Blogger: Marie Mortimer, managing director, loans.com.au

When we look back over time, it’s easy to see where we stepped into debt, compounded more debt, then didn’t manage money well so the debt kept growing. This might have been a big-ticket purchase like a holiday or new car, changes to your family or a period of lower income.

What’s also easy is to feel overwhelmed by financial burdens. What many people in this situation don’t realise is that by ignoring the problem and not taking action, you can find yourself in a debt spiral that is tricky to recover from.

Don’t panic. Out-of-control debt is uncomfortable, but advice and some changes to the way your finances are structured is a big part of a financial recovery plan. A qualified financial planner can help to set you on your way to more effective money management.

Do the sums and work out where your money goes. What do you spend the most money on? Think about ways to cut down how much you spend. This might be cancelling subscriptions you don’t use, trimming non-essentials out of your grocery bill, taking public transport to work instead of driving, spending less on entertainment and generally cutting out luxury items. Work out a budget for each pay period and stick to it religiously.

Work out which are your non-negotiable expenses, such as your mortgage repayment, and take care of these first. It’s all about prioritisation. This financial recovery plan is about lowering your debt load and protecting your credit history, so make sure you don’t lose sight of the big picture. Check your home loan interest rate; if it’s not a good deal, talk to your lender to negotiate a lower interest rate.

Next, determine which is your most expensive debt. This will be whatever has the highest interest rate rather than what is the biggest debt. Chances are it will be a store card or credit card. Making the minimum payment on a credit card does nothing to reduce the debt, it just pays some of the interest so the debt will keep growing unless you are able to pay it down. Take the money you are saving from your budget-trimming exercise and pay it off the credit card until the debt is gone.

Once the card is paid off, add the monthly minimum repayment to the extra sum you committed to paying it down and start the process on your next most expensive debt. Add these two amounts to the minimum payment on that debt, and you’re off. Some people call this the Snowball Method of decreasing debt.

If this doesn’t sound like something you could commit to, there are other steps you can take to manage your money better and take control of debt, such as refinancing to consolidate your debts into a lower interest rate loan. Talk to a financial planner to work out which will be the best path to financial recovery so you can decrease your debt, increase your savings and grow wealth.

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If Mark Hodge’s face looks familiar to you it could be because of his time working as a professional entertainer which saw him working with the Australian ballet, appearing on multiple seasons of Dancing with the Stars and touring in musical theatre for 17 years. What you may not know is that Mark is also heavily involved in the short-term property rental marketspace.

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Mark joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss his transition from entertainer to investor, a journey pushed forward by dance related injuries and even a hit and run which saw him needing to find alternate methods to bring in an income. Mark shares how bad long-term tenants and a gang member guided him to the short-term rental market, and how this pushed him into helping others to realise the same benefits.

Mark will also address the common concerns, discuss what his company Maisonnets specialise in and unpack how they are making the process of filling short term rentals easier for investors.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

The hard-to-swallow truth: The prickly points of the Airbnb reforms
Airbnb reforms unpacked for property investors
Airbnb leasing: What are a landlord’s rights and responsibilities? 


AREAS MENTIONED:

Melbourne
Sydney
Rushcutters Bay
Maroubra
Potts Point

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From pirouettes to property investment
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Jillian Stewart's investment journey began in 2009 with a property loan being used for anything but - and the purchase of half a house. And while she claims to have done everything wrong along the way, her current portfolio boasting 15 (and a half) properties, suggests otherwise.

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On this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Jillian joins host Phil Tarrant to unpack her portfolio and explain the reasoning behind her investment decisions. She discusses her plan to purchase through the company and reveals the link between her properties, earth moving and cotton farming.

One of Jillian's daughters joins in briefly to discuss the value in educating children about money, and how another is just about ready to purchase her first property - while still at school! They also reveal how Jillian encourages her children to grow wealth in a move that many kids might not be too happy about.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

Slowing rents show rental properties need clear differentiation
Where are listings seeing the biggest rises and falls?
Country v city and how to beat the assumptions


AREAS MENTIONED:

Moree
Inverell
Walgett
Come By Chance
Sydney
Stuarts Point
Kempsey
Northam
H
exham
Hervey Bay
Craignish
Nurrumba
Dysart
Inverell
Tannum Sands
Mackay
B
oomi
Goondiwindi
Deception Bay

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Half a house to more than 15 in 8 years
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  ["title"]=>
  string(58) "Where the major off-the-plan hotspots are around Australia"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(58) "where-the-major-off-the-plan-hotspots-are-around-australia"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(231) "

Buying off-the-plan can be lucrative in the long run, if you can get over the risk factor. If you want to minimise the risk and maximise your chances at profitability, these suburbs might be just what you’re looking for.

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Outlined in The Australian Off The Plan Sentiment Report, published by Investorist, Domain’s data scientist Dr Nicola Powell has outlined where in major markets investors should focus their efforts when purchasing property off-the-plan:

Sydney

The south-west region of Sydney has seen an increase of interest in new developments, with Leppington, Austral and Edmondson Park, as well as Marsden Park, which all offer the widest variety of developments available to buy into, according to Domain data.

Sydney was also the most popular capital city for off-the-plan interest, with Domain recording over 2 million views for the property type.

Brisbane

The increased number of new developments has impacted on price growth in the unit market with supply stronger than demand, yet off-the-plan listing prices remain higher than listing prices for all new developments.

The full extent of the market however is yet to be seen, as it is adjusting with the fall of new development commencements and completed developments slide from the peak. Boutique developments in the inner city, targeted towards owner-occupiers, have the potential to show signs of improvement amid underperforming inner city Brisbane units.

Canberra

The key area in all of Canberra is Gungahlin, which according to Dr Powell contains numerous opportunities for buyers, as the area has seen a “significant transformation”.

Gungahlin currently is Canberra’s fastest growing area, seeing its population double in the last 10 years, there is a light rail project under construction and the first commonwealth government agency is scheduled to relocate to the area. Moncrieff is the most popular Gungahlin suburb, with the most development listings and views according to Domain data and has continued to remain popular even with other developments undergoing construction in Throsby, Taylor and Kenny.

Melbourne

Out of all the property types, new house and land packages topped Domain’s list for Victoria in 2017 with 1.8 million views, showing there is high demand for them due to employment opportunities getting stronger and affordability hurdles getting lower. There is also a solid chance for growth, as the strong demand saw prices for new house and land packages rise over 2017.

West Melbourne was the most popular region for off-the-plan supply and demand with the most listings and views, with popular suburbs including Tarneit, Werribee and Rockbank.

Perth

Demand for new house and land packages were proportionally high, making up 87.5 per cent of all listing views, with the majority of listings stemming from south-west and south-east regions of Perth, with the suburbs Baldivis, Piara Waters, Wellard and Hilbert ranking at the top.

There was also strong demand for listings in the north, which include the north-east suburb of Morley and the north west suburb of Doubleview.

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Where the major off-the-plan hotspots are around Australia

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