14 ways to pay off your mortgage faster

Paying off your home loan faster is a common goal that many readers share with me as part of the Kick Start 14 ways to pay off your mortgage fasteryour Wealth Challenge. As someone who is looking to retire early, owning a place mortgage free is high up there on our families list of goals.

I know there is a school of thought that it would actually be better to invest surplus funds and not pay down the mortgage.

The thinking is that your mortgage is only costing you say 4.5%p.a in interest. If you invest instead in the share market or an index fund that generates returns of say 9%p.a you come out ahead.

Whilst the math makes sense, it is not the approach that we have chosen. Since having kids the security off a paid off home is appealing to us.

It will mean that the level of passive income we need to live off for our investments is much less than when we need to service a home loan as well.

If you have an emergency fund and have removed all your consumer high rate debt, then paying down your mortgage can be a great next goal.

14 tips to pay off your mortgage faster

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Quarterly Net Worth Update – June 2017 $1,241,367 (+$55,938)

Welcome to my second quarterly update which details my net worth and cash flow as at the end of June 2017. Net Worth Update June 2017As well as the goals I have set for myself for the next quarter.

If mine is the first personal finance blog you have come across firstly I am super humbled by that and secondly you might be thinking this is kind of strange putting the info out there for the world to see.

However it is a fairly regular occurrence with bloggers to either track their net worth or report their monthly income.

J.Money over at Budgets are Sexy has been tracking his net worth for over nine years now and so have a bunch of other bloggers that you can check out in the Rockstar Blog Directory.

I debated whether I should post this or not as I was not sure about how the information would be received, particular here in Australia where ‘tall poppy syndrome’ can mean anyone who seems to be doing OK can be shot down in a hurry.

But my view is that if you have come to my site which is about becoming financial independent in order to retire early then you must be a little bit open minded and willing to discuss what can be a taboo subject.Continue Reading →

Money Myths stopping you from being wealthy

Are money myths stopping you from reaching your financial goals sooner?

Money Myths Stopping you from being wealthyYou may have heard the saying: A lie told often enough becomes truth.

Whether it is family, friends, a colleague or the media, everyone has a view on money, that they perceive to be the truth.

Often these “truths” are formed from your childhood early money beliefs. And they can have a significant impact on how you view money in your adult life.

Today we are debunking the top two money myths that I am pretty sure we have all heard

  • Money is the root of all evil
  • Money won’t buy you happiness

Money is the root of all evil

I think it is safe to say that we all would have heard this saying, at least a few times in our lives.

People who are wealthy are often seen in a negative light. They are perceived as getting that way by being greedy, or deceitful, in the pursuit of riches.Continue Reading →

The Barefoot Investor review: Is it really the only money guide you will ever need?

Scott Pape’s The Barefoot Investor: The only money guide you will ever need book, has taken on a world of it’s Barefoot Investor Book Reviewown and become a bestseller here in Australia.

Everywhere I turn someone is sporting their orange ING cards and referral codes are found at every turn (sorry I don’t have one).

I read his previous book which was written more than ten years ago now. Which detailed 5 steps to financial freedom for someone in their 20’s and 30’s.

The 5 steps were essentially setting goals, managing cash flow, debt reduction, investing (or working your Mojo account – yep the Mojo was around back in the early 2000’s) and insurances.

Given I was only in the early stages of my financial journey it was a good book to lay a foundation.

But after the latest book came out, I was not really that inclined to buy it. From what I had read on the steps I didn’t really think it could teach me anything I did not already know.

But since a reader reached out to me and asked me to do a book review, I bit the bullet and grabbed a copy.Continue Reading →

Why a dollar saved is more than a dollar

Note from Cath: I have a very special guest on the blog today – Serina from Ms Frugal Ears (you can learn the inspiration Why a dollar saved is more than a dollarfor her site name over on her blog).

Since starting this site I have discovered that the personal finance blogging community is a lovely bunch.

No one I have come across see each other as competition, just another person looking to share their knowledge and help other people to understand their finances better.

What is really cool is that Serina and I actually both started our savings and investing journey in the same place. We were a part of an online savings forum back in the day before Facebook Groups where all the rage.

So without further ado over to Ms Frugal Ears for today’s guest post.

My goal is to become a billionaire. My stepping stone goal is to pay off my mortgage. Then I want to grow my net worth to one million (who wants to be a millionaire? I do!), then to double that to have $2 million net worth by 2020.Continue Reading →

How to budget for large irregular expenses – Guest Post

I recently featured on the Kylie Travers website as part of her goal to help 1,000,000 Australians thrive, survive, How to save for large irregular expensesand where possible, get off Centrelink.

The post is all about How to budget for large irregular expenses.

You might like to check out my Resources section that includes a number of spreadsheets to help you track your money and budget better.

A good place to start is with my Simple Monthly Budget spreadsheet. Or to take your budgeting to the next level, my Monthly Tracker spreadsheet will really help you to have a deeper understanding of where your money is spent.

Plus you can learn the secrets to setting financial goals, getting rid of debt, and so much more, in my FREE 7 day Kick Start your Wealth challenge.

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Optimist versus Pessimist: Who is better with money?

I am a big believer that your thoughts, or money mindset, plays a role in your financial success. This starts Who is better with money - optimist or the pessimistway back when you first form your money beliefs at a young age.

I read an article that said the Pew Research Center conducted a global study that found 70% of Australians believe their kids will be worse off than they are.

Similarly, the 2017 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that only a mere 8% of millennials believe they will be better off than their parents. And even worse only 4% think they will be happier.

This contrasts with Europe and the US where 36% of Millennials think they will be better off than their parents.

As Aussies, we now rank as some of the most pessimistic people in the world. Despite having the longest period of uninterrupted growth in the developed world.

Is the glass really half empty?

The happy go lucky personality that we used to be famous for, has been replaced with a country concerned. Continue Reading →

7 money saving travel tips

Having a holiday and some relaxation time away from work does not have to cost a fortune. Having recently 7 ways to save money on travelreturned from our trip to Hawaii it inspired me to share some of my money saving travel tips.

Be flexible

It can really pay to have a bit of flexibility in terms of the dates that you travel. Even the time of day that you fly can have a significant difference in the price that you pay for flights.

You can often get some great deals in the shoulder or low season. I managed to score 40% off our accommodation in Hawaii by booking online during a Click Frenzy special.

Some other sites that I have used in the past are Groupon, as they often have package deals that are great value.

I also like to compare the cost of hotels at booking.com since they have a massive range featured on their site. And they have a best price guarantee and no cancellation fees so they have become my go to website to book through.Continue Reading →

5 money books that helped make me a millionaire

The key for us to build a million dollar net worth was to start our savings and then investing journey off early.5 Money books that helped make me a millionaire

I started saving money as soon as I left high school and had a part time job during my university years. It was around this time that I got interested in investing. A big part of my education in this area was to read a lot of books.

I have compiled the list of the 5 books that had the most influence on me in terms of creating the right mindset around money. As well as giving me a starting foundation for how to manage my money better.

The books are a little bit dated now, as I did most of my learning about money back in the early 2000’s. Most of them have been updated since then with newer editions, but even if you have an older version the lessons are still quite relevant today.

The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

Whilst the book is based on 20 years of research of American families the findings from this book still apply here in Australia.Continue Reading →

Why I will never regret spending money on travel

As you read this blog post I am madly packing and double checking I have not forgotten anything. We are Why I will never regret spending money on travelheading off to Hawaii this weekend.

I am a little more anxious than normal as it is the first long haul flight where we are adding a one and three year old into the mix. So I am bound to forget to pack something important.

If you read my last net worth update you will also see that we are not doing so well in terms of cash flow, so a holiday right now is not exactly at the top of the list of things that we can afford.

Don’t get me wrong when booking the holiday I made sure I checked for the best deals.

I managed to get a great deal on the hotel during a Click Frenzy special with Groupon. Plus we got a good sale price on the airfare too.

But the spending money and cost of activities whilst we are away is potentially money we should be channeling to debt reduction.

Should you travel when you have debt?

This exact question was raised by Bobby over at Millennial Money Man a couple of months ago. It was interesting reading the comments and seeing people’s different views.Continue Reading →