By Serina Bird, Major Street Publishing, $29.99
The great Australian dream of owning our own home is still alive. We just need commitment, focus and priority. Finance author, money coach and podcaster Serina Bird says the path to homeownership is harder than ever before, especially due to the high cost of housing and fluctuating interest rates.
She explores why paying your mortgage off – and quickly – is a sound financial strategy. This book contains a series of mindset and finance hacks.
Homeowners are paying a larger share of their income in interest than they did in the 1980s. As interest rates go up, the sheer size of many mortgages is putting unprecedented stress on household budgets.
Paying your mortgage off ahead of the typical 30 years offered by lenders requires primary action, a sense of responsibility and motivation. The ‘average’ Australian mortgage is $601,797 over three decades. Not only is this large, but it’s also grown 36 per cent over the past five years.
This is daunting. For many people, it can feel like paying it off is impossible. However, here’s the good news: it is entirely possible to ‘ditch’ your mortgage in 10 years, and this book shows you how.
The Canberra-based author hopes to inspire resilience through discipline. Serina shares her finance hacks that reveal how she paid her mortgage off in a decade.
She shares six methods to make savings on your weekly grocery shop, ways that you can reduce your reliance on takeaway and fast food, make some major savings and still enjoy the occasional meal out – at a discount.
There are also tips to reduce transport costs, how to avoid falling into subscription traps and save on entertainment at home, and how to pay off your mortgage quickly and still travel. Then there’s the good news about how you can still have fun while paying off your debts.
Doing all this, however, does require a budget, planning and a mindset shift. It is important that you do not over-extend yourself and ensure you have sufficient reserves for the unexpected.
“This is not a book that is intended to make you feel bad for enjoying life. I have many hacks for saving money, and it’s up to you whether and how you choose to implement them,” Serina said.
“Paying your mortgage off early will not be easy. For many people, it will require focus, discipline and strategy. However, I am going to tell you that it can be done — and I’m going to give you strategies and motivation to help you do it.”
Serina presents practical strategies, calculates the savings and shares the steps she has used – and you can too – to become mortgage-free.
Through this life-changing book, you will learn how to:
- Hit your mortgage hard — and early
- Negotiate a lower interest rate
- Use micro-habits to make repayments faster
- Cut down your spending with frugalista shopping habits
- Use your home to generate an income stream
- Keep motivated when the going gets tough.
Life rarely goes to plan and upsets happen when complications arise. Serina shares some advice on how to get through those as well.
She has also found many alternatives – like cheap and clever cleaning hacks – that can save you money and help the environment.
The late Martha Gardner, who provided down-to-earth and homely advice to many Australians to help deal with harsh economic times, was a “huge inspiration” for How to Pay Your Mortgage Off in 10 Years.
In fact, one of the recipes included in the cleaning chapter of the book is for homemade dishwashing tablets. With rising costs, why not make some yourself? It’s easy and you will have fun doing it.
Not only that, but you’ll also read about people who are actively smashing their mortgage and achieving their dream goals, showing you just how achievable it is.
Serina admits to being “acutely aware of the intergenerational wars and sensitivities around housing affordability, especially for first homeowners”.
“It is tough. It is forcing people to make hard choices. I wanted to create a book that was practical, inspiring and useful – but that also showed empathy.”