A smart home loan that still lets you have a life
Interest rates have never been so low – but higher house prices and the growing cost of necessities can put family budgets under pressure.
Here are six ways to help you spend less time worrying about your budget – and have more time for your family. And with Macquarie Bank’s new home loan package, which is packed with useful digital tools, you can have confidence in how you manage your money.
1. Get smart with offset structures
According to the Reserve Bank, around 17% of our home loan balances are currently held in an offset or redraw account – indicating many homeowners are taking the opportunity to reduce the overall interest on their home loan.
So if you’re using a home loan offset account already, that’s great. You’re reducing your interest payments because they’re calculated against the difference between your outstanding loan balance and the balance in your offset account.
But if you’ve ever been tempted to use money in that offset to pay for a holiday, unexpected tax bill or home repairs, you’re probably not using it to its full budgeting power.
It may be a good idea to have at least two offset accounts, both working hard to reduce your interest payments and the life of your loan. One is for short-term savings – a rainy day fund, fun fund or Christmas fund. The other is for the much longer-term. Squirrel it away and don’t be tempted to use it, so it can do the hard work of reducing interest payments and paying off your loan sooner.
2. Digital budgeting
Sticking to a budget can be boring. But Macquarie’s banking app does all the hard work for you.
It automatically categorises your debit card spend so you can see at a glance how much went on groceries compared with eating out.
It also sends you an alert each time you make a transaction – this helpfully warns you of potential misuse, and you can turn off your card straight away from your app if you suspect fraud.
But the app also subtly reminds you that you’re spending money, which means you might think twice next time you consider making an unnecessary purchase. Think of it as a personal trainer helping you remember your diet plan.
3. $0 ATM fees and no international purchase fees
This is a no brainer, because every dollar helps. When you use your debit card, you get free access to any rediATM and enjoy a refund on fees incurred at all other ATMs in Australia. You can also wave goodbye to international purchase fees – making this card a great travel companion.
4. Be interest-free smarter
You can also apply for a Macquarie Bank Black or Platinum credit card as part of your offset package – with no annual credit card fees for the life of your loan.
Use this credit card to make everyday payments during the month, and you’ll keep your offset account topped up for longer (shaving extra dollars off your loan). You’ll also earn Macquarie Awards or Qantas Points, potentially turning those transactions into gift cards or holidays. Just make sure you pay it off within the interest-free period each month.
5. Never look for a receipt again
Do you dread tax time, warranty claims or product returns? Stop spending time hunting through your wallet, drawer or shoebox when you need that one receipt – because you can scan and store them in your banking app, and even code them for tax deductions if they’re business or work expenses.
6. Make your loan investment-savvy
Once you feel in control of your day to day budget and your home loan offsets, you may start thinking about an investment property or other investments.
That’s where Macquarie’s unlimited loan account splits can help: it makes accounting a bit simpler and also helps you track any associated costs with your investments.
Once you put all these tools to work, you can relax and have more time for the things you love. And hopefully, you’ll also feel a little less pressured by the financial demands of family life as you build a more secure future.