2018 is the year to become a property investor

GET FIT, get healthy, and get rich!

Chances are one, if not all, of those new year’s resolutions were on your 2018 “to do” list. But promise number three doesn’t have to be broken. This year could be the year you actually do it — take the first steps to financial freedom through building a property portfolio.

Graham Cooke, insights manager, with financial comparison website finder.com.ausaid there are 10 simple tips that hopeful property investors should follow in order to get cash savvy.

1. Chase discounts

If you’ve got your sights on a property, you need to get serious about saving which means being frugal. From bundling products (such as your savings and transaction account) to negotiating a better deal on your home loan or credit card, to making the most of early-bird offers or searching for shopping coupon codes, there are various ways you can unlock better value for your day-to-day costs.

2. Share a Netflix or Spotify account with your housemates

While the monthly fee for a TV or music streaming account may not break the bank, the annual cost of Netflix, Stan or Spotify accounts add up over time. So it makes sense to share an account. Why pay for separate accounts when you can use the same subscription?

3. Make the most of budgeting apps

There are so many budgeting apps and resources at our disposal which can make money management easier. Whether it’s using online calculators to estimate the cost of stamp duty, or downloading apps (like Splitwise) to help manage joint bills, make the most of these resources to save smarter. Even apps like MotorMouth or Petrol Spy can help cut your fuel bill by locating nearby suburbs with the cheapest petrol price

4. Brunch less

This doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally treat yourself to smashed avo on toast, but eating out less will be kinder to your hip pocket. Consider making a coffee in the office or nominating one to two days a week that you’ll eat out. And if you’re eating out because you just don’t want to cook, ingredient delivery services like Marley Spoon or Hello Fresh can be a great way to motivate you — cooking is good for both your waistline and hip-pocket.

5. Draw on the share economy

Plenty of young Aussies are making the most of their spare time and skills via the sharing economy. Signing up to be an Uber driver, offering your services on sites like Fiver or Airtasker, or even renting out a spare bedroom are just some ways you can create an extra income flow.

6. Aim to pay the full balance of your plastic bill

If you can’t pay the full balance, at aim to pay a bit more than the minimum payment on your credit card. Outstanding, interest-accruing debt on a credit card will always cost you a lot more than you will gain from having funds on a savings account. So getting ahead on your plastic debt will help reduce interest and ensure you build up a good credit history (which will come in handy when applying for a home loan).

7. Be smart with ride-sharing

We’re all familiar with the frustration of seeing the “1.2x surcharge” when ordering an Uber or Taxify ride, but there are ways to be smarter about it. In some cases it may be cheaper to order a taxi over an Uber. To find out which is the best value, you need to view the Uber surge ratio. According to finder.com.au analysis, once the ratio hits 1.4 (in Sydney) during the day or 1.7 at night, it’s cheaper to hail a taxi.

8. Maximise your spending with a rewards card

If you’re paying off your credit card every month, consider maximising your spend with a rewards card that lets you clock up points on every dollar spent. Some, such as American Express’ Discovery card, are available with no annual fee. For example, spending $8000 on this card over the course of a couple of months could entitle you to a flight from Sydney to Melbourne or Brisbane. But remember to pay your balance off every month, as these cards come with higher interest rates than most cards on the market.

9. Keep an eye on your energy usage

During summer, household coolings costs can really eat into your budget. To lower your energy costs (and to reduce your carbon footprint), consider using an energy-efficient air conditioner or washing machine. Also, keep an eye on the temperature setting.

10. Be a healthier you

Turn your unhealthy habits down a notch. Reducing your alcohol intake or gambling habits could allow you to reap significant financial (and lifestyle) benefits in 2018. Many insurance and credit providers are now offering discounts if you wear wearable technology such as Fitbits or if you walk a certain number of steps per day. Save money and make your new year resolution a reality — it’s two birds, with one stone!

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