Money Matters, Reviews

There’s no trick to it: Save Money on Your Mortgage

If you’re serious about saving, you should look to your mortgage. After all, according to New Zealand finance writer Martin Hawes, the ‘mortgage has more scope for saving and adding to your net worth than any other area of your finances’ because most mortages cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, leading to ‘possibilities for making big savings’.

In his book Save Money on Your Mortgage, Hawes shows how loan size, loan period, interest rates, repayment size and frequency of repayments affect the overall cost of a mortgage. Continue reading

Money Matters

Is haggling un-Australian?

Like many freshly-minted Australians, my parents’ friends, the Ducs, have a healthy respect for money. They’re not afraid to shop around. Their daughter and I used to be fairly close—we went to Vietnamese school together—so I got to tag along when her mum took her computer shopping.

We traipsed from Donvale to Springvale, from Harvey Norman to the corner tech shop. Her mum wasn’t content with comparing price stickers; she’d wring out profit margins from the sales assistants, before making a move on the manager. After the third or fourth store, my friend was begging her to stop. I wriggled in my seat, equally mortified. Haggling and bargain-hunting, I thought, was something our parents did. It was so very un-Australian. I’d rather eat stinky shrimp paste than make a beeline for the sales rack of any clothing store.

But how can something so universal be considered un-Australian? Continue reading