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Guest Post

How to save

Our first post for 2015 is from the lovely Larissa from Hey Little Spender. Today she is sharing with us how she saved $93 per month in 15 minutes! Take it away Larissa!!

I know I should love this stuff, being a savings blogger and all that, but I’ve been procrastinating big-time on sorting out my two home loans.

They are the biggest investments I’ve ever made, and I worked and saved bloody hard to buy them.

However, strangely enough, finding a better deal on those loans doesn’t grab me the same way as, say, finding cheap movie tickets or saving money on holding a dinner party!!

What am I paying this much for?!

I know the rates are way too high at the moment, after coming off the end of a special rate which finished some time back. However beyond paying a quick visit to a mortgage broker, I’ve done nothing to fix the situation.

It’s all a little confusing – mostly because I am thinking about selling one of the places early next year and buying a new one closer to the city. And I didn’t know whether I could do anything to reduce the rates in the meantime while I went through the whole selling process, which is likely to take a while.

Plus I’ve never sold a house before, so the thought of doing that also terrifies me a little!

However today I took the bull by the horns, and decided that it was really time to stop wasting my money and get this thing sorted out – especially because I’ll need every penny if I plan to buy a new place.

I decided to take a little inspiration from my mate Jeremy, who often calls his bank to wrangle the best rate on his mortgage – read his tips here.

Comparing loans

I thought I’d better go in with at least a little bit of firepower, so I did a quick search on comparison website Canstar, and found the cheapest rate going. I didn’t look into the specifics too much (OK, at all) I admit, but thought I’d better have at least a ballpark interest rate up my sleeve to present to the bank.

Make me an offer, or I’m gonna leave

So with the lowest interest rate I could find written down, I gave the bank’s mortgage people a buzz to see what they could do, noting that unfortunately I would have to leave unless I got a discount.

They said they’d get back to me in 5-10 working days (arrghhh), but in the end it only took a few hours for a return phone call.

What they offered

My interest rates were at 5.44% – way too high for Australia I know.

One option was to take out a two-year fixed interest loan on the investment property I’ll be keeping (which would have been a 4.79% interest rate plus an $8 monthly fee). However it seemed a bit premature to agree to that on the spot.

Also, to complicate things further, because I bought the investment property using equity from the place I’m planning to sell, I’ll have to stick some of the sale proceeds on the investment property to keep the bank happy.

That will mean the loan amount is likely to change. Still with me?

Temporary fix

The other, more temporary option was to just change both properties to a 5.2% variable, no fee interest rate for now while I sorted out everything else to do with selling.

What I saved

To my surprise, I was able to change to the 5.2% over the phone – without even signing a form – and my online bank account confirmed that this had been done immediately.

On one property that means a monthly saving of $63, and for the smaller loan it’s a $30 saving.

I know I’m going to have to shop around again for a better rate once I buy a new place – if I decide to go ahead with that option – but from January, that’s $93 extra in my bank account each month. And it only took 15 minutes.

That saving will come in super handy as I squirrel away my pennies to buy a new place.

So there you go. I could kick myself that I didn’t do it earlier!

What have you done to find a lower interest rate? Share your tips here.

If you would like to get more great tips from Larissa, visit her at Hey Little Spender here or on facebook here.  This post was republished with full permission.

If you liked this you might also like:

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

15 Ways To Save Money In 2015

5 Websites That Will Help You Make Or Save Money



The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.  Please see your financial advisor for advice specific to your individual circumstances.

08/01/2015 0 comment
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Christmas is a great time to “get your craft on” and save some cash by making gifts instead of heading to the shops.  Given I am not at all talented in the area of craft, I asked the brilliant Bel from Mums Take Five to guest post with one of her fabulous craft ideas for Christmas.  This one is one is super easy and looks amazing.  I can’t wait to get “my craft on”  with Miss Money and make one myself!  Over to you Bel!

Written by Bel from Mums Take Five

This is an easy craft for kids to build and looks so cute when its done. Our Grandma loves hers!

You’ll need:

  • A paper plate
  • Green paper for the hands (we used 12 hands in this one so six sheets with two hands per sheet)
  • Glue
  • Coloured paper squares and pompoms or similar for the centre
  • Piece of ribbon or string



I let my 5 year old do most of this craft to get that authentic made by me look. You may want to do more or less pending on your child’s scissor and tracing skills.

So here are the steps:

  1. Trace your hand on the green paper and cut them out you may need more or less pending on your hand size.  We used 12 in this one.  Cut more than you’ll need they look nicer over lapped.
  2. Take your paper plate and cut out the middle section. Your child will probably need help with this.
  3. Turn the plate so the curve is facing down and put glue all around the top rim.
  4. Lay all your hands down, gluing in between if required.
  5. Around the centre glue on your coloured squares and then finish off with the pom poms
  6. Once it has dried turn it over and put a hole through the top of the paper plate and then thread through your ribbon.

Ta dah!  A beautiful made by me Christmas wreath.  An ideal gift for family and friends.



If you liked this post you might also like:

10 Ways To Save On Your Children’s Christmas Presents

How To Teach Your Children About Money

Is Costco Membership Worth It?



“Mums Take Five” Are two stay at home Mums who like to share their lives on roller coaster that is Family life. Writing in the areas of Food and Entertaining, Home and Garden, Parenting, Craft and Education as well as anything else that comes along for a ride. Check out our site at Mums Take Five or like us on Facebook here.

20/11/2013 14 comments
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