For the Love of Money

Money can’t buy happiness, they say, but it certainly contributes largely towards it.

That is one cliché that doesn’t sit comfortably with most people these days, especially in this difficult economic climate.  Unless, of course, you are one of those enlightened people who can easily access inner joy while sitting on rock for hours in the middle of nowhere – then money is holds very little joy.

The rest of us, you’ll find, agree that a little extra cash always comes in handy.  Depending how little that extra bit it, we can either pay off another chunk of our home loan or, temporarily, switch back from instant to filter coffee, or from low-cost government bread loaves to ciabatta and 100% rye.

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Be smart

Experts will tell you that no matter how small the windfall, it should all be ploughed back into your debts. And that is, of course, the smart, sensible thing to do. But when a couple of hundred bucks comes your way unexpectedly, there are thousands of things that vie for your financial attention. Maybe you do have a mortgage that needs paying, but maybe you also have kids with upcoming school trips or sports tournaments. Maybe your husband’s birthday is around the corner. Maybe you have a work function in two weeks and you really (no, really) need a new outfit.

You start to think, will the extra hundred really make that much difference to your monthly home loan repayments? And the desire to, not exactly be reckless, but not to be wise either, starts to overcome expert advice.

So what do you do?

The next smartest thing. Pick another avenue of debt. Chances are good that you’ve a got a credit card and that the statements can sometimes be a little hairy. So, take some of your windfall (half if you’re feeling brave or a third if you just want a passing nod at the right thing) and put it towards your credit card. Take the rest and buy your son a new tennis racquet or your husband a nice dinner or yourself a new blouse.

The important thing is that really start to think about what you do with extra money that comes your way, instead of blindly spending it.

Do you see the glass as half empty or half full? 

The economic situation might seem all doom and gloom at the moment, but that depends on what type of person you are.  Times are always changing and if we remember that this too shall pass, then we can seize the opportunity to get out of our comfort zones.

There are many innovative ways to bring in a bit of extra money.  Lifestyle magazines are constantly encouraging people to relax by doing craftwork or take up some sort of hobby, be it knitting, sewing, mosaics, pottery, painting ceramics or sketching.  Hobbies can be transformed into a source of income.

You might find that doing something you enjoy for money is the path that you were intended to follow. And that extra little bit of cash every month? Well, that can add up to a significant reduction in your mortgage – not to mention a kitchen full of the flavor of fresh roasted coffee.

This guest post was written by Tess Holland on behalf of Ooba. Ooba is a personal financial services provider that offers a multitude of services related to buying a new home, from pre-approved home loans to calculating bonds and interest rates.

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