More and more industry professionals are becoming informal investment advisers in addition to brokering, helping clients better balance their lifestyles and finances.
“I always discuss giving up little things to help pay off clients mortgages faster,” says Scott Dawson
, with Verico
Paragon Pacific Mortgages. “It puts things into perspective when you can compare it to something they spend money on almost every day – like your morning coffee.”
One such family, the Sharanewychs of Toronto, unilaterally decided to cut back on their entertainment expenses to help pay off their mortgage debt in 14 years instead of 25. The two teenage boys – featured in the Toronto Star last week – agreed to give up hockey and save $10,000 a year.
Not going on luxury vacations, shopping trips and deciding to watch Netflix movies at home instead of first-run shows at the theatre were all part of an overall strategy by the Sharanewych family to shave 11 years and $55,000 in interest off of their mortgage.
The family had appeared on the now defunct W Network reality show “Burn My Mortgage” in 2010, when they took on an accelerated mortgage and released the details of their finances, so as to better cut costs and live more economically.
“I created a blog
post about how skipping the morning Starbucks can pay down your mortgage faster,” says Dawson. “I send that link to most of my clients. I find that once you break down the numbers for them into something simple it really hits home.”
In his blog
, Dawson cites an ING Direct survey that shows only half of Canadians were able to put away an extra $25 a week – not realizing that some people making their daily trip to Starbucks are easily spending $5 or more on the luxury of a cup of coffee.
“By forgoing the morning coffee each weekday and saving $5 instead, you would save an extra $25 a week and put an extra $1,300 into your mortgage,” Dawson points out.
On a $250,000 mortgage with a 4.5 per cent interest rate amortized over 25 years, that savings can allow a homeowner to pay off their loan 11 years and nine months earlier, and save $72,496.91.