There are big milestones in life like finishing school/uni, getting a job, getting married, buying our first home.

We often focus on the actual event, not what happens afterwards. So what happens once you’ve signed the sale contract and the mortgage documents?

Firstly, there’s the excitement of moving into your new home. What improvements are you going to make? How will you furnish it? When’s the first party? This is all really exciting and fun.

And then there’s the mortgage – usually a 30 year contract to pay the lender a big chunk of money every month. You need to be prepared for that.

Here’s some recommendations to help you manage this:

1. If your loan allows, pay extra into your account whenever possible so that you have a buffer in case of emergencies. If you can’t pay into your loan, pay into an interest earning account. The aim is to have at least three months repayments saved.

2. Create a spending plan. Figure out where your money goes and manage it!

3. Switch to spending cash instead of tapping a card.

4. Pay your utility bills monthly rather than quarterly to help manage cashflow.

Whatever you can do to pay the debt down faster than planned is a great idea. Once you’ve got a bit of equity in your home you can buy yourself an investment property!