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Mortgage Choice - How to find the best home loan

Kristy Sheppard from Mortgage choice discusses about the importance of finding a home loan most suitable to your financial situation as well as ...

The easy (and free) way to make a budget spreadsheet

If you resolved on Jan. 1 to keep better track of your personal finances, are you sure where to start? Sure, you can buy accounting software, sign up for a service or poke around your bank’s online offerings for money-management tools. But don’t overlook what is probably the best option of all: a simple and free spreadsheet you make yourself.

Using it to make a budget is easy because someone has already done most of the work. Here’s how to get started.

Step 1: Pick your program

First, select an application that can create and edit spreadsheet files. Microsoft Excel has long been a core component of the Microsoft Office suite for Mac and Windows ($70 a year). If you don’t have it already, you can also find versions for Android and iOS or the free basic version that runs in a web browser.

Other free or preinstalled spreadsheet programs may already be on your device. Google Sheets (for Android, iOS and web) and Apple’s Numbers software for iOS, macOS and web are two examples.

Will a fee-for-service model for brokers sit well with Aussie borrowers?

He said many borrowers might not have the capacity to afford fees for mortgage advice, resulting in many not being able to access the right products.

"If there is one thing that we have learned through this process, it is that we need more competition. We need more options. We need more choices. Not fewer. And that is what the Treasurer and I are concerned about in terms of how we would go forward on that one recommendation on broker remuneration," he said. 

Borrowers continue to see the value in using brokers, if recent industry figures are to be believed. According to CoreLogic and Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA), mortgage brokers settled 59.1% of all residential home loans during the September quarter last year, the highest broker market share to date.

Another study, this time by Deloitte and MFAA, revealed that brokers are rated as more likely to be acting "in the best interest" of customers

"Some 40% of broker customers felt the broker acted in their best interests at all times, compared to only 22% for direct to lender customers," the study said.