Canna Campbell has long made it her mission to help women take control of their financial freedom. The licensed financial planner is the founder and director of SASS Financial Services, a regular financial commentator, as well as the best-selling author of The $1000 Project and Mindful Money, which coincides with her incredibly popular platform SugarMammaTV. Campbell’s passion for educating and inspiring people to find their own financial harmony, freedom and independence has seeped into everything she creates, whether it be bite-sized tips on how to successfully get out of debt, video explainers on saving money, or transparent deep dives into her own financial mistakes, SugarMammaTV is as powerful as it is encouraging, making finance something not to be shied away from, but approachable and empowering.
With such a passion for informing women to take control, we asked Campbell for some of her latest insights into saving, from an emerging Australian fintech that offers up new ways for spenders to engage with their home loans and combatting comparing financial situations to others to how women can prioritise their financial wellbeing while navigating the often chaotic world of parenthood.
Campbell recently tried out Sydney-based start-up, True Savings, a digital platform with a mission to change the way Australians access and engage with their home loans—something she says is often overlooked.
Founded by a former CBA Chief Digital Officer, Pete Steel, the revolutionary fintech has disrupted the nature of home loan interest rates, with the platform releasing a report suggesting Australian borrowers are overpaying by $3.6 billion on their home loan.
“True Savings is an expert home loan platform, helping Australians find the best rate for their mortgage,” Campbell explains of the platform. “They offer a one-on-one consultation with an experienced mortgage broker that can work with you and your mortgage goals, helping you save time and money, starting with getting you the best interest rate.”
Basically, the platform is providing homeowners with greater transparency and control of their mortgage, making saving money and paying off a home loan a priority that’s easy to take control of.
“Rates are always changing, with different products and conditions. Knowing that you are matched to the right product and competitive rate is essential. Loyalty tax, or ‘laziness tax’ as I like to call it, can cost you a lot of money and valuable time. It pays to stay on top of your finances and staying on top of this yearly too.”
Arguably, staying on top of a home loan can feel incredibly overwhelming (to say the least), which is why True Savings’ mission is to help ease that process.
“True Savings can look at your current loan and compare it to the market, to see what lower rates are available for you,” Campbell explains. “On average, they are saving Australian families on average more than $5,000 p.a. Valuable savings that can help pay off the mortgage even sooner or go towards the cost of living.”
She notes that the best thing she’s noticed since using the platform is that they “don’t set and forget”, sending out notifications throughout the loan period if there are better savings you can make elsewhere.
Campbell adds the platform provides exactly what she looks for from her own financial platforms—transparency and greater control. “They are totally independent and they’re genuinely putting customers first.”
True Savings has also adapted to cater to changing needs in a post-COVID world, with its TrueCanvas support, which as Campbell explains, “is part of the experience customers receive, with expert remote guidance through a virtual, real-time video and whiteboard connection so customers can have complex conversations with an expert in real-time. Which really simplifies the complexity of home loans and refinancing.”
“The remarkable thing about True Savings is that it is the perfect combination of digital technology while still having the personal touch of experts in their field.”
“Keep Your Loan Simple—avoid all the bells and whistles, as that is often reflected in the inflated interest rate you pay.”
“Have financial goals to be debt-free—don’t follow the 30-year prescription loan term—a small increase on your monthly mortgage repayment can save you thousands of dollars in interest (if not tens of thousands) and see you being mortgage-free a lot earlier in life.”
“Have emergency money—this can be in an offset account, however, I personally use a redraw facility. This adds valuable piece of mind but can also help you save money in interest along the way.”
As we know, it can often be easy to get sucked into comparing your own financial situations with the ‘shiny’ and ‘picture-perfect’ world presented by others on social media—Campbell’s included.
For Campbell, comparing your own financial situation to others is much like “a rocking chair”, explaining: “It gives you something to do, but doesn’t get you anywhere.”
“Everyone’s financial situation is so different, with different values, goals and even opportunities or challenges. Focus on what you would like your dream financial future to look like and then set goals backed by action, so that you quickly start feeling and seeing progress.”
Lockdown undeniably created a shift in people’s spending habits, especially when it came to looking for that instant mood boost, but as Campbell says, having a budget and financial goal is ultimately going to keep you “grounded, focused and inspired to achieve something exciting for yourself.”
“Making life easier for yourself by unsubscribing from websites that are a trigger for you is a good start. Then look to do a declutter of any social media accounts that encourage you to shop. As you achieve your financial goals, you can have healthy rewards along the way. Just make sure there is a healthy balance.”
Campbell, a mother of three young children, knows that parenthood can bring its own set of financial stresses—no matter the financial situation you may be in. Just as with any stage of life, navigating that new world can shift relationships with financial wellness and stability, which she notes comes with its own strategies for adjusting.
“We moved into our new home just over 12 months ago, so we set new mortgage goals together and have also started investing for our children,” Campbell says, who recently welcomed her third child. “Both Tom and I use a debt recycling strategy so that we are paying off our home loan but also investing along the way as financial independence is important to us. However, we are both inspired and motivated to pay off our home loan as soon as possible and we both know that saving money through a competitive interest rate is one of the best and easiest ways to make this goal happen successfully.”
“This is particularly important for mothers, with the super gap and salary gap so prevalent right now. Women’s financial wellbeing easily gets pushed down the list of priorities, with years going by and avoidable setbacks being created. So start by doing a financial stock take, so that you know where you stand—this includes doing a budget, and understanding your financial responsibilities, including your superannuation. Then set goals around what you want your financial future to look like.”
“Have a budget. When you stop and acknowledge your cost of living and see how it all adds up, you start taking back control of how you want to spend your money and you immediately start taking a more mindful attitude each time you go to spend. This shift quickly translates to your bank balance, with less mindless expenses flowing out. It is one of the most important financial habits to have.”
“Moneysmart by ASIC is great”
SugarMammaTV on YouTube is my channel + my podcast “SugarMamma’s Fireplay”
“Effie Zahos always has great tips”