By Angela Martin 

    At Money Mentor we recognise that there are many building blocks which need to be addressed to ultimately achieve financial wellbeing. Taking time to document and consolidate your existing debts is one of these building blocks. We spoke to Sandra McGuire from Money Wellness to unpack how recognising your relationship with money can help you change your habits and to get some of her tips for consolidating debt.

    Tell us about yourself and the business you have established? 

    I am a local resident and qualified Financial Adviser and CPA. I left the financial planning industry to establish my own business, Money Wellness. I saw that the current traditional financial advice model as very complex, costly and doesn’t meet the needs of everyone. I see the need for people to have access to basic financial knowledge and understand some of their money drivers which will help them improve their financial future. Through my Rotary club membership, I connected with the great work IWCE and Money Mentors do in the community.

    Who are your key customers and why do they engage your service?

    I am a numbers nerd and I want to share that knowledge with others in simple easy to understand language, improve their confidence in managing their money and achieve financial freedom.

    My clients often start out stressed or anxious about money, stuck or finding it too hard to deal with as they may have bad habits or guilt/shame about money. Also, they may be starting out in the workforce, or suddenly single and now managing money on their own. 

    I help people navigate both the practical and emotional sides of managing money. I coach my clients to shift their mindsets which are holding them back financially, by providing a safe place to explore their money issues and habits. Then they transform their relationship with money and get confidence and clarity to take control and make smarter decisions with their money.

    What do you recommend that our readers can do if they are seeking to consolidate debts?

    Make a list of all loans you have outstanding; Home mortgage, personal loans, credit cards, other amounts owed (i.e. family and friends). Then add up the amounts.

    Understand the repayments, interest rates, fees, and terms of each loan – is the debt increasing or decreasing each month?

    Talk with your bank about your current loans. You may be on an old package and can refinance or transfer to a lower interest rate option. They are willing to negotiate if you contact them. For complex or large amounts, you can use a mortgage broker.

    Pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first i.e., credit card interest is charged at 20%+ and home loans are around 5% interest. Or you can pay off smaller, high interest debt in full by discussing with your bank options to draw on any equity in your home loan. 



    If you would like more information about Money Wellness, check out their website: 

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