I have a full-time job, and I also do some freelance work in my spare time for additional income. Should I use the “bonus” money from my side-gig to pay down my mortgage faster, or should I put it into a savings account?
Have 5 seconds? Here’s the short answer.
The logical, brain-centred answer is that you should put the money wherever it will create a bigger result, or return on investment. Compare the interest rate on your debt to the investment income you expect to earn and send the money to whichever is bigger.
In the case of mortgages, current interest rates are less than 3%, so if you expect you can earn more than that by investing then the math tells you to save and invest.
Debt on credit cards, however, will cost you 18% or more in interest which you’re unlikely to beat by investing. If you’re carrying consumer debt on plastic you’d be better off paying it down with that extra cash.
Have 5 minutes? Here’s what you really to know.
A sound decision always begins with logic, but don’t discount the importance of understanding what feels right for you. The soulful, heart-centred answer requires you to dig a bit deeper and ask yourself what’s really important to you in your financial life.
Some people value freedom from debt above all else. If this is you, by all means go ahead and throw whatever extra money you have at your mortgage, regardless of the investment income you could create – just make sure that you’re already saving and investing enough money each month to reach your financial goals. Even though you’re passing up an opportunity to earn more money with your investments by prioritizing your mortgage, you’re aligning your cash flows with your values and that will make you feel rich. Which is what you’re really after, right?
Other people value opportunities to create wealth and are not as bothered by their monthly mortgage payments. If this is you, let your inner Warren Buffet run wild! Assuming you’re already saving and investing enough money each month to reach your financial goals (yes, I’m a broken record – but it’s an important point!!), you can have a bit of fun with this part of your investment portfolio. You might like to purchase some shares in your favorite brand (I should probably be a Kate Spade shareholder given how much I love shopping there!), or maybe set it aside as seed money to start your own business.
As with most personal finance questions, the right answer for you will depend on your specific circumstances. I’m happy to help you figure out how you can align your cash flows with your values and feel rich today. Book a Clarity Call with me and let’s talk!
Lisa Zamparo is a financial strategist and lifestyle optimist, as well as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), business coach and personal finance expert in Toronto who helps people make intentional decisions with their money. As a one-on- one coach, her personalized approach to financial planning helps her clients achieve their goals by aligning their spending with their priorities. As an inspirational educator, Lisa leads workshops that infuse mindfulness principles with financial concepts delivered in a fun and approachable style.