Is Cash still King?

Perhaps not. Not like it once was. You can’t use it to pay for your Uber or Lyft rides, or your Uber Eats. You’d look funny fronting up to your gym every 2 weeks with $26 pressed into your palm. If you’ve a heart containing more gold than mine, your monthly donations to St Vincent de Paul and Médecins Sans Frontiers can only be debited from your savings account.

And this is where things are now getting really interesting for budding home loan applicants. Banks are assessing personal living expenses and spending habits like never before. They have ‘apps’ – and I don’t mean $1.79 ones – that scan your savings account statements and group your groceries, fuel, personal care, utilities, insurance and everything else into lovely colour-coded blocks. They have the knowledge and ammunition to challenge your assertion that you only spend twelve hundred bucks a month just because you reckon you don’t eat much.

One major Australian bank now wants 4 months of all savings and credit card statements to accompany your home loan application, so they can assess your habits in this way. More are sure to follow.

For aspiring home loan applicants as much as anyone else, it’s time to take stock of your spending. Can you saunter up the road for some dumplings instead of getting a home delivery? Are you only getting to the gym once a month because you’ve been so busy? For a time, at least, should you be looking after Number One?

Consider cash. It’s great to have it in your pocket and it’s still an ideal way to pay for life’s littlest needs and adventures.