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Canna Campbell's Expert Advice on Mortgages & Finance

Financial planner, YouTube personality and author, Canna Campbell knows a thing or two when it comes to money. The savvy financial manager managed to save an impressive $32,000 in one year, whilst also juggling being a full-time single mum. 

Saving for anything – let alone a home – can be an overwhelming and near enough impossible task for most, particularly if you live in an expensive city with crushing rent prices and extortionate living costs. Being a Sydney resident certainly doesn’t come cheap. 

But it’s not only budgeting that’s a struggle, there’s an art form to understanding all the technical jargon that comes with buying a new home. As a first-time buyer, the terms ‘mortgage rates’ and ‘stamp duty’ are likely to leave you cross-eyed. 

So, for those keen to get a step on the property ladder, we spoke to Canna Campbell to get her expert advice on how to be mindful with money, understanding mortgages and how to save for that all-important first-time home. 


Q&A with Canna Campbell

Where did your career in Finance begin? 

It unofficially started when I made my first investment. From the moment I received my first dividend cheque, I knew that I wanted to help people build and create realistic financial freedom for themselves. I was already studying a Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in Economics and Marketing) at Macquarie University and worked part time for a Financial Planner. I have been in the industry ever since.

What three things should you look for when purchasing a home?

Firstly, know your financial boundaries as to how much you can afford to borrow and make sure that you do not over extend yourself financially. Know what your repayments will be as well as all the ongoing costs of holding property. So check your budget to make sure it fits in and also consider the impact of interest rate rises on your cash flow. 

I cannot stress enough about the importance of research and comparing properties to give a sense of value. Picking the brains of well established Real Estate Agents in the areas and ask them where they see the next pockets of growth and where they would invest.

And my final tip would be to remember that property is normally a long-term investment. The upfront cost of buying is expensive, so you want to know that the property is going to suit your long term needs.

What made you decide to open SASS Financial? 

SASS Financial has been going for over 10 years. One of my biggest clients encouraged me to go out on my own and all my clients followed me. I have never looked back. I wanted to be able to give quality advice without any pressure to be recommending a product. My business is fee for service, which is the most ethical ways to run a Financial Planning practice.

How do you juggle being a successful business woman and a mum, and stay so organised?

Ha, sometimes I don’t feel very organised! And that is typically when I'm tired and the wheels start to fall off, along with a few meltdowns. But fortunately I'm able to catch this warning sign and quickly recalibrate myself.

So, getting up early in the morning at least a few times per week (like 5am) allows me to get a lot of work or errands done without any distractions. Plus, I try and keep a tidy house and office… I find clutter a major distraction and detrimental to my energy and motivation levels.

My final tip is to sometimes simply say "no". Recently Ive over-committed myself, and it's left me feeling a little exhausted. As a result, I've set some new boundaries for myself and accepted that there is a limit as to what I can do.

What advice would you give to Sydneysiders about saving for their future?

Australians have a love affair with property. But there are so many other options out there and sometimes owning property isn’t for everyone.

My advice to any young Sydneysider would be stay out of personal toxic debt (credit cards, car loans, personal loans etc.), always have some emergency money set aside, and then start investing by buying long-term passive income streams that suit your comfort levels with risk, volatility and experience.

What questions should we be asking  when it comes to mortgages and financial planning?

SugarMamma.TV covers a wide range of subject matters, from credit card debt to retirement planning, to capsule wardrobe construction to minimalism. The mission is to build knowledge so that our subscribers are well informed and empowered to make their own financial decisions, which they understand the consequences and risks but can see and appreciate the value and benefits.

Tell us about SugarMamma.TV… what inspired you to create the channel?

I started the channel as a platform to educate young people when it came to managing their finances. We are taught to run and build corporations, read balance sheets and Profit and Loss statements but many of us aren’t shown how to manage our own personal finances. And most of us pick up our habits from our families.

So, I wanted to provide a place where anyone in the world could not only learn about how to be savvier with their money management skills, but also feel inspired and motivated to realistically create a better financial future for themselves.

How can SugarMamma.TV help me understand the whole mortgage process?

When it comes to mortgages you need to understand exactly what you're getting yourself into and make sure that the product suits your immediate and long-term needs. Just because one loan has a lower interest rate over another, doesn’t necessarily mean that it's the better one to go for. Your mortgage needs to work for you and your situation and requirements.

I recommend explaining to your mortgage broker your financial goals, so that they can help make sure they recommend the right loan and set it up for you correctly. Features like redraw facilities, overdrafts, offset accounts etc are all things that can help you pay off your loan quickly, but only when used correctly.

After a long day at the office, what's your go-to for a quick dinner?

The Kindness Café is a Thai vegetarian restaurant right near my office in Darlinghurst. Your body feels great being replenished with wholesome nutritious food. And the owners are so sweet and knowledgeable about the meals that they prepare. You can tell they put a lot of thought and care into their culinary creations.

Complete this sentence. When I get home, the first thing I do is…

Give Rocco [my son] a massive hug and then we play with the dogs.