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Should I borrow money to tick things off my bucket list?


RateCity Staff

By RateCity Staff

4 min read

Everyone has a dream list of things they’ve always wanted to do but more often than not life gets in the way.

It could be work or family commitments or, in a lot of cases, it could be a lack of money. 

As a general rule we’re often told not to borrow money for non-essentials or things that don’t offer a return on investment, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. While it may be hard to see how something like trekking the Himalayas or getting your dream kitchen may be a financially sound decision in the short term it may not be as unprofitable as you think.

Here are some bucket list items that might actually be worth taking out a personal loan for:

Home renovations

According to ServiceSeeking.com.au, a kitchen overhaul can cost around $6000 while the average bathroom renovation clocks in at more than $8000.

"You can spend a minimum amount on a kitchen and bathroom for a maximum return. Over time, a well-planned renovation could actually double your money," ServiceSeeking.com.au CEO Oliver Pennington says.

Or before you rent your place out, why not get a small personal loan to spruce it up with new floorboards, a splash of paint, or even a cost-effective garden? Making your home more presentable for prospective tenants could increase the rent, without breaking the bank.

Like Linda, who got a personal loan to give her run-down Queenscliff, Sydney, apartment a re-vamp, "I got a low-rate loan of 10.99 percent [from the Commonwealth Bank] – cheaper than my credit card – to lay new floorboards down, install an air-conditioner, and add a fresh coat of paint to inject life into the place," Linda says.

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"By spending to finance your renovationg around $11,000, including interest, the rent increased by 30 percent while the property increased from $400,000 to about $460,000."

Owning your own car

Have you always wanted your own set of wheels but haven’t been able to justify it? It may be time consider the fact that travelling for work can be a great way to earn more. The suburb you live in, or the ones easily accessible by public transport, may not be where the most money is and borrowing a bit of cash to get yourself moving can be a great way to overcome this challenge.

Branching out to work in areas that you previously wouldn’t have considered can mean more income and employment opportunities that provide financial rewards in years to come. Of course, in this scenario we’re referring to a vehicle to get you from A to B as opposed to the Ferrari of your dreams, which may be a bit harder to justify.  

A life changing holiday

Stressful jobs make it hard to head off on a tropical getaway, but considering a well-earned break may give you a fresh outlook, keeping you in your job longer, it might just be worth it. It’s no secret that Aussie workers are increasingly over-worked and stressed out, so to avoid running yourself down a holiday to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go could be a good way to revitalise.

While the long term financial return might not seem as obvious as some investments there’s definitely something to be said for looking after your biggest asset: yourself. 

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