We’ve all heard the saying ‘You can’t make a mountain out of a molehill’, right? Well my theory is that you actually can!

Not only that, but you can also ‘make a molehill out of a mountain’. How, you ask.

By making every dollar count and being aware of the impact small changes can have. In doing this, we can turn a ‘Debt mountain’ into a molehill and a ‘Savings molehill’ into a mountain!

The Mountain

Debt can seem like a mountain whose summit you will never reach. But, little changes in tackling debt can make a big difference to how quickly you reach your goal.

Finder.com.au reports the average Australian home loan is $430,000 with a loan term of 30 years. Assuming you made monthly repayments with an interest rate of 6% p.a. over the term of the loan, that’s going to cost you $498,104 in interest…ouch!

However, by switching your repayments to weekly rather than monthly, and re-negotiating your interest rate to 5.5%, you can save around $49,167 over the term of your loan…and that’s without contributing a single extra dollar!

Now, let’s assume you aren’t able to re-negotiate a lower interest rate, by adding an extra $50/week to your repayments, you can save yourself around $106,552 in interest and shave 5.5 years off the term of your loan!

Little differences make for big savings, and the sooner you make those changes, the greater the benefit.


I always  tackle the mountain before the molehill. As you can see, interest where debt is involved costs money, whereas savings interest makes you money.

Get rid of the negative so you can tackle the positive.

Who should be saving and when? – Everyone, all the time!

Whether it’s a little or a lot, starting now can lead to big changes in your end results. If you had an initial deposit of $1,000 and added $200 to it each month over 25 years, assuming a growth rate of 2% p.a., you will have saved approximately  $79,412 (with $18,412 being from interest). Drop the period of saving to 15 years and you have $43,292.

What type of savings should I be making?

The previous example assumed a growth rate of 2% p.a. – however there are products which offer a much more attractive return on investment.

As an example, if you had a $1,000 deposit, contributing $200 each month, earning 6% p.a. at the end of 25 years you would have saved a total of around $143,063. Drop the period to 15 years and you have saved $60,617.

What should I be saving for?

There will always be short and medium term savings goals such as a home deposit, an overseas trip or a new car. But the savings which often get neglected are your retirement savings. Our superannuation savings are going to be our source of income throughout retirement and the additions we make to them now could have a big impact on our retirement lifestyle.

Imagine using the same scenario as above – you’ve saved $143,063 over 25 years. If you retire at age 65 and your retirement income will need to last you through to age 85, you have just increased your annual retirement income by $7,153 p.a. That’s a big impact on retirement lifestyle for a difference of $200/month now.

As you can see, small changes to our spending can have huge impact on our mountains and molehills. So why not start climbing your mountain today so you can start growing your golden molehill sooner!


Anna Davidson

Anna Davidson

Paraplanner JEM Wealth

Anna is passionate about finance and practical ways to make money work for you. With a background in education, Anna works at JEM wealth and is a contributor to the Butler's blog.