Owning your own home is the great Australian dream, yet for many these days that’s exactly what it can feel like – a dream, especially when renting. But it is possible, even with a few smashed avos here and there!
Here are 5 tips to help you start saving for a house:
1. Analyse your current spending & set a budget
First, take stock of your current financial situation and spending habits. Make a list of your expenses. Once you know how much you’re spending, try to find areas where you can cut back. These could include small things like your daily coffees or may be more significant, such as moving back home to save on rent. From here, you can work out a budget you’re able to stick to.
Give yourself some leeway – if your budget is too tight, it will be harder to reach your target. So don’t cut out all your fun expenses. It’s a good idea to set smaller savings goals along the way and reward yourself with low-cost things you enjoy when you achieve them.
If you can, save a similar amount to what you expect your home loan repayments will be – that can help you budget over the longer term.
There are plenty of greats apps and online programs to help you save, such as Pocketbook.
2. Start house sitting
If you’re finding it difficult to pay rent while saving for house and moving back home isn’t an option, house sitting can be a great way to live in desirable areas for virtually nothing. It’ll cost you a little light maintenance and house upkeep, or a quick dog walk a couple of times a day, but that’s nothing compared to the thousands you’ll be saving each month while living rent-free.
3. Get on top of your debts
Saving will be incredibly difficult if you’re struggling just to keep on top of the debts you already have. Consolidating your debts will allow you to create a path forward out of multiple payment dates and interest rates. And the fewer debts you have, the more likely your bank will look favourably on you when the time comes to deciding on your home loan application.
4. Set up direct debit for savings
Have an agreed savings amount direct debited out of your bank account as soon as you get paid. An automatic transfer allow you to ‘set and forget’, knowing that your savings are growing without you having to transfer them manually every time you get paid.
You may even want to consider a term deposit account, which locks away your money for a set period of time while earning you some interest.
5. Don’t settle for big bills
If you’re renting, you might not realise it, but almost anything can be negotiated when it comes to costs around your rental property. Approach your gas, electricity and internet providers and ask for a cheaper deal. If they want your business (and they do), they may not mind shaving a bit off the top. If not, shop around to find another company that will.
Managing Director Stephen Aitken began trading as Aitken Real Estate in 1989. Independently owned, the strong emphasis of company culture dedicated to excellent results and total client care have ensured Aitken Real Estate is the dominant private sale specialist for the local area encompassing Cheltenham, Mentone, Parkdale, Beaumaris and Dingley.