Smart tips for living well while saving for your first home.
Buying your first home usually comes with a four-letter word no-one wants to hear: save.
Often, when it’s time to save a deposit, it’s also the time you want to enjoy life with your first real job, living independently, travelling and being social. And who wants to miss out on that?
Short answer: you don’t have to. Follow our simple steps, tips and tricks below, and see how you can save and get into your own home, without becoming a four-letter word … a bore.
See it, feel it.
First, get into the right headspace by imaging yourself in your own home, with walls the colour you choose, and pictures where you want them. Make it real by picturing that amazing housewarming party for your mates in your alfresco. Get inspired by looking at Pinterest or home inspiration blogs to help keep you on track.
Get informed, get planning.
Next, get realistic. Chat to the experts at WA Housing Centre to find out what you qualify for in terms of grants and finance, what you can afford, and what deposit you’ll need. Ask about our low deposit home loan options. You may not need as big a deposit as you think. Then get planning.
Save rent – live with the ‘rents.
Rent is another four-letter word to avoid. It’s tough to pay it and save a deposit at the same time. Even your parents understand. So find somewhere heaps more affordable to rent, or find the courage to call mum and dad and ask to move back home. Yes, you’ll have to live with their rules, and watch their favourite TV shows. But it’s not forever, so breathe deeply and watch your savings grow larger.
Cash in your clutter.
Most of us are sitting on stuff we could be converting into cold, hard cash. Take stock of your possessions and offload unwanted items by selling them on many online sites. Then stash the cash in your savings. It’s not just furniture people will buy. Dig deep and think about clothes, jewellery, sport equipment and smaller appliances, all those things sitting in your closet that you no longer need or use.
Take the need vs want test.
Whenever you’re about to spend money, stop and ask yourself: Do I need this, or do I just want it? This helps refocus your spending. If you need it, try to see if you can find it second hand. If it’s something you want, see if there’s another way to enjoy it. Go for cheaper brand clothing, or free music streaming, or browse charity shops – it’s fun and you help a good cause.
Slowly does it.
Cut back on luxuries slowly – you won’t notice it as much. Eliminate them one at a time over a few months. Once you pocket the savings from one area, you’ll be motivated to move to the next one. Look at things like pay TV, streaming services, and any recurring subscriptions. If you just can’t let go of things, cut them for alternating months – you’ll still save.
Smash your food bill.
You know the drill … daily coffees, lunches, eating out and ordering in – it all adds up. But let’s be clear: you don’t have to live on 2-minute noodles to afford your first home. Simply get clever, like making your own coffee, shopping wisely and taking lunch to work. Set aside a fixed monthly amount for eating out, and stick to it. Plan the times and look for special deals. Yes, you can smash those savings, and an avo from time to time.