It’s not surprising that the majority of Australians would rather own their home than pay off someone
else’s mortgage. Owning a home is seen as a source of pride, an aspiration reached, but as a renter, it
can be difficult to know where to start to realise that goal.
Not surprisingly, the biggest barrier is likely to be saving money for a deposit. And you’re certainly not
alone when it comes to saving.
We all have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and of course rent to pay, so how is it possible to save money
for a home deposit?
Here, we’ve compiled some realistic tips to help you take that step towards owning your own home if
you’re currently renting.
It may sound simple and clichéd, but working out a budget and sticking to it really is a crucial first step
to reach your savings goals.
Make a list of your expenses so you know exactly where your money is going. From there, determine
where you can save money.
These days there are even some great software programs and aps you can easily download…no need
for pen and paper!
Once you’ve worked out how much you should realistically be able to save each week, try setting up
a direct debit to have this amount taken directly out of your bank account. Having this set up on pay
day is a great way to stick to your savings plan. Having money debit done regularly and not seeing the
money in your account means you’ll soon get used to the idea and won’t miss the extra cash. Then,
try your best not to access your savings unless for an emergency.
Like anything, achieving your ownership goal will happen much quicker if you’re prepared to make
some sacrifices. This might include cooking at home when you’re tempted to get take-away, or saying
no to a shopping spree with friends.
Ditch Unnecessary Expenses
Are you paying for things you could do without? Maybe it’s a Pay TV subscription you don’t really take
advantage of, or a membership to a gym you only use once in a while.
Determining some of these unnecessary expenses and then ditching them can be liberating and save
Shop Around for Better Deals
Really analyse what you spend your well-earned cash on. Can you compare gas and electricity
companies and score yourself a better deal? Can you be more mindful of with your energy usage? Find
out the cheapest, off-peak times to use your dishwasher or clothes dryer, and be diligent about turning
Can you survive on a cheaper mobile phone or Internet plan?
To reach your ultimate goal and achieve savings over a long-term period, paying less rent in the
meantime could be an option. By keeping your end goal in mind, downsizing or moving to a less trendy
area, or even pursuing a roommate to help pay rent and bills may be viable.
As one of your biggest expenses, paying less each week in rent will help you own your own home
Giving yourself rewards is a great option to help you stick to your savings goals. Whether it’s coffee
with a friend, a new pair of shoes, or a weekend away, being kind to yourself can really help you stay
Reduce Credit Card Debt
Your credit card may have helped you in emergency situations over the years or come in handy when
you just couldn’t resist that new leather couch you had your eye on, but ridding yourself of that debt
is a huge step towards saving money.
The interest on most credit cards requires paying a fair whack each month just to meet your minimum
repayments. Paying off this debt will free you up to put away more cash in savings.
As a bonus, reducing or eliminating your credit card debt ensures your credit rating will be better,
which will improve your chances of home loan approval.
First Home Owner’s Grant
If you haven’t owned your own home previously you may be eligible for the First Home Owner’s Grant.
The money you may be entitled to with the First Home Owner’s Grant can boost your substantial
savings, and hence your deposit, substantially.
You can also check with your Mortgage Broker for any other perks you may be eligible for, such as
stamp duty concessions and other bonuses.
With savings account interest rates being relatively low, investing your money in a term deposit may
be an option to sourcing a better interest rate and therefore growing your money faster.
Keep your Goal in Mind
It’s easy to throw your hands in the air and declare potential home ownership as all too hard, but
keeping a clear goal in mind is a great incentive. Remembering your goal can be as simple as frequently
checking the real estate guide in your local paper.
There can be ways around saving a huge deposit that seems unattainable. Talk to your Mortgage
Broker about asking a family member to act as a Guarantor for your home loan.
Although you’ll still need to show the ability to meet repayments, having a Guarantor may enable you
to get started with a smaller initial deposit.
Importantly, talk to your Mortgage Broker and other financial experts to be aware of how much you
actually need to be saving.
Although a larger deposit may be ideal, don’t assume, for example, that you need to have a deposit
of 20% for your dream home. Many lenders are flexible with deposit amounts and adding mortgage
insurance to your loan can mean paying less in a deposit up front.
Your Mortgage Broker can also help you determine a realistic price range you should be looking at to
suit your circumstances, which in turn will give you a good idea of how much you need to save.
Remember, every bit of money you put away is one step closer to your goal. Saving a deposit for a
home is a long-term target, so persistence is key.