If you’re a first home buyer, the thought of saving for a deposit can be daunting. And if you’re already living paycheck to paycheck, you are probably wondering how you’re going to put any money aside for a deposit?

So, to make your goal more achievable, we’ve compiled a list of clever ways to help build up that bank account and save money for your first home. Follow our savings tips below, and you might find that being pre-approved for a home loan and moving into your dream home could be closer than you thought.

 

1. Sell your stuff


A pile of clothes being folded and organised.
Be honest, you knew you needed to do a cull in the closet

You don’t have to go entirely minimalist, but there are probably a few items hanging around your home that you don’t need. Even things like old phones, books, and clothes can get you a handy profit when you sell them at a market or online. eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace are great places to sell items you no longer use. When was the last time you rode your bike, or dusted off your weights, or wore that jacket? Sell it and put all the extra money into your savings. It’s the ultimate side hustle!
 

2. Take it straight out of your salary

 

One of the best tips for saving money is to set up a direct debit from your pay. Don’t wait until the end of the month and transfer whatever is left in your account into your savings – you’ll spend more that way. It’s much easier to know what you have to play with for the month - so transfer cash into your savings account the moment it hits your balance.
 

3. Always look for the best value
 

Australian supermarket giants often have plenty of great deals – but don’t rely solely on Coles and Woolies for your shopping list. Branch out to Aldi and Costco, who offer super affordable prices, and their range is often just as extensive. Better yet, if you’re buying fruit and vegetable, head down to your local market or greengrocer. Sometimes, these markets just can’t be beaten on price, plus you’re supporting the little guy! It’s a win for your wallet and a win for local businesses.

 

4. Keep an eye on your bank account
 

It’s worthwhile monitoring your spending habits. Most of the big banks now have apps that allow you to track your spending and will automatically categorise it over the course of a week or a month. You might come across some additional payments you can put a halt to (how many streaming services are you subscribed to?) or find a way to cut down on everyday purchases (BYO coffee from home 3 days a week, instead of buying every day!) Again, savings isn’t about punishing yourself - so do some online shopping every now and then, but look for areas where you can limit your spending and you’ll soon find money in the budget to spare.

 

5. Everything in moderation
 

A stone bowl with avocado tosat.

Don't let anyone tell you that you have to give up avocado toast

Just because you’re focusing on saving your pennies, doesn’t mean you need to go cold turkey on all the things you love. Shop smarter when you do your weekly grocery haul. Buy home brand for the little things like pasta, flour and milk, and spend a little more on the items you love. Splurge on that fancy Mayver’s Peanut Butter! Grab yourself a family block of Cadbury Marvellous Creation – you deserve better than home brand chocolate.  Just don’t go overspending – give yourself an allowance each month for treats so that you stay happy while achieving your financial goals.
 

6. Give your money the best home


It can be beneficial while you’re saving to review where you’re keeping your hard-earned money. Some savings accounts are better than others – with better interest rates and fewer fees. Shopping around for the best savings account can make a significant impact, especially if you plan on building your deposit over an extended period. This can be one of the simple ways to multiply your money. The questions to ask when you’re looking at savings accounts include:
  • What is the interest rate?
  • Is there a minimum deposit monthly deposit to benefit from the interest?
  • What fees are involved with this account?
  • How accessible is my money?
  • Do I have to pay transaction fees?
  • Do you have any credit card options?
  • What other features are on offer?
  

7. Don’t live alone

 

When you’re saving for a home, one of the most substantial money drains is renting a house, unit or apartment. Not only are you paying rent, but you’re also paying your energy bills, so it makes it even harder to save. Ensuring that you have a flatmate will keep more funds in your bank account, and depending on your arrangement, could cut rent and bills in half!
If it’s an option, you could also consider moving back in with your parents. We understand that sometimes this isn’t ideal, but in the long run, a little suffering will get you into your dream home quicker.

 

8. Get around for less

 

Cars are expensive – there’s no doubt about it. Whether it’s the weekly fuel up, monthly car insurance, quarterly servicing, or yearly registration, maintaining a car isn’t cheap. If you have access to public transport, you might consider selling your car altogether – or even downgrading and cashing in on your current ride while it’s still worth something. If selling your car isn’t an option, utilising public transport, car-pooling or walking when possible will help to keep fuel costs down. Also make sure that you shop around for the best deal on an insurance policy – it’s important to revisit this each year.

 

9. Travel local
Hit the road Jack

We know you can't travel right now, but no doubt while you're stuck at home you're working on some epic plans to jetset across the world when bans are lifted.

Unfortunately – your international holidays might have to take a backseat if you want to hit your savings goals. Don’t forgo a trip though, just plan an epic Australian adventure. Australia has plenty of great sights to see - whether you want a tropical getaway up north or to see some snow down south. Bonus points if you can road trip there because ditching the flights is a big money saver! There’s also the option to find a cheap trip to some of our close international neighbours. Bali and New Zealand are reasonable options if you just can’t shake the international travel bug.

10. Get a second job

 

If you’re already working full time, maybe this isn’t the right avenue for you – you’ve worked hard for your weekends after all! However, if you’re part-time or casual, it might be worth thinking about picking up some extra work. Even just a few hours of extra work each week can help you save your deposit faster, and it’s not a long-term deal – once you buy your home, you can get out of there ASAP.
 

11. Get professional advice
 

Not everyone understands money and finance, so we recommend reaching out to the pros as they’ll be able to put you on the right path. Mortgage brokers can tell you how much you can afford, put you onto a savings plan and assist you in becoming pre-approved, which is why we’ve partnered with some of the best available. You could have that house deposit and be in your brand-new home sooner than you think. Find out more on our HomeSolution page – the first choice for first home buyers.