So you’re ready to get serious about saving for that deposit? Good for you. Here’s the plan.
1. Do a budget.
If you don’t have a monthly budget already then now’s the time to work out exactly where your money’s been going, and then, where you want it to go. Sounds simple but it is the heavy lifter when it comes to saving. It’s only when we see how much gets spent on coffees, drinks or Friday takeaways, that many of us realise we can start to keep a bit of money back each month.
Go to this link and do your basic budget. What do you think you can save on every week?
2. Get smart about the difference between what you need and want.
When you hear about a new phone, a new film or new trainers, you may find yourself excited and keen to buy.
Ask yourself, do you need this or do you simply want it because it caught your attention? The more you think about the difference between the two, the more you can make space and realise there are things you don’t need to have. This is the extra money you put towards your savings.
A $3 a day coffee from a shop is $15 a week, is $780 a year.
3. Shop around for suppliers
Time to review all the companies you pay any of your monthly bills to, like power, phones or subscriptions. If you haven’t done this before, chances are it will save you money. Ask, ‘is it an essential service for my life’? If not – maybe think about giving it up. If it is, ask yourself ‘am I getting the best possible deal for the way I use this service’?
One example, power bills are a big monthly expense. Apart from finding ways to save energy around the house you may be able to look around for a better deal with a different supplier. Though it does depend on where you live. Check out Choice’s website to see if and how you might want to switch suppliers.
Likewise – the deals you get into with phone companies. Rather than get locked into a monthly plan because it comes with a new phone, think about keeping the old one and paying for what you need as you go.
The other big-ticket costs are when you need things like a washing machine, a fridge or a vacuum cleaner. Use the online comparison sites to see who is giving the best deal. Watch out for extra costs like insurance when the thing may already be under warranty. Or delivery charges when you may be able to get someone to help you out with a pick up. There are great online consumer sites like Product Review to get good advice from.
4. Learn to cook, like they used to…
It may sound like something out of Nana’s time but when you cook for yourself and start from scratch you really do save money. If you learn to do things like make pastry, stocks for soup, or even just your own version of oven chips, you’ll realise just how much the food companies make by doing it for you. They have to charge you so much because they have packaging costs and a bunch of employees to pay. You don’t. When you buy ingredients and make it yourself, you’ll be able to pack it into lunches or make dinners that give you the next meal with delicious leftovers. You could even branch out and get creative baking for breakfast. Not only will you save lots of money, you’ll also probably find yourself getting healthier – and getting compliments.
If you want to get really clever with food take a look at The Australian’s Healthy Food Guide to see how you might be able to save up to $50 a week .
5. Shop second-hand
Most areas, including the well-off ones, have regular garage sales. You might find that someone is moving house and selling an almost-new item. That can save you loads. When money is low, a shopping centre is just too much of a temptation. You can end up with more than you came to buy. You can do the same thing online with Gumtree or eBay. Buying second-hand means more hunting and planning, but it’ll save you lots of money and it can be fun.
6. Learn to love the library
Libraries have free events for kids and families. As well as being able to borrow books for free, you can use the Internet and you can check out movies or music. Just remember to return things on time.
7. Practice patience
Technology has been developing at a crazy pace. With annual mobile phone updates, new laptops coming out each year and new software being developed constantly, it’s amazing how much money you could spend. But, if you wait a bit, that new product becomes an old one really fast. Within one or two years, prices really drop. The same is true for cars that have aged a couple of years, or even older model appliances. You’ll always save if you’re patient enough not to need ‘new’. It’s also a good lesson to teach the kids.
8. Exercise outdoors
If you belong to a gym, it can cost you several dollars each month to ride a stationary bike or walk on a treadmill. You can do those things outside and get fresh air at the same time – for free. There are lots of places to walk in, play basketball in, run through, or where you can ride a bike around. Get outside and move rather than pay to stay indoors. Once you start doing it, you may never go back to the gym even if you’ve got money to spend.
9. Make your own morning coffee
You can create your own morning ritual, save money and help keep waste down on our planet - all by making your own coffee at home. A $3 a day coffee from a shop is $15 a week, is $780 a year.
10. Turn saving into your way of living
It’s funny how the things that can save us money can make us really feel good. Fixing the broken thing instead of replacing it. Baking with the kids instead of taking them out. Sewing the patch on the old jacket so it lasts another year. Walking instead of taking the car. Playing a board game instead of going to the movies. Once you get the hang of it – saving money by being smart about what you choose to do becomes just how you do things. The little things add up to be big numbers. Over just a couple of years watching out for the small things can save you literally thousands and thousands of dollars. And then you’ll have a good chunk of that deposit.
For more savings ideas have a look at this great 50-30-20 budgeting tool.
Ready to go? Call us now and talk to one of our lending team about getting your loan sorted.
We have the widest range of products in the market – from regular loans to specialist loans. You can talk to us about all your home loan options on 13 73 77. Or talk to an accredited Pepper Money Broker. They’re there to help.