How to save for a house deposit when you’re renting

Couple calculating their finances | buildtoday
Saving for a house deposit is hard, especially if the biggest chunk of your paycheck goes toward rent.

While it won’t be without its challenges, there are a few clever tricks you can use to meet your goals.

If you’re having a little trouble pulling together a full 20% deposit to drop on your first home, don’t worry. Many Aussies find it difficult to get over this initial hurdle. You shouldn’t let this challenge deter you from your goals. We happen to be living during a time where there are plenty of paths to homeownership.

With government grants and low-deposit loans available, it could be easier than you might think to buy. But, you still have to put a little something down to get the ball rolling. 

You’ve undoubtedly read hundreds of articles, listicles and blogs about how to save for a home loan deposit, but this one is catered specifically to those who face the monthly cash drain that is rent. That’s right, here are a few tips you can use to help you save some scratch while you’re paying rent. 

Get a housemate

Feel like cutting your monthly rental payments in half? Get yourself a housemate. You may be thinking that having a housemate is less than desirable, but think again. Letting someone move into that spare room is a great way to make a new friend, give yourself some company and have someone to split the chores that come with keeping your place neat and tidy.

Oh yeah, bringing in a housemate may also help you save a little dough on other monthly costs such as groceries, internet, Netflix and utilities.  

Have a garage sale

We live in a time where accumulating stuff is all part of ‘growing up’. As you strike out on your own, the urge to fill your space with new stuff seems insatiable, and the next thing you know, your closets are full of clothes you don’t wear, appliances you hardly use and random junk that barely sees the light of day. 

It’s time to put all of that stuff to good use — sell it! Sell all of the stuff you don’t need and put the proceeds in an interest-earning savings account. It’s a great way to boost your home deposit efforts while freeing yourself from the trap of an overcrowded apartment. With plenty of apps and digital platforms dedicated to helping you sell your things, it’s easy to unload while taking one step closer to your home deposit goals.

Monitor those little luxuries 

You had to know this one was coming … this is an article about saving, after all. We know that telling you to cut out the flat whites and avo on toast has become a tired cliche, but don’t be too quick to dismiss the sentiment behind it. The (sometimes hard) truth is that if you want to save — for anything — you need to cut your spending. 

One of the easiest ways to do this is to cut down on all those things you don’t really need to survive. So, while we’re not going to tell you to completely give up all the little luxuries that make your days a little brighter, we will say to cut back. 

Do an accounting of how much you spend on things like take away, coffees, bar tabs, etc, and try to cut it in half. You might be surprised at how quickly the savings start to stack up.  

Take the bus

Did you know that owning a car is a major expense? It also happens to be an expense you don’t need to burden yourself with if you live in the inner city. Thanks to extensive public transport options, living without a car is more realistic than you might think. 

Sell your car and put any profits straight into your savings account along with the future cash that would have gone toward monthly car payments, registration, parking fees, maintenance and the occasional parking ticket. 

Rent out your car space

So you’ve sold your car and now you’re staring down an empty car space? Don’t let that valuable piece of real estate go to waste! That’s right, parking in the inner city has become a valuable commodity that professionals are willing to pay a pretty penny for. Rent out your space to supplement your monthly savings. 

Just make sure you check your rental agreement or run it past your landlord, to ensure you’re not violating any rules.

Find a side gig

If you’ve tried everything and your savings account is still looking a little low, finding a second, part-time job might be a great solution. We’re talking about something fun that offers the flexibility to cater to your schedule.  

Luckily we live in a time where you can turn nearly anything into a money-making opportunity. Are you crafty? Sell your wares online or at a local market. Have a talent for teaching? Maybe a tutoring gig might work well. Love to cook? Start a supper club. No matter what you like doing, there’s probably a way to turn it into a money-making side gig. 

Don’t give up

The final money-saving tip can be the most challenging, particularly when things are going slower than expected. Don’t give up. Just remember that every little bit helps, and any deposit amount is better than none. Plus, with low deposit programs, grants and schemes available to you, it’s easy to supplement your saving efforts to get into a home sooner than you might think.

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