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Saving for Your First Home

Whether you are wanting to buy your first home at the age of 18, or 40, we know that getting that deposit can be tough, but it’s always rewarding. With interest rates still remaining low, now is the best time to get your foot in the door – literally.

So where to start?

1. BUDGET! 

After speaking to your bank, who will help set you a figure to strive for, set yourself a budget. Be overly obsessive about your budget, and I mean if you need to go dollars and cents, do it. Being strict with your budget will never lead to a negative outcome. Knowing where your money is going is the best way to make sure you are steering the right amount into the house fund. A handy place to start is by printing out last months bank statement and credit card statement – this may hurt. Once you know where your money is currently being spent, it’s time to re-evaluate. Set yourself targets and work your way towards them by re-visiting your targets each month. See whether or not they’re realistic, or if you can even afford to increase the figure. Give it your all!

2. Sacrifice

Now you’ve seen where your currently spending, it’s about time you start shifting your mindset and look at where you can be saving. Pick at least 3 things you are going to stop spending money on – and stick to it. Calculate how much certain items are costing you on a weekly, monthly and/or yearly basis. Ask yourself, ‘what do I want more?’ Those new shoes, or a house? A night out on the town, or an apartment? This doesn’t mean you need live under a rock, but if you are a serious shopaholic, out on the town Friday & Saturday night, or constantly buying lunch at work – it’s time for a change! If you spend $10 on lunch Mon-Fri plus a $4 morning coffee, that’s $70 a week and nearly $3,640 a year! Again, if your spending on average $150 every weekend, you’re giving $7,800 to your social life a year. Wowser!

3. Open a Separate Savings Account

If you find yourself transferring money on your phone without even giving it a second thought other than “I’ll deal with it later” then an amaaaaazing tip is to open a separate savings account you can’t get your hands on. Talk to your bank and see what your options are! You may not even know that these kinds of accounts exist. Set up a recurring payment for what you can afford, or transfer bulk amounts at a time – at least you can’t spend it if you can’t touch it! That $150 you were going to spend on the weekends could become more than $7,800 sitting in a savings account earning you interest for 12 months ;)!

4. Aim for 20% Deposit

I know this may be daunting when you look at the total sum, but having 20% will not only look pretty spectacular come time to get finance, it also means you avoid paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance which can be thousands of dollars. Another bonus is it will give you more equity in your property from day one. To give you an example, a 10% deposit on a property worth $500,000 could have you paying almost $8,000 straight to your bank for LMI.

5. Repay Other Debts

Now is the time to start getting serious about paying off any other debts you may have – car loans, credit card debts, personal loans etc. If you can afford to start paying a little extra off your debts, do it. Not only will this serve you better in the long run, but it looks great on your credit history.

6. COMMIT TO YOUR PLAN!

Know your goals, know your plan, know your limitations, know your outcome and stick to it!

Motivation comes and goes?

ME Head of Home Loans, Patrick Nolan said that some days can feel like your running a marathon when you’re saving for your first home. So in Nolan’s terms, he has used strategies similar to those of a marathon runner, to assist you when your motivation is starting to slide in the midst of it all.

Keep a steady pace

Don’t try and go too hard or quick too fast, it isn’t going to happen overnight. Give it time, and be realistic with your approach.

Fuel your mind

Focus on the end result. Picture yourself getting those keys and moving in. Physical images around the house are great reminders and helpful for you to remember why you started!

Talk to your running mate

If you are buying with a family member, friend or spouse, it’s good to stop and talk to them often to make sure you’re on the same page. Motivate each other!

Load your savings

Just like runners load up on carbs before a race to give them energy, load up your savings account as much as you possibly can. Talk to your bank and find out how to get the highest interest rate on your savings to help boost you a long.

Run your own race

Don’t give in to pressures around you. Again, be realistic about your time-frame and remind yourself you’re doing the best you can. Your time will come.

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