Buying a house is one of the most life-affirming milestones in a person’s life. But it can also be a major source of stress, especially in Australia’s current housing market. Unfortunately for many young professionals, saving up for a down payment seems next to impossible – and all the more so when you are paying out a substantial amount in monthly rent.
But before giving up on your flat and moving back to your parent’s house, take a moment to reflect upon your current financial situation. By making a few essential adjustments, you may find that you’re actually able to save more than you expected despite the fact that you’re renting.
4 ways to get you started
1. Consolidate existing debt
The main problem with debt is that it so easily spirals out of control – especially when your interest rate is high. If paying down debt on a monthly basis is preventing you from saving for a down payment, then it’s time to consider consolidating as much of that debt as you can. There are several ways to accomplish this, from using one credit card for paying off several others to taking out a single loan to resolve multiple debt streams. This reduces several monthly payments to one, and often entails a more manageable interest rate as well.
2. Working more
Whilst not the most encouraging proposition, picking up extra hours or searching for a new part-time job could certainly help you save more. The key here is to have a tangible savings goal that – once attained – allows you to ratchet back the hours. Working yourself into a stupor for an unspecified savings goal will only lead to burnout.
3. Learn to love self-catering
Eating out is a big expense, but it can also feel like a necessity when you’re working long hours and suffering through daily commutes. Learning to self-cater as often as possible can help you save a substantial amount of money. The trick, in this case, is to set yourself up for success with meals that are genuinely delicious despite the fact that they’re quick and easy to make.
4. Reward yourself occasionally
A lot of these money-saving tips come down to trimming the fat. But in the quest to save up for a down payment, it’s easy to get carried away and become so absorbed in your spartan lifestyle that you forget to slow down and enjoy yourself from time to time. With that in mind, set a few smaller savings goals along the way. And each time you achieve one, reward yourself with something special – whether that’s a night out, a weekend away or a special expenditure.
The good news is that a few intentional lifestyle changes are usually all it takes to place you on the road to finally saving money. Try to remind yourself that renting is little more than a stepping stone to owning your own house. If you can maintain that frame of mind, the entire process will feel more worthwhile.
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