Getting beach-ready isn’t the only exercise you should be doing this summer – flexing your saving muscles should be a priority too. With party season well and truly upon us, it can seem like it’s impossible to not overspend.
Saving for a home loan? Well done – you’ve made a great choice for your family’s future. Here are my top tips for saving money this summer, so you can be hosting that house warming party a whole lot sooner.
Don’t keep up with the Kardashians
Remember when you were a student? Ah, those were the days. Living off Mi Goreng, prioritising happy hour over hard work and relying on the BOD. That’s the Bank of Dad.
I’m kidding! But do you remember when you were a student – or maybe a fresh recruit – and you gawked at the cost of say, an expensive gym membership? There was no way you’d go for the expensive cocktail over the house wine. You made do with your university’s gym and not the expensive Pilates studio down the road, and you had no need for Foxtel or Netflix or any of these other luxuries that have crept into your life. You prioritised your needs, and likely spent within your means.
Once we graduate and begin to climb the career ladder, our income usually increases with it. And along with that, so too does the cost of our lifestyle. Every time we get a little bit of extra cash flow, we scale up our living standards. Truthfully though, it is possible to be just as happy without all of the luxuries draining your savings.
Think about how you used to live, and what you could cut out without drastically decreasing your quality of life. I guarantee your quality of life won’t decline if you cut back on weekly tubs of Gelato Messina.
Clean out the clutter
Summer is a great time to do a full sweep of your house and use your sidewalk, lawn or garage as your very own pop-up shop. If you have clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn for over a year, throw them in the pile. Re-home old phones, TVs, furniture and unwanted gifts. Not only will you make a bit of extra cash to go towards saving for a home deposit, but you’ll be taking care of the unwanted chaos that comes with clutter. Try Gumtree, eBay, Depop, or many of the Facebook groups dedicated to selling items.
Don’t rely on credit for gifts
It’s easy for the holidays to sneak up on you. One minute you’re stocking up on winter woolies, and then the next it’s Christmas and you haven’t even thought about shopping, let alone saving for a home loan! This is when people get into a bind and end up relying on credit cards, just so they can look like the queen or king of gift giving.
Do you remember when you were young, and you’d ask an aunty or grandparent what they wanted for Christmas, and they said “Nothing!”? You thought they were from Mars. Didn’t they know about Toys R Us? Well, you are that weird person now. Because when you receive a gift, it’s expected that you give back. If you explicitly ask someone not to gift you, there’s no impetus on you to hit MYER for expensive candles or bath oils. Of course, other people might want to boost their own ego by buying something for you, and often this can be hard to avoid. In these instances, it helps if you have a hunch for these sorts of people. I say retaliate with baked goods – they’re cheaper, and it shows you went to an effort. No harm there, right?
Compare flights and accommodation before you travel
Bless the kind people of Agoda, WebJet and others who did all the hard work for us civilians in need of a holiday. If you’re saving for a home loan, there’s no excuse to not compare prices for holiday deals when shopping online. Every extra dollar counts towards your home loan deposit. And when you pay up front, you often get a significant discount. It really does pay to shop around.
Try camping over fancy hotels
There’s no two ways about it – holidaying in Australia can be expensive. In fact, the cost of a month in Thailand is about the same value as a week-long trip up the east coast. If you don’t have enough annual leave for a cheap trip abroad, consider your own back yard. Pitching a tent is far more affordable for an overnight getaway, and it gives you the chance to refresh without dipping into your annual leave.
Get creative in the kitchen instead of eating out
If you’re a major foodie, it’s tempting to want to try all the things, at all the places. It seems like there’s a new restaurant popping up in Sydney every week! My advice is to understand that Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) is detrimental to saving for a home loan deposit. You don’t have to give up your nice dinners altogether, but try whipping up a feast at home with a nice bottle of wine. It will cost you far less, and you can eat and drink as much as you want. Winning!
Want more tips for saving for a home loan? Check out my post on how to save for a home loan.