Saving for a house deposit can often seem like a tiring and lengthy ordeal – especially with the current housing market booming into incredible heights. For people looking into options to buy their first home, this can seem even more daunting, with the total stagnation of wages growth coupled with the median house price now 14 times the average income and growing in some areas.

Taj Singh, co-founder of First Home Buyers Australia, Australia’s premier first home buyer organisation, believes that with the right strategy in place, your savings can grow and cut the waiting time to own your own home in half.

Need some help gathering some funds? Taj offers his top five tips that will help you to scrape together a deposit for your very own home.

Source a second income

Yes, you may already be working that 9 to 5 job – however, there are other ways to boost your income quickly. Jump on board the sharing economy and rent out some of your idle assets such as spare space and driveways through Spacer.com.au or unutilised camper vans, RVs and trailers through Camplify. Have a few days off work or free evenings during the week? Consider caring for or walking a little pooch or kitty through Mad Paws, or even becoming a courier and delivering parcels through Zoom2u. By using multiple sharing economy platforms can see your income significantly increase.

Setting a realistic budget

Setting a budget might seem painful, however, doing so is the best way to maximise your savings. A good tip is to track all your spending for a fortnight to see where your money is going and where you might be able to save. The most important thing with a budget is that it needs to be realistic, so don’t limit yourself too much and then blow out later on. There are lots of useful tools and tips online that can help, such as downloading ASIC’s TrackMYSPEND app, which allows you to keep track of your expenses on the go!

Deal with your debt

Getting out of debt before you start saving for a home deposit should be one of your top priorities. High interest debts can eat into your savings quicker than anything else. If you have credit card debts consider switching lenders to get the best rates. We can also suggest downloading DebtMinder, an app that helps put you on track to becoming debt free. You can enter your debts and it gives you a plan to pay them off as quick as possible.

Look for bargain buys

 Spending money while saving is inevitable – especially if saving cash takes longer than expected. The key is to know where to look to find the best deals for those must have items you can’t go without. Jump online to platforms like Catch.com.au to get the best offers on groceries, tech, kids & babies, entertainment, sports and pets.

Get the First Home Owners Grant

 If you’re eligible for a First Home Owners Grant, it’s a good chunk of money that lenders may consider as part of your savings and deposit. Some state and territory governments also offer additional bonuses for first home buyers like stamp duty concessions and other rebates. Ask your mortgage broker or lender about it, or check it out online here.

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