10 Money Saving Tips for Getting you Closer to Owning your own Home

For many people, becoming a homeowner will be their most significant life milestone. This is not without good reason. Making the transition from tenant to homeowner symbolises stability and independence, and can be deeply fulfilling. It comes as no surprise that people are clamouring for their own home.

However, getting your foot on the first rung of the property ladder will require some expert budgeting. This can be a scary prospect - this is a commitment that will number in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nevertheless, we want to make the process that much easier for you, with these 10 savings tips to get you that much closer to becoming a homeowner.

1. Save before you spend

We’re all too familiar with the practice - get your paycheck, spend until the end of month, then hope that there is money left over for some meagre savings. A more effective way of saving is to flip this habit around - save as soon as you get paid, then make the rest last until next payday. You may want to set this up as an automatic payment so that you’re not tempted to deviate from your budget.

2. Eliminate your debts

This is one is self-explanatory - outstanding debts such as credit cards and personal loans can become pesky if left unaddressed for too long. Pay these off as soon as possible and it’s one less thing to worry about in your savings plan. At the same time, this will increase your bargaining power with potential lenders for your mortgage.

3. Make records

Making records of your expenditure can help you to visualise and pinpoint exactly where you’re falling short of your budgeting strategy. This should include everything from groceries, to transport, to dining out. Don’t underestimate the cumulative effect of these expenditures.

4. Look out for deals

Be proactive when looking for places where you can cut costs. You might stumble across some competitive deals from your phone or internet provider; don't be afraid to jump at them. You might also make some good savings from buying products in bulk such as pasta or rice. On this note, don't be afraid to buy cheaper alternatives for "premium" products. The cheaper dishwashing liquid, or the home-brand laundry powder, is just as effective as the expensive stuff.

5. Sell things

If you look around, you’ll find that you and your partner will have a lot of things lying around which you can sell for a good chunk of change. An old TV here, and a couch there can net you a respectable bump to your savings account. At the same time, you can declutter your own living space.

6. Do it together

If you’re with a spouse or partner, take advantage of each other to push yourselves to save together. It’s always easier to do something as a team rather than to try and go at it alone. Make decisions together to make sure that you don’t stray away from your budgeting plan.

7. Secondary income

Get a secondary income - you may be able to put your work skills, or even other skills, to work doing some freelance work outside of working hours, or some casual work in the weekend. Often, this work can take place at home, or at least at your own leisure.  It’s just as important not to burn yourself out.

8. Be careful of ongoing costs

We all have weekly or monthly costs which we have set to come out of our bank account automatically. It is easy to forget how these ongoing costs accumulate. Consider cutting your Sky subscription, or downgrading your phone and internet plans, which can really add up over the course of a month.

9. Be reasonable

Remember, saving up for a house is a long-term plan. It is important to maintain your mental well-being while you do it. Don’t force yourself to live an inch above the poverty line just to save those extra few dollars. If your budget puts you in a position where you’re eating canned spaghetti everyday, then the cost might be too great. It’s important to maintain your emotional fortitude; a positive outlook will mean that you are more likely to stick to your budget and plan.

10. Commit

This might be the most important tip: don't lose sight of your goal. Buying your first home won't be easy, but it will be the reward or a lifetime of hard work. Don't be afraid to do it.