Saving for your first home can be an extremely tough gig, especially in a society driven by consumerism. Everywhere you look you are encouraged buy the latest technologies, eat at the coolest cafes, and wear the trendiest new clothes. Upgrade here, refurbish there, 'treat yourself' everyday.
Unfortunately, 'treating yourself' tends to result in a less-than-healthy savings account. All the money you have earned over years of hard work is now either in your wardrobe, in a charity clothes bin, or in your belly. Now, I'm not going to make any rash suggestions, such as, 'smashed avo is the reason you don't own a home'. However, if we all cut down on life's little luxuries, home ownership will become that little bit more achievable.
It's time to say N🚫.
If you want to get that ultimate 'yes' from the bank, then saying 'no' needs to become your new mantra.
No more take-away coffees, no more dining out, no more 'it was on sale so i bought it'. Saying 'no' to all these expenses can be hard, but if you want to get closer to purchasing your own home, it is necessary. While they may seem like inconsequential purchases at the time, every little inconsequential amount adds up, and the result? Consequences.
I know what you're thinking; a $4 standard latte isn't going to make or break your home ownership dreams. Hey, you might be right. But a $4 standard latte every single day will set you back a whopping $1460 by year's end (and it's best to add another $50 for those days when a single shot just isn't enough). If we're spending this much on coffee alone, imagine how much money goes down the drain on clothes, movie tickets and dining out? Personally, it makes me feel slightly nauseas just thinking about it.
For the month of November (NO-vember; clever, right?!), set yourself a challenge: note down all the times you say 'no' to unnecessary expenses, and calculate the money you save. So no to the expensive toothpaste, and opt for home brand. Say no to booking an Uber for a quick ride to work, and put your walking shoes on. The more you say no, the quicker it will become habit, and you'll start to wonder how you were ever so nonchalant about your spending habits before.
It is also worth noting down all the things you do spend money on; once you see on paper just how much is going towards brunch each month, home made baked beans on toast may become extremely appealing after all.
Talk to a broker.
Saving can be extremely difficult if you don't have a clear goal in mind. Do you know how how much you will need for a deposit and other associated costs? Will you be able to afford the mortgage repayments each week? Even if you are not ready to purchase just yet, it is still worth having a chat to your local mortgage broker. They can help you define your vision, and let you know whether your aspirations are achievable, or farfetched. And the best part? The coffee's on them!