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7 ways to save for your first home

Saving for your first-home isn't easy. We've come up with a few helpful ways for you to save, without sacrificing an arm and a leg to do it!

Everyone knows it. Buying your first home in New Zealand isn’t easy. I’m guessing that you’ve heard it all before; prices are too high, wages are too low, and getting that first home by yourself, with your partner or for your family might seem unattainable.

The truth is, that it’ll likely take quite a while to save up that first home deposit. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of 7 easy ways to save, that’ll help you get on the property ladder faster.

1. House Sitting

House sitting has tons of benefits. One of the biggest benefits is helping you save on rent.

Rent (if you’re just renting a place for yourself, or you and your partner) will usually cost you around $450 per week.

A $450 savings per week is over $20,000 per year! Imagine putting all of that money towards for your first home deposit.

With house sitting, it’s easy to save. Simply sign-up for an account here to get started.

2. Eat well, but eat in

One of the downsides of saving is that you feel like you have to ‘miss out’ on all of that stuff you love. Like eating out, for example.

We propose that rather than ‘skip’ the cost of eating out, you halve it. For example, if you usually spend $70 together on a night-out, give yourself a budget for $35.

Rather than just cooking what’s in the pantry, go to the supermarket with your $35 and you’ll be surprised at what amazing delicious food you can buy!

What’s even better, is if you do that twice a month, that’s $70 you can put straight into your house savings account. That’s $840 per year!

3. Take that extra 5 minutes on parking

Parking, especially if you live in a city, is expensive. The team at House Sitting NZ worked out how much we spend a month on parking during leisure time, and worked out that it was over $40 per month per person.

Why? Because we’d simply park in the first available park that I saw, or in parking buildings. If you circle the block 2 - 3 times (which really takes only 5 - 10 minutes) then you can find a free park which will save you a few dollars as well.

It might seem like a small amount, but it all adds up over the period of a month! Plus, you may even get a couple of minutes of walking time in if you park slightly further away.

4. Get a flatmate or use airbnb

If you are already flatting, and you haven’t started house sitting yet, you could get a flatmate to save some extra money.

I know, it might be tough to have to share yours and your partner’s space with someone else. But, there are plenty of different options for having a flatmate.

For example, you could try a short-term tenancy (for 3 or 6 months). This will give you a nice balance of having your own space, and saving some extra money. (around $3500 over 6 months).

Another option, is you could airbnb out your spare room or study for a few nights per month. Again, don’t think of it as something you have to do all of the time, you could simply commit to using the service for 5 nights a month (and save over $600 per month).

5. Maximise your KiwiSaver

Most of us know the importance of KiwiSaver and how much it can help you towards your first-home. But are you maximising it’s potential?

The difference between savings in your bank account and your KiwiSaver is that you’ll receive additional interest, over and above what you’ll get in a bank account.

So consider putting your 4% contribution up to 8% (even if it means that you save a bit less into your bank account). You won’t notice the difference after just a few months!

6. Pay off credit card debt

Credit cards can be tempting, and some would argue that they have their place in life. We however, would say be aware of using your credit card if you’ve already accumulated significant debt on it.

That 17.5% interest rate really adds up. If you have a $2000 credit card bill, paying off $300 per month, then you’ll pay an extra $119 of interest over a period of 8 months. And, that’s if you don’t use the card at all during that period!

Although we’re not registered financial advisers, we suggest thinking hard about what you could do with that $119, and if it’d be better off in a savings account.

7. Pocket your small windfalls (they add up)

Getting stuck into that spring clean-out? It’s not uncommon to come across a few valuable items that you’ve lost use for. It might seem like it’s not worth it to sell some of these items, but $20 adds up if you sell a few things.

What’s more, is that these days is easier than ever to flick off your unwanted goods without the fees. Try using a Facebook group in your area.

Parting words

There are many different ways to save money, and these are just a few. Just remember to stay positive, and take small steps!

While a few of these suggestions might look like they won’t amount to much, cents turn into dollars, and your savings account will add up much faster than you thought it would!

If you’d really like to save, one of the best ways is house sitting.

You can become a part of our House Sitting NZ directory for just $19 for 3 months.

It only takes a few simple steps!

Get started here.

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