• How to keep your eye on the prize when saving for a home

    How to keep your eye on the prize when saving for a home

    Anyone who says saving for a home is easy is straight-up lying! It’s hard work squirrelling cash away, but it’s vital to keep your eye on the prize.

    Twenty-nine year-old Bonnie Caine – who saved a deposit for a one-bedroom off-the-plan apartment in Sydney’s south by working like a “crazy person” for several years – knows a thing or two about playing the long game.

    Bonnie, an advertising account manager who is sharing in Balmain while her place is being built, shares her tips for blocking out the naysayers, starting the savings journey and keeping morale high on the often long and lonely road to home ownership.

    How to keep your eye on the prize when saving for a home_Pic1 - girl on floor 
    It’s easy to get despondent when saving for a property, but there are a few little ways to remain positive. Picture: Getty

    Take the first step

    “You hear people say ‘it’ll take years to save a deposit or it’s too hard in this market’, but you have to start somewhere if a property is something you want,” Bonnie says.

    Ignore the negative Nancys and simply take the first step, she says. “Start a savings account; one that’s separate to your everyday banking and you don’t have an ATM card for,” she says.

    “Work out a realistic amount you can put away each week or month, taking into account all your upcoming expenses; no matter how small the amount.

    “Then set yourself small financial goals, like ‘in three months I am going to save $2,500’. And just keep going, because small goals end up being big amounts in the end,” Bonnie adds.

    Accept it takes sacrifice

    Understanding that sacrifice is part of the deal is vital. “The saying ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too’ rings true when you’re saving for or own a property, unless you’re super-duper rich. For us regular Joes, it does mean we need to make some sacrifices,” she says.

    You have to learn it’s OK to say no if it’s going to put you in financial strain

    “Write down a list of things you would not be willing to budge on and a list of things and experiences you could probably miss out on if need be. That makes it really easy to say yes or no when the time comes. You have to learn it’s OK to say no if it’s going to put you in financial strain.”

    How to keep your eye on the prize when saving for a home_Pic2 bbq 
    Working out where you can afford to cut costs will help you plan your weekly spending accordingly. Picture: Getty

    Search smart

    Get smart about your property search and getting advice, she advises.

    “Don’t overwhelm yourself with all the conflicting information out there. If you just use Google, you won’t know what to believe!

    “Reach out to friends and family for recommendations on home loan providers or ask about their experiences. Speak with a home loan specialist – you need to listen to people who know what they’re talking about; people who understand the market and are experts,” she adds.

    Then, be strategic in hunting for the perfect pad. Bonnie recommends using the realestate.com.au mobile app to organise searches.

    “I used this app a lot for searching, especially in the earlier stages, to get a gauge of different areas and price ranges,” she says.

    Visualise the goal

    Once Bonnie had committed to buying off-the-plan, she had to keep her focus as she continued to put money away.

    Visualising the end goal – her own flash new home and how she would enjoy it – helped.

    “A good tip is to keep visuals like a floor plan of the property that is being built or the type of home you want to purchase,” Bonnie says.

    How to keep your eye on the prize when saving for a home_Pic3 - chair 
    Planning your interior spaces is a fun way to keep you inspired to ‘keep on keeping on’ saving. Picture: Tamara Graham

    “I am a visual person, so I find this really helps. I would be thinking ‘I’m so over it, so over saving, it’s so far away,’ and then I’d look at the floor plan.

    “Also, set up a Pinterest account with furniture or decorations you’d like to buy or start putting together a glory box of things to put in your very own home,” Bonnie says.

    “Why not even organise the future house warming party you’ll have with your friends? Get excited, even if it’s a while off. Think of the housewarming gifts you’re going to get … winning!”



    Originally published on flatmates.com.au

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    About the author

    • Raymond

      Raymond A Ram is the RAMbassador for RAMS Financial Group. Raymond works with the RAMS team to bring simple, helpful and expert information on home loans and savings accounts to life with his down to earth and cheeky personality. He enjoys seeing everyday Australians turn their dreams of saving for a goal or getting into a home a reality. 

      Growing up in Goulburn, NSW, Raymond was brought up with good old-fashioned Aussie values of hard work and a fair go. It soon became apparent that Raymond wasn't content for the conventional path of grazing, producing the very best wool, and finding a nice sheep to settle down with. So it wasn't long before his passion for performing and his talent as a likeable larrikin shone through - landing him a few roles such as 'RAMlet'. He was even tipped to play RAM-bo at one point but chose to become star of the small screen instead as RAMbassador for RAMS. He now finds this role so much more rewarding.

      Contact your local RAMS Home Loan Centre about your home loan options.

      Raymond A Ram

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  • Disclaimer:

    This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness of the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.