With all the changes to lending criteria, saving for a house deposit seems to have just got a whole lot harder.
New Year’s resolution: “I need to start saving for my house deposit, so I won’t buy coffee for the rest of the year.” Right. My guess is a week later (if you’re lucky), you will be clutching your take out coffee and telling yourself you will start tomorrow!
Two thirds of the respondents said for an extra $1,000 in savings they would give up internet for a month. 30% would give up their smartphones for six months and a 54% would give up coffee for rest of the year. Really??
Time for a reality check. Whilst we are saying these sorts of things, we aren’t doing them. The Intention Behaviour Gap (click here for the blog) has kicked in.
The article concludes by saying, “No matter how broke people are or how desperately they may want to save, mobile phones are now considered by many to be more important than their tooth brush or sex!” (hmm, I know which one I would chose…).
So how do you go about making sustainable change to increase savings for your house deposit?
Here are 5 tips that will help.
- Be realistic and start small. If you are a two coffee a day person every day of the week, cut back to one coffee on three days. I can hear you saying that this isn’t going to make much difference in the long term. Maybe not in terms of dollars and cents, but the point of this exercise is to train your brain so that savings is a fun thing to do. So make sure you actually do save the money, don’t just absorb it into your other expenses.
- Make it easy and Automate your savings. Ask your employer to allocate a portion of your wages directly to a savings account. Then, each time you get a wage rise, increase the amount that is going to your savings account.
- Focus on what you are saving for. Rather than thinking that you are depriving yourself by saving (a negative thought), focus on the end goal (positive thought!). Have positive visual reminders of what you are saving for, like pictures of the new car, house, holiday.
- Think more carefully before you spend. Take a bit more time and do a bit more research. Ask yourself if you really need whatever it is that is tempting you, can you find a lower cost version – or do without it altogether. The difference between what you were originally intending to spend and what you actually spend can go to savings.
- Have a Plan. Know what is coming in and what is going out and what the difference is. If there is nothing left over or there’s more going out than in, you are going to have to make sacrifices to get on track. But don’t take a ‘slash and burn’ approach, it just won’t work. If you don’t know what to do next, find someone to help you.
If you feel you just can’t tighten the belt anymore and the house deposit is looking like an impossibility, there is something else. Earn more income. Sounds radical I know, but how about a second job, turning your hobby into something that generates some income, or maybe you could sell some of the ‘stuff’ you no longer want.
If you are feeling stuck on the road to saving for your house deposit or have any financial problems and would like to some help, drop us an email. We have a number of programmes that are specifically designed to help you understand your money mindset so you can change your behaviours and reach your financial goals.