Saving for a deposit whilst paying rent? While accommodation can take up the biggest chunk of our salaries, it’s something that we can’t really go without.
But there are ways to reduce your outgoings – if you’re prepared to be flexible, and, in some cases, can get other people on board.
Here are four ways you could potentially cut back on the cost of housing and utilities while you’re saving for your first home:
1. Pay a reduced lump sum for rent and bills
Ever considered moving back in with the folks after flying the coop? Living with your parents could not only help you reduce your outgoings, but also give you an extra incentive to be diligent with your savings!
And the idea seems to be catching on, with 14% of Australians in 2012 saying they moved back to their parents’ house to save money. While you may not get free room and board, it’s likely that you could still save money if you’re able to negotiate a lump sum payment each month to cover rent and utilities, making it easier to budget in the longer term.
2. Split the rent – and split the bills
Sharing is caring so they say… so show your savings account some TLC by splitting rent and bills with a friend.
To see how much you could save by renting, have a look at comparable 1 and 2 bedroom properties on Domain. Often, a two bedroom property costs less than double the rent of a one bedder – meaning more money set aside when it comes to saving for your own home.
3. Free housing – just pay the bills
If you’re calculating the extra money you could save if you didn’t have to pay rent, then house-sitting could be just what you’re looking for.
Enjoy free rent in exchange for looking after the property, pets and day to day maintenance. House-sitting durations can range from a few days to over a year, potentially saving thousands of dollars a year if you’re doing it on a long term basis.
4. Maintain your outgoings – but reduce your rent
If your bills are manageable but rent is putting too much of a strain on your budget, then consider moving to a cheaper area in the short term while you save towards your deposit.
Try this Rent or Buy comparison tool to get an idea of how much it costs to rent (or buy) in different areas. You may find that it’s cheaper to rent in some areas than it is to buy, meaning you can try out an area in the meantime which you could otherwise not afford to buy in. Remember to factor in any additional costs such as a potentially more expensive commute, and make sure that there is still some room for saving if you move further out.
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