Saving Money for your first home

Saving Money for your first home- It has been said a number of times that there is nothing like owning your own home Owning a home can have a positive stabalizing effect on your emotional and mental health. In fact almost everyone on earth dreams about owning and living in their own home. Without fear of eviction or rent payments. It's such a daunting prospect and unless you're planning on winning lotto, unexpectedly inheriting a small fortune, or are one of the lucky few for whom money is no object, you're probably wondering how you'll ever save enough money for that all-important deposit. Hate to break the news to you but there's really no other way around it - you need a goal, commitment and willpower. But with the right attitude and a budget, anything is possible.

When I first owned my own property i started very very late. I regret that. I was in my mid-forties and although I had had the opportunity to save when earning good money in my 20's I splashed it against the wall with wine,women and song. I strongly advise against doing that as a day of reckoning will come and you will regret it.

These are some of the things to consider. But don't delay or procrastinate. At least not for long.

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  • Can you afford to live in your location of choice or are you ultimately willing to compromise on location to achieve the dream? If your heart says Toorak but your hip-pocket begs to differ, it might be time to take an overdue reality check. Find out how much you can potentially borrow first, then start researching the areas you can afford to find that dream abode.
  • Have you thought about all the "hidden" costs associated with buying a house? You may think you know how much money you need for a deposit, but have you factored the costs associated with stamp duty, legal fees, insurance and rates into your budget? Money Magazine details the maze of fees and outlays which are all part and parcel of buying a home, and that's before you've even booked the removals!
  • Can you manage your debt? Be wary of biting off more than you can chew just to get into the market. You may be able to make your payments now, but what would you do if interest rates rise? It seems a long time ago now, but in the not-too-distant past, interest rates were skyrocketing and many people were struggling with meeting their mortgage repayments. Most financial institutions have online home loan repayment calculators to help you work out how much you'd need to repay if interest rates rise (or fall). Ignorance, as they say, is really no excuse so do your research now to avoid any stress later.

Anyway, that's all very serious stuff (and terribly grown up). It's now time to get on the budget bandwagon and make tracks towards your goal.

As a starting point in Australia is realestate.com.au has some fantastic tips on saving and buying your first home. The Home Buying Institute which is based in the UK has also pulled together its top 15 savings tips for future home buyers.

Then you know what you have to do next - your sums.

  • How much have you saved already? It really doesn't matter what it is, it's a start (yes, even if it involves scrounging around the back of your couch cushions for spare change).
  • What's your time-frame? Regardless if it's six months, a year or much longer, setting a target date will help you determine how much you need to save every month to reach your goal. Lucky for you, is here to help. Just set up your profile with a target goal (eg, the deposit on your home) and wi-ate how much you need to save each month, direct debit that amount from your everyday bank account and pay you interest. So while you're working hard to achieve your goal, your money is hard at work too! As you know with the social side of, you might get some help directly from your friends and family so be sure to share your goal!
  • If you're not sure how much you can afford to put aside each month, consider using a budgeting tool to help you work out what your disposable income is and what you can put aside. is a completely free semi-automated budgeting tool that anyone (no matter who they bank with) can use.
  • If it all seems a bit too much like hard work... remember: people have done it before. You can too.

Finally, don't forget you're in this for the long-haul. Buying your first home will be an expensive exercise but just think of the long-term investment. So keep your eyes firmly fixed on the prize and before you know it, you'll be hanging that "Home Sweet Home" sign right beside the front door and hosting your first house-warming party.

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