Saving for a housing deposit

Saving for a house deposit is the first (and often biggest) step to owning your own home. It may seem impossible at times, but with the right mindset and goals, you can get there. 

So, what are the steps as a first time buyer, to get you closer to owning a house?

Make a budget

First of all, have a look at your budget.The easiest way to kick-start the savings process is to look where you can save. 

Look at what comes into your account each month and what goes out. You can use a budget calculator to help cost everything out.

From that, put together your budget to cover your essentials, such as:

  • Rent.
  • Utility bills.
  • Existing loans or debt.
  • Food (not UberEats).
  • Public transport or petrol.
  • Medical costs. Pet costs.

List out everything you need (not want) and work from there. Then you might want to consider the costs you might be overindulging in. 

Are you eating out too often? Could you cut down on subscription services? 

From all of this, you can create a budget. The most important part is to stick to it!

How to save

Now, here’s where the hot tips come in. You actually need to save. It’s a good idea to set a goal for yourself so you have a clear direction on where you want to be.

From your budget, based on what comes in and goes out of your account, you should have a rough idea on how much you can put away in savings. 

If you have any lingering debt, it also might be worth looking at consolidating your debt across loans, credit cards, and so on, into one personal loan. This will give you a little more flexibility with fees and repayments, as personal loan fees are typically lower than credit card fees.

Other ways that could help you save could be: 

  • Shop once a week (bargain hunt).
  • Eat more veggies (it’s cheaper).
  • Drink coffee at home.
  • Bring your lunch to work. 
  • Cut down on alcohol.
  • Ask for discounts (for bulk purchases).
  • Sell unused items at a market or online.
  • Get a weekend job.
  • Move back home if you can.

The list goes on. 

It’s also a good idea to look at other areas of spending that happen behind the scenes. Perhaps your internet plan is out of date and there’s a cheaper option. You could also explore other health or car insurance providers for a better deal.

You may also be able to pay less fees on your bank accounts or gym memberships if you switch gyms. It’s worth calling all your providers to see what you can do to save money.

Making the deposit

You’ve made a goal, but now you need to figure out how much you need for a home deposit so that you can see how long it will take you. 

Firstly, it’s worth checking out how much you can borrow with our borrowing power calculator. This will give you an idea of what loan amount you could be eligible for. You can then see what your loan repayments could look like with our loan repayment calculator.

Many first home buyers are unaware that it’s not just about whether your deposit will be enough to buy you a home. It’s about understanding whether that deposit will be enough to get a lower interest rate, or avoid paying additional costs.

Depending on your eligibility, the minimum house deposit amount you can make is 5% of a property purchase price. Generally, any deposit below 20% will attract the need for Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI), which can cost quite a bit.

On top of your deposit, you’ll need to consider stamp duty. This differs per state and depends on the value of the property. In most states, there are concessions and discounts for first home buyers.

Say you’re looking at buying a house and need a loan amount of between $450,000- $550,000. Below is the deposit you’d be looking at for a 5% to 20% deposit.

Keep in mind, your deposit will also need to include stamp duty and other fees such as transfer fees.

Loan amount 5% deposit 10% deposit 15% deposit 20% deposit
$450,000 $22,500 $45,000 $67,500 $90,000
$550,000 $25,000 $50,000 $75,000 $100,000
$550,000 $27,500 $55,000 $82,500 $110,000


Buying a house with a 5% deposit plus other costs does have its benefits, such as being able to buy quicker. Although as mentioned, you’ll attract high Lenders Mortgage Insurance fees and interest rates.

Schemes and grants available

As a first home buyer, you may have access to The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

This scheme is an Australian Government initiative helping eligible buyers to purchase their first home with a minimum deposit of 5% of the property’s value, without paying additional fees such as Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

Ultimately, if you’re eligible, the government covers the additional 15% to bump you up to a 20% deposit and save you thousands in LMI fees.

A common way to buy your first property is to tap into the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’. Parents who have the means can help their kids get their first house. 

Our First Start Shared Equity Agreement helps with this as it allows someone to contribute money towards a home, in return for shared equity in the property. 

Last but not least, as a first home buyer, you may also have access to the First Home Owner Grant. The grant is a one-off payment and the value differs in each state and territory. It can apply to you when you buy or build your first home.

In a few simple steps, our Home First tool can help you to find out how close you are to buying your first home.

What next?

Hopefully you’ve got what you need now to get the savings kick-started and on your way to owning a home. 

If you’re ready to buy, it’s worth looking at our range of home loans and using our home loan comparison tool to see what could work best for you.

Our friendly team of consultants is of course here to help you throughout each step of the process. You can call them on 1300 654 822.