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Simple smart savings habits

This article is part of a fictional case study series following "Sarah", a typical first home buyer in Victoria. Read each article to follow "Sarah" through a variety of articles exploring issues related to buying a home.

While Sarah had her savings goals set while renting a house with some friends, after a while she noticed that she wasn't making as much traction as she could. 

She was happy to keep going as she was, but that would take a while. So she's come up with a few extra ways to get ahead. 

Sometimes saving up for a house can take longer than you think. Hey, it’s life – things happen. Like repairs to your car, or maybe you need to take an unexpected trip somewhere for family reasons.

That’s why going above and beyond when it comes to your saving can help get you there faster. Of course, it’s going to take a little more effort than just trimming down your food budget, or not going to the movies as much.

Sarah wanted to really supercharge her savings. So this is what she did:

  • Sarah started cleaning homes on the weekend for cash. Every little bit counts. Even $40 on a weekend adds up to an extra $2,000 per year, which after just a few years comes to $6,000. The more deposit you have, the better interest rate you may be able to get.
  • Sarah cut out all eating out for a few months. It wasn’t permanent. But even foregoing restaurants for home-cooked meals can save up some cash. It doesn’t have to mean missing out – inviting friends over to cook together is just as fun, and often better.
  • Sarah stopped using air-conditioning. We know, it seems hardcore. But you can often get by on hot days with just some fans going. Of course, there are some days where you just have to say “stuff it!” but getting rid of air-conditioning, or heating, every day can really save on your utilities.

Remember, cutting things out to save money isn’t permanent. Set an end goal so that you know exactly how long you’ll be giving up something for, and to give yourself light at the end of the tunnel.

Then once you’re in your own home, you can celebrate all the sacrifices it took to get you there.

SARAH'S TAKEAWAY:

Sarah doesn't need to take a second job to survive. This is only temporary while she saves up for a house - in the end, it'll be worth it.

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