If you feel like buying a house is similar to climbing Everest – on a snowy day – then you’re not alone.
But don’t give up hope. There are some things you can do that will help you buy that house without giving up your lifestyle completely!
Strategy 1: Rein in your spending
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s also often the hardest. You do need to get together a deposit and you do need to demonstrate to the lender that you have the ability to pay off your mortgage. So consider the saving period a bit like training for the real thing.
The first step to reining in your spending is to actually know what you’re spending. If you don’t know where your money is going, it’s going to be hard figuring out where you can cut costs.
Track your spending, using an app, spreadsheet or pen and paper – it doesn’t matter how you do it, but you must know where your money is going. Categorise your spending into Essentials, Non-Essentials and Savings. Essentials are things like rent and bills. Non-Essentials are things like food, clothes and entertainment. I know you have to eat – so food should really be an essential – but it’s not in this case. Your rent and bills aren’t likely to change too much and you have little control over them, but your food is. You could eat out every night this month – or you could eat noodles at home. It’s all food, one will just cost a whole ton more than the other.
Once you know what you’re spending, see what you can do to tip the scales in favour of saving. And always pay yourself first!
Strategy 2: Increase your income
This is a bit of a no-brainer too. Your options here are:
- Ask for a payrise or promotion
- Get a new job
- Get a second job
- Get creative – can you find a side hustle like selling stuff on ebay, signing up to Upwork or AirTasker, walking the neighbours dog – or something.
Whatever extra money comes in, put it straight into savings – no detours!
Strategy 3: Change your home buying plans
If you can’t afford to buy the house you want, think of alternatives to get you into the market. You could:
- Ask family for help – you may need to put together a compelling proposition of how you will pay back the loan to convince them that you’re a good risk, but if that’s what you’ve got to do, then do it. That could be your best option!
- Go halves with a close friend, partner or family member – but make sure you get a contract and agree on your exit strategy, especially what happens if one of you wants to sell and the other doesn’t.
- Buy a cheaper investment property and stay renting where you want to live. The investment property could be the stepping stone to your dream home. I recommend that you talk to a financial planner about the best way to do this before you rush out to do it.
Bottom line is, the longer you wait, the harder it becomes.
Take control, think outside the square, make some changes and make it happen. Sooner rather than later!
Give me a call if you need help, or grab a copy of my book for more tips and motivation.