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Tips for saving for your first home

Establish a plan – how much will you need?

Do some calculations [1] and figure out how long it will take to save your ideal amount.

Break down your goal into monthly or weekly amounts, so you can track your progress. To ensure saving [2] doesn’t seem like a never-ending ordeal, set yourself a time limit to save for a deposit.

Seek as much advice as possible from experts such as financial planners, accountants and your financial institution. Rather than simply saving, you may be able to negatively gear into investments such as managed funds, thereby using the tax advantages to help your savings grow.

First things first – clear those credit cards!

Credit cards [3] can be an expensive means of borrowing, and you should eliminate credit card debt if you are serious about your savings plan [4].

Cut down those expenses

Set yourself a budget [4] and keep records so you can track exactly where your money is going.

Small sacrifices along the way certainly help. For instance, using public transport, taking your lunch into work and controlling the use of your mobile phone.

Establish a good savings history

Start a separate savings account [2] to the one you use on a daily basis, so you are not tempted to use it for everyday living and transactions [5]. Think of it as a deposit account and choose one that rewards your savings with a high interest rate return, such as a term deposit. Make sure there are no account keeping fees that will eat into your savings.

Getting to know your financial institution

Establish a relationship with your financial institution so that they are aware of your disciplines, repayment capability and employment history.

Borrow within your means

Make sure you borrow within your means. Speak to your financial institution and work out what you can really afford to pay as a monthly repayment [6]. You need to be able to still enjoy your life – purchasing a property is a great achievement, but it is not worth sacrificing your happiness.

Understand the financial matters within home ownership

The first home owners grant of $7,000 provides a great start for first time borrowers. However, you also need to allow for associated costs such as borrowing fees, conveyancer costs and other adjustments. A good financier should willingly provide you with guidance and advice in planning for these and other ongoing costs of first home ownership.

^Paul – Lending Services Manager