A young couple managed to save $65,000 in just over a year to buy their dream home – as they reveal their top tips on how to squirrel cash away.
Natasha Osborne, 23, and her partner Dylon Memen, 27, are adding the finishing touches to their home in Salisbury North, north of Adelaide, that they recently snapped up for $400,000.
The pair put down a 5 per cent deposit on the three-bedroom house and are replacing the floorboards and slapping on some new paint before they move in.
The couple, who both work as pick packers, preparing orders for shipments, spent the past 14 months writing every single expenditure down in a diary, even when they spent just 50c.
‘We sacrificed a lot, we never went out, we’d go to friends’ houses, or we’d stay in and play board games or video games,’ Ms Osborne told Daily Mail Australia.
The pair have been dating for under two years but always knew they wanted to get into the housing market as quickly as possible.
Natasha Osborne, 23, and her partner Dylon Memen, 27, are adding the finishing touches to their home in Salisbury North, north of Adelaide, that they recently snapped up for $400,000
They were able to move back home with Ms Osborne’s parents, but still contributed about $200 weekly for rent, bought groceries, and paid for bills.
HOW THE COUPLE WERE ABLE TO SAVE
– Staying home, avoiding nights out and playing board games instead
– Bulk buy groceries and purchase meat only when it’s on clearance
– Choose which supermarkets are cheaper
– Keep a diary of every expenditure no matter how small
– Eat meals at home, meal prep
– Fill up extra cans of fuel to save on prices
– Buy non-branded items at supermarkets
– Purchase clothes from op-shops
‘Every week, I’d go to the markets and get all my fruit and vegetables and do a big meal prep,’ the 23-year-old said.
‘I’d cook everything and freeze it. With all the rising prices for food it saved us quite a bit.’
The pair also tried to buy non-branded products and would only ever buy meat when it was on clearance.
‘If you’re paying full price for meat, you’re paying too much,’ Ms Osborne said.
Working out which supermarkets were cheaper was another way they were able to set aside more money each week.
Fuel was another cost they were also able to keep down.
Ms Osborne said she drove to work and, at the start of the week, would fill up her car, along with two jerry cans which she said saved her around $30 each week.
‘We both love our coffee, but we ended up finding a secondhand coffee machine for $300 and bought locally sourced beans from the barista, which was so much cheaper,’ she said.
Ms Osborne said while she’d always been ‘savvy’ and chose op-shops over labels, it wasn’t always easy limiting what she could spend.
‘It was hard but we had each other’s company, everyone knew the sacrifices we were making and how badly we wanted to get into the housing market,’ she said.
The couple also picked up extra shifts where they could and would work long hours.
The pair put down a 5 per cent deposit on the three-bedder, after spending the past 14 months staying in and saving all they could
The couple said they would buy non-branded items from the supermarket, and would work extra shifts when possible so they could buy their first home
In April, with the help of their agent Bruno Caporella and mortgage broker Chris Longwill, the couple were finally able to put a deposit down.
Mr Longwill said those looking to buy should be aware that they will need to put down more than just 5 per cent.
He said with stamp duty and fee such as conveyancing, ‘the minimum deposit is actually 13.5 per cent of any purchase price when all said and done’.
The Mortgage Choice broker also gave his tips on some easy ways to save for a home.
‘Knuckle down, save your birthday and Christmas money, save your tax refund, can you be thrifty and sell some stuff around the house on eBay?’ he said.
‘Save your extra overtime you do at work, be frugal for 6-12 months and the impacts are huge on your savings! Just don’t spend.’
‘Set a budget and put aside your mortgage repayments in savings each pay, then save more than that to know you can afford the repayments and your bills.
‘Work out how much your house bills and utilities including insurance and council rates cost per month like $500, and save that too.’
For Ms Osborne and her boyfriend, the year of board games and cooking at home well and truly paid off.
Her advice for others wanting to have a home to call their own? Sacrifice.
‘Sacrifice is key, you can’t get anywhere without sacrificing something,’ she said.
The pair are now replacing some floorboards and giving the house a new coat of paint before moving in