Heading back to the family nest can fast-track your first home deposit but it’s important to set a few ground rules first.
Paying weekly rent can seriously impede your ability to save a first home deposit. The obvious solution is to head back home – living with your own family or the in-laws. In either case it can be a big money saver though it’s not without pitfalls, and the trick is to make the most of the financial opportunities while respecting your host’s hospitality.
Make a formal proposal
Simply turning up on your folk’s doorstep unannounced can be a deal breaker. It takes time to save a deposit so be sure you discuss the idea of moving back home with your family and get their blessing before packing your bags and heading home.
It helps if you have crunched the numbers and can demonstrate how much you plan to tuck away in regular savings to provide a time-frame for how long the living arrangement is likely to last.
Freeloaders need not apply
Putting your hand in your pocket to contribute to household costs is guaranteed to win brownie points.
Even if your parents turn down offers to pay rent, be sure to contribute financially in other ways – buy the groceries for the household every few weeks; treat your parents to an evening out (without you); or offer to pitch in. Sitting by as your 60-something mother struggles to mow the lawn is guaranteed to cause grief. So be prepared to get physical by taking an active role in home maintenance.
Set a personal timeline
The whole purpose of moving home is to grow some savings. Make sure you do just that by taking a businesslike approach to putting some cash away each payday. Use a savings calculator to build a timeline for your savings and if you aren’t sure how much you can regularly tuck away, use a budget planner.
Avoid flashing the cash
Without the expense of regular rent, chances are living at home will leave you feeling flush with cash. Avoid the temptation to embark on some retail therapy or load yourself with the latest must-haves like a new phone, tablet or expensive wardrobe. Not only is this likely to annoy the rellies, it will also slow down your savings progress.
A handy strategy to stick with your deposit-building plans is to set up an automatic funds transfer of cash from your everyday account to your savings account. It’s good practice for the discipline of paying off a home loan, and remember, there will be opportunities to splurge once you are in your own home.
Share your progress
Saving for a first home calls for commitment, and living with family – be it your parents or your in-laws, can be frustrating at times. Respecting everyone’s personal space can alleviate stress. Take time out with occasional low cost activities like a weekend camping trip, to give all members of the household a break.
It can also help to keep your family up to date with how your savings are growing – it’s a reminder that you are living at home for a reason, and the arrangement won’t last forever. Stick with your plans and it won’t be long before you are turning the key to the door of your first home.
What are some your tips for saving for a deposit? Be sure to share them in the comments below!
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