Ok, so you’re saving for a house. Social life over right?


You’ve heard me say it before – deprivation over the long term will never work. And right now, that’s what you’re looking at here….

The very long term.

Exactly how long it will take you to save a deposit depends on; where you’re looking to buy, what your income is and what your savings rate is. Then there is also factoring in wages growth and house price growth.

But UBS have done the maths for us.

According to them, on $80,000 per year, to buy a $1 million dollar home, you’d need to save 10% of income for 14 years or if you really tighten your belt, 20% of income for 7 years.

Now if you’re both working, let’s assume we can halve those timeframes to 7 and 3.5 years respectively.

But even then, that’s your household saving between $16,000 and $32,000 per year!

So how the hell do you manage to “have a life” when you’re saving for home?

Learn to embrace financial balance

Now saving for a home in this climate is no easy feat. In fact, I’d call it almost an impossible task.

In the same study, UBS also modelled house price growth against projected wages growth and the results were a little less than desirable.

You see if incomes aren’t rising as fast as or better than house prices and you throw into the mix continued low interest rates (meaning you’re earning nothing on your hard earned savings) then you can never quite save enough for a deposit.

Don’t let this get you down though!

Property is not a one way bet. I’m not going to get into the arguments for and against a property correction now – you can read my thoughts on that debate here.

All you need to be aware of is that property moves in cycles. What goes up must come down at some point. If you are yet to buy your home you need to keep saving so that you can buy a home. If it’s not affordable in the current climate – it will be in a different climate.

Savings are still a necessity.

But what do you do in the meantime? Get depressed and give up or save like made at the expense of living your life in the meantime.

Neither – aim for the middle.

You need to be save enough to give yourself the best opportunity to be able to afford your home when the timing is right whilst also committing enough funds to the things that make life enjoyable for you and your family.

So many women feel guilty for spending money on occasional brunch, on buying a new pair of shoes, on getting the kids one too many Christmas presents when they’re saving for something BIG.

They feel bad, as though they’re doing something wrong.

Stop feeling guilty.

Give yourself permission to spend some of your money on ‘life’.

What’s the point of a beautiful family home if your happiness as a family suffered on the road to getting there?

Trading luxuries

Sometimes, there just isn’t any extra room in the old family budget.

So what I like to do in this scenario is to reassess my definition of ‘luxury’.

It’s actually a very fluid term you’ll find and in my experience is re-defined several times over by life stage.

Here’s what I mean.

Take your 25 year old self and your 35 year old self and ponder the following:

Would you rather a full day of pampering or a full day of shopping? Now at first glance they both sound pretty good right.

Here’s the thing.

A full day of shopping means, walking around for 6 hours plus, probably getting frustrated to some degree at what to buy and then coming home to the kids, tired and cranky for the evening hustle.

A full day of pampering means, peace and quiet, relaxation, nothing to do, nowhere to be, no one to talk to and then coming home to the kids relaxed and rejuvenated for the evening hustle.

It’s a life stage thing.

So I want you to look at your expenses – are there things that are part of your family expenditure that are remnants of a different life stage?

How many times are you using that gym membership you’ve got direct debiting your account each month?

Or what about Foxtel? Are you still paying the $100 a month for Foxtel so hubby can watch sport once a month? Stop it!

Most of those sports can be live streamed over the internet now. Ditch Foxtel and get Netflix for $8 a month.

Then you can put the $92 dollars towards date night each month.

Life regained.

Stop paying full price for your lifestyle

Luxury for less is a ‘thing’ now.

You can get five star holidays, dining, and experiences for at least 50% off – regularly! So why would you front up and pay full price?

Date night is totally achievable for $150 or less (including babysitting). Check out the Motherhood app. We’ve recently found a babysitter for our little two for $20 an hour so Chris and I can get out and grab dinner or a movie every now and then!

Going to dinner?

Check out Dimmi. They have daily deals for restaurants on their platform including things like 50% of your food bill or a free bottle of wine with dinner! You simply select your area or where you want to go, find the deals, read the reviews and book through the app. It’s actually amazing.

Going to a movie?

Don’t pay $25 at the ticket booth. If you’re a customer of Optus or NRMA you can grab your movie tickets for $11 each. You buy online, through the app and rock up to your movie.

Starting to get the picture?

Now if you’re going to spend the BIG bucks on something luxurious, some things are worth paying full price for the experience! I’m talking about designer brands here.

But let’s be honest here, if you’re still saving for a home – you can’t be splurging on designer clothes and bags…

I love a great handbag as much as the next girl, but if it meant the different between lenders mortgage insurance or not – I’d rather the house, wouldn’t you!?

You don’t have to stop having a life just because you’re saving for something BIG but you have to get smart about it!

Rebecca xx