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Sticking to a budget

How to prepare for home ownership

Handy hints to keep you on track of your savings goals.

When preparing for a home loan, budgeting can be a helpful way to achieve your goals. However, we know it can be difficult to stay on track.

We've put together a few tips to help you stick to your plan to help reach your goals.

1. Identify wants vs needs

'Needs' are essential items, like accommodation and electricity. 'Want' you can live without, like that second cup of coffee, or even a flash new car. By reducing spending on 'wants', the savings can quickly add up.

2. Create buckets

You might find it helpful to set up a separate account to help you save for a home loan or big-ticket item.

3. Reduce access

Restricting access to your savings account, such as having no debit card attached to the account, will make it more difficult for you to dip into your savings. it's also possible to restrict easy online access to your account too.

4. Set spending

Making a list of all your regular expenses - like groceries, bills, loan repayments and entertainment - will help you to set aside a realistic spending limit to cover necessary expenses. Set the spending plans for each of your pay cycles to help you keep track of money in and money out.

5. Picture yourself

Finding photos that represent your goal, such as photos of a home or nice backyard and sticking them to your fridge so you see them every day can help keep you motivated. It can be helpful to have a constant reminder of what you're working towards.


Stay to plan

There are some very helpful budgeting tools available for free. Moneysmart has a really handy planner to help you start budgeting.

Staying on budget doesn't have to mean no fun. It's ok to reward yourself every now and again for staying on track!

Talia is saving for a deposit to buy a home.

To help her save, she creates a spending plan.

Talia identifies how much her bills, groceries and travel expenses cost her each month and puts this amount into an account for everyday expenses. Talia makes another separate account for fun activities such as going for lunch with friends. She creates one final account for savings, this account has no card attached to it so it's harder to take money out of it.

Now Talia can see her budget clearly, and by making some sacrifices, cutting back on takeaways and shopping, she will see a big increase in her savings account over time.

Want to learn more?

Try creating a budget.

Moneysmart budget planner

Read more about budgeting.

Keystart resources

When you're ready, get in touch.

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Whilst we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of information on this page it is general only. The information is subject to change and has been prepared without taking your financial situation, requirements and objectives or needs into account.

We suggest you seek independent financial advice before you make any decisions about your financial needs.