New home buyers, and even those who want to leapfrog into an upgrade, are regularly told they need to save more. While it's achievable, securing yourself $30,000 or more is a tricky task, particularly if you've never been a big saver in the past.
However, short of "buying a cup of coffee less a week" (which is real 'advice' doled out to first timers on a regular basis), what are the actual savings tips that will let you get ahead?
Assuming you have an average lifestyle, and you aren't already buying takeout or going out for dinner every night or buying lunch at work daily - there has been advice to cut this to "just once a week" as well in the past - what more can you do?
First of all, let's get honest with ourselves. There are two ways to increase your deposit short of badgering relatives and friends. Spend less and earn more. Sadly, not everyone can cram in a second job (if you can, and you're willing to, then this might just be the option for you). However, there are certainly ways you can still earn a bit more money without taking on an extra 16 hours a week.
Sell unwanted goods
If you're an average person in your 20s or 30s you will likely have accumulated a lot of unwanted "stuff". That is, clothes that you don't wear (often with tags attached for the shopaholics), outdated mobile phones, laptops and other electronics, and gifts you never wanted or never used. A bit of time and effort online can quickly turn these into extra space in your current home and cash in your pocket. Websites such as eBay and Gumtree require you doing very little other than uploading a description and some decent photographs. Also try Twitter and Facebook shout-outs. Use your skills wisely
While you may not be able to take on that second job, you can still use your skills for some cash. Whether it's writing a freelance article, or creating art to sell online, there are some ways to have sideline projects. Property Observer journalist Nicola Trotman has Lulu's Candles - an online vegan soy candle shop - and a number of staff write freelance articles.
You may also be able to fix computer problems, or even teach people (many Community Colleges are looking for people to teach short courses, and the demand for private tutors rarely eases off) or perhaps you can bake cakes to sell them to friends or at stalls. Online sites such as etsy.com can be really helpful, as can different markets that often allow you to set up a stall for a small fee. Remember to use flyers in your local area to advertise your services.
Do odd jobs
While it can be tedious to go from person to person to find out if there's anyone who might be willing to part with a bit of money in return for someone to do the run to the shops, there's now an online solution. The website One Shift is getting even more popular as a way to get quick short-term employment for a little bit of extra cash.
Rent out your space
If you have a spare room (or garage space), or you could bring another tenant into your rental to share costs, then either of these can be a practical temporary option.
For more tips visit the Property Observer website at the link below... Reproduced in full with permission: Property Observer Saving tips for 2014: Get your new home faster 10 January 2014
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