There’s no denying it, saving for a deposit is hard work. With the median house price pushing up and up, getting the cash together for that 10-20% can seem like an unachievable goal. Everyday life, bills and miscellaneous expenses can eat away at your income and prevent you from saving as much money as you would like.
But millennials are known for more than just spending away their house deposits on smashed avocado. They are known for technology! Technology can be utilised to improve your saving power, curb expenses and get you closer to that dream of owning property.
A great way to work out where you can save a few extra dollars is by keeping a budget. This involves keeping track of your everyday expenses and determining where you are spending in excess. It can be hard to keep track of day to day spending, but apps can help you stay on top of it and even prompt you to reduce costs or put extra cash away.
This handy little pocket accountant keeps track of all of your expenses from all of your accounts. With this app, every transaction is recorded and categorised, so that Mint can determine patterns and create a budget for you. The iPad version even generates graphs that demonstrate spendage and income. When it is laid out for you so clearly, it becomes simple to spot potential problems.
The name says it all. Similar to Mint, YNAB is an online interface that helps you to stay on top of your finances. It separates expenses into categories so that you can have a holistic view of your monthly spending and change the way you manage money. With a mobile device, your budget can go wherever you do, and help you get closer to your financial goals.
Driving between work and home as well as any social events in between adds up – and petrol prices aren’t cheap. While some people are lucky enough to live within walking or cycling distance of their frequented locations, for others walking or taking public transport is just not a feasible option. Save on your petrol bills with apps that track the lowest price in your area, and only buy from those outlets. Try Motormouth or Petrol Spy.
If your weekly shop consists of the same types of products, it pays to know where they are for sale at the lowest price. Apps like Grocery Cop and Trolley Saver scan local supermarket catalogues to find the lowest prices for everyday items. It’s easy to shop around virtually and buy when the prices are low. A few dollars saved on groceries every week will accumulate faster than you think!
If you are paying high monthly fees for PayTV or Foxtel, or are an avid movie-goer, Netflix, Stan or Hulu could help you save valuable dollars. For less than $10 a month, you can have constant access to TV series, movies and documentaries – all from the comfort of your home. No need to rent expensive box sets or cringe at that $20 movie when you can stream all the whole season right from your computer or smart TV. Put the popcorn in the microwave and press play!
Money savvy grandmas collect coupons and receipts to get discounts on their next purchase – and you know what? They’re on to something. Beyond supermarket receipts, there are other ways to collect coupons. Websites such as Groupon, Scoopon and Catch of the Day collate deals daily, and include everything from travel to fine dining. You may score 20% off your favourite restaurant, discounted movie tickets, or a cocktail package at the newest bar in town. It’s a great way to still enjoy your regular lifestyle at a fraction of the cost.
You don’t need to overhaul your life to increase your saving power. You just need to be smart about it. Use technology to take the edge off your saving goals. This will help you get a little bit closer to your deposit amount week by week. You’ll be reaping the rewards of your very own home in no time.