Unique and alternative ways to save for a home

Written by realestateview.com.au in Buying on October 20, 2017

People have always found creative ways to save up for a home deposit. Second jobs; extra shifts; living at home for longer; sharing with flat-mates; these are just some of the time-tested options people have used to help their bank balance grow.

What if you could find other ways to help you save more quickly, without risking burnout or complete misery along the way – and without foregoing too much of your independence and privacy?

As it turns out, there are plenty of options…


There are many people who successfully go from one house-sitting job to the next, along the way saving a bucket in rent. This can be a fantastic way to save up that home deposit sooner. It’s a win/win for the owners of the house – they get someone to look after their house (and sometimes pets) for free, and in return, you don’t have to fork over one-third of your wages for a place to sleep. The shine would probably wear off after a while, but if you do it for a few months, this could help you kick some serious savings goals.

woman relaxing online on sofa reading some papers

Uber and UberEATS

Uber is a great platform that people from all walks of life are using to earn some cash on their own schedule, and with their own car. In fact, you don’t even have to own the car yourself – as long as you have access to one that meets Uber’s requirements, and you are an insured driver for that car, aged over 21, with a valid open licence. In addition to Uber, you could become a delivery driver with uberEATS, delivering food to hungry customers. You don’t even need a car – you can use a motorbike, scooter, or bicycle.


Etsy is a good way to turn your hobbies into cash. In some instances, depending on your skills, you may not even have to outlay any money first! For instance, if you are good at design, you can create items such as patterned notepaper that others pay to download. If you are going to invest some money into getting your creative project off the ground, make sure you research what the buying trends are, and expected selling prices.


Turn your skills into savings with sites such as Fiverr, where you can offer any kind of service starting from – as per the site name – $5. You could be proof-reading someone’s university assignment, typing up some notes from an audio file, or sketching designs for a child’s bedroom; all sorts of skills are valued! You can also browse the ‘wanted’ ads on Fiverr. The type of services can be very varied, and surprisingly simple and doable.


Airtasker is a Sydney-based company, but there are happy ‘taskers’ all over Australia. Community members can bid to complete the task that users set. Think handyman services, data entry, delivery… we even know of one scenario that saw a busy dad pay someone $75 to put together a trampoline for his kids! Again, the types of services are varied, and you might be surprised what you find that you can do.

Online surveys

Sign up to take online surveys and get cash for doing so. You just need to shop around to find the best sites for this, as some can take up a lot of time for very little return. Why not use your breaks at work to fill out a survey, or scroll through them on the phone while you’re watching TV?

Mystery shopping

Mystery shoppers are set assignments for various stores, generally in retail or hospitality. The assignments usually see shoppers ordering a specific item, or asking a question of the staff (without anyone knowing you are a mystery shopper), and then reporting on the experience. It may not earn you much money, but if you were going to go out for a shop anyway, you may as well get paid for it!

A mystery shopper checks out the shopping centre in sunglasses

Build a time machine

In true Back to the Future II style, you could travel forward in time and find out sports results, or travel back in time and place bets on events you know the outcome of. Obviously, there is an ethical component to this, not to mention the logistical difficulties of finding a working time machine.

Ok, a time machine may not be your best bet. However, you may be surprised by the amount of ways you can find to make a little extra cash here and there. Set a goal and be sure to bank all of your earnings, so that your savings add up. Then, it’s simply a matter of finding tasks that can fit in with your own schedule and unique talents, in order to save up for that elusive home deposit.