Upgrading Your Home: Save Money Without Giving Up Date Night

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There are a few things Aussie homeowners aren’t willing to sacrifice when saving for an upgraded property, and date night is one of them. ING’s Upgraders Homeownership Survey Report found that only 25% of those surveyed would give up social activities—for example, date night—in order to speed up their savings.

Saving for an upgraded home means that you’ve already got a roof over your head, so there may be less pressure to cut little luxuries from your budget. But Aussies are saving money in other ways that might surprise you.

One in five home buyers moved interstate to places like Brisbane or the Central Coast, where house prices are more affordable. Over half of the survey respondents reported that they were thinking about an interstate move in the following year.

That’s not the only way buyers are saving for a home upgrade. Over one-third of people who upgraded in the past year took in a flatmate for help with the rent. Of those, 32 percent were families.

If you want to upgrade but don’t fancy moving states, taking in a renter, or getting rid of date night, what are your options?

Balance is the key to saving, whether it’s your first home, your second home, or your tenth. While you may need to cut out some small luxuries, you don’t have to give up everything that you enjoy.

Of course, it feels great to upgrade to the home you’ve been dreaming of, but not at the expense of everything you enjoy. Here are some tips for making the most out of your savings, without putting a padlock on your wallet.

Identify your priorities
Start by identifying your priorities, both in terms of your upgrade goals and your day to day lifestyle. First, ask yourself what you hope to gain by buying a new property.

The ING survey found that 40 percent of upgraders want a nicer house. Other reasons include the desire to relocate to a different area, to get more outdoor space, or simply to get a larger house for their growing family.

If you’ve outgrown your house, the timing of your upgrade may be more important than the house itself. If you’re looking for a specific property but are in no rush to move, your priorities will be different.

The next step is to figure out your lifestyle priorities. Think about how you spend your disposable income: is it coffee, dinners out, and movie nights? Or is it beach holidays, organic produce, and clothes? Whatever it is, decide where you can and can’t budge.

Look for deals
Put your investigative skills to the test and start hunting out the savings. If you don’t want to give up date night but you need to save money, you’ve got options. Use websites like Groupon and Scoopon to find discounted deals on restaurants, activities, and more.

You can also install a browser attachment like honey, which will automatically seek out coupon codes for purchases you make online, giving you the opportunity to save even more on your purchases.

Airbnb your space
Got space to spare but don’t want to take in a long term tenant? Consider using Airbnb to temporarily rent out a room in your home. While this does mean having paying guests staying in your home, it gives you more control over when you’ll have tenants. This can work well if you’ve got a granny flat or a bedroom with its own private entrance.

Take turns hosting
Sometimes the best part of social activities isn’t going to a restaurant or bar, it’s simply being somewhere different. Take turns with your friends to host social events like game nights or dinners. It doesn’t have to cost much, but you’ll still get out of the house and have a good time.

Go digital at the library
If new magazines are your weakness, the costs can add up quickly. Turn to your local library, where you can often download digital copies of the latest magazines and books onto your own device. Bonus points for being good to the environment!

Use a keep cup
If a good cup of coffee is important to you, we’re not going to tell you to give it up. But you might be able to reduce the cost of your daily java by using a keep cup. Many coffee shops discount the cost of your coffee when you bring your own cup, so invest in a reusable option and save over time.

Set a budget
Establish a weekly or monthly budget for little luxuries like dining out or shopping—the amount is up to you and your household—but don’t exceed it. That way you can still do the things you enjoy, but without worrying that your spending will snowball.

Compare home loans
Compare home loans annually to ensure you’re still on the best rate and getting the features you want. Our home loan professionals are here to help you get the most from your money. It’s quick and easy—in just a few clicks you’ll be on your way to saving.

Knowing you’re on the best possible rate can give you peace of mind at the very least!

Consolidate your subscription services
With entertainment options like Netflix, Hulu, and Foxtel on the table, it seems that spending a little bit of money on a monthly subscription can lead to greater savings.

But if you oversubscribe, you’ll end up spending much more than you might have on a few movie tickets. Take stock of your monthly subscriptions: could you pick just one and get rid of the rest?

Finally, finding balance in your budget is about being thoughtful, not restricting every activity that makes you feel good! There’s a reason that Aussies are reluctant to eliminate date night, and that’s because it offers real value.

Don’t underestimate the difference a mortgage broker can make when shopping for an upgraded property. A home loan professional can help you find great deals on a new mortgage, so your savings go even further than you’d hoped. Compare home loans now with the experts.

Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property.

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