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9 of the Most Impactful Saving Methods Ever

By George Hadgelias

Frugality not your strong suit? Take a leaf out of these two savvy homebuyers’ books, and learn how they managed to save for a house (and then more homes!) at such a young age.

Eddie Dilleen was 19 when he bought his first home. At the age of 26, he now owns a whopping 13 properties. While some would think he was born into a small fortune, Eddie bought each property on his own dime through careful planning and saving.

“I grew up in housing commission so money was really tight for us,” he says. “I wanted to get a property as soon as I could, so I got my first job at KFC when I was about 14 years old and later worked at McDonald’s.”

While most of us weren’t (and still aren’t) as forward thinking and frugal as Eddie, there’s still a lot to learn from him when it comes to figuring out how to get your start in the property market.

We spoke to Eddie and fellow millennial home-owner, Lauren Robinson, about their must-do saving and budgeting tips.

1. Eating out is a budget-killer

Most budgeters will agree that eating out should be the first thing to go when trying to save.

For Lauren, who bought her first home at the age off 22 and now owns three properties, this one change had little impact on her lifestyle, but a decent effect on her bank account.

“You sometimes don’t even realise where the money goes,” she said. “A coffee each day is $4, sometimes you might have a couple each day, and that’s [at least] $30 a week just on coffee, and it’s something small that’s gone in five minutes.”

Sure, cutting back on coffee won’t suddenly save you $20,000, but it could save you at least 5% of that amount, which isn’t too shabby for such a small adjustment!

2. Share what you can

Find things you can share with friends, family or housemates. Many millennials are already sharing their Netflix accounts and ride-sharing options like UberPool help reduce the cost of transport. But you could go one step further and share something like your clothes.

“Instead of buying new clothes, I would swap clothes with friends,” Lauren says. “So if we were going out, I was still wearing something ‘new’, but I wasn’t buying a new outfit each week.”

You could also try renting outfits for special occasions like weddings to avoid forking out money every time an event rolls around.

3. Make some savvy swaps

If you want to go out or catch up with friends, try and swap expensive items for cheaper ones. For instance, when Lauren wanted to catch up with friends, she’d organise to go for coffee and a walk instead of dinner and drinks. You’re still getting to see your mates, just spending less to do so.

When Eddie wanted to go for a night on the town, he would opt for beer instead of expensive cocktails.

4. Set your goals

Saving is all about goal setting, but where do you start? Lauren started by chatting to her home loan expert to find out how much they would lend her and how much she would need for a deposit.

“So I worked out what I had saved, and then the gap [to reach the deposit], and I thought I’d ideally like to buy within the next 12 months, so that determined the figure I needed to put away each week,” she explains.

Lauren ended up putting away half her pay cheque each week, but she survived and made the goal!

5. Use technology

Keeping track of your spending and saving can help with setting and meeting goals. Lauren used ASIC’s TrackMySPEND and Pocketbook apps to help budget. Eddie kept it simple with a good old Excel spreadsheet.

6. Check your mobile plan

Lauren suggests reviewing your phone and internet plans to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck in this area. Consider going prepaid to really keep a lid on phone costs.

As for costs like electricity and gas, it’s always worth chatting to your provider and others to see if you can get a competitive price.

7. Live within your means

When it comes to buying new things, Eddie likes to thinks about all his purchases practically (‘does he need it and what is it for?’) and resists getting caught up in trends or luxuries.

“All my friends would buy the latest $150 pair of sunglasses or the latest phone, but instead of buying a $150 pair of sunnies, I’d buy a $20 pair. It really has a massive compound effect over 10 or 15 years,” he says.

8. Be disciplined… but not too much!

Spreading yourself too thin is likely leave you burnt out and miserable. It’s important to always live within your means when saving, but budget for a few nice things every so often. As Lauren says: “The budget can’t be everything.”

9. Check your attitude

Don’t be a sceptic! This is more of an ethos than a savings strategy, but Eddie believes you’ve just got to do what you can, when you can, and it all adds up in the long term.

“Some people say ‘it’s just too hard so I’m not even going to try’, and I feel bad because depending on what city you live in it can feel really hard to get into the property market,” he starts. “But I definitely think people shouldn’t give up and not do anything at all. You’ve got to work up, start small and build towards something.”

The information in this section is of a general nature only and does not consider your personal objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Where indicated, third parties have written and supplied the content and ING is not responsible for it. ING makes no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information, nor do we accept any liability or responsibility arising in any way from omissions or errors contained in the content. ING recommends that you obtain independent advice before you act on the content. uses ING’s trademarks under arrangement with ING. ING is a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292.

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