8 techie tips to help you save for a home deposit
Technology has many advantages and one of them is the potential to help you save your hard-earned paycheck. From apps to websites and special services, here’s our top eight techie tips to help you save up for a home deposit.
With the arrival of smartphones, tablets and the Internet of Things, money saving salvation is no more than a click away. But with so many options, it’s hard to know where to turn. We did some digging and found eight smart ways technology can help you save cash to put towards your home deposit.
Thanks to technology, regularly paying full price for clothing, accessories, groceries and even yoga classes is a thing of the past. Websites such as DealsDirect, Groupon, OzSale, Click Frenzy and eBay offer one-off savings on a huge range of products, while fitness collectives like ClassPass give access to a range of regular fitness classes at gyms all over Australia on the cheap. And if all else fails? Coupons. Before you click ‘checkout’ have a browse through CuponNation, OzDiscount or RetailMeNot to make sure you’re not missing out on a cheeky 25 per cent off or free shipping offer. It all adds up and it’s there for the taking!
Get free financial help
Along with the wealth of cat memes, the Internet has some pretty useful tools for those looking to manage their money. Budget with the best of them by using an app like MoneyLover or Pocketbook Easy Budget Planner. These apps offer a holistic look at your finances, allowing you to set savings goals, sync bank accounts and track your spending. If you’d like to know how your finances measure up, try the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s MoneySmart, an app designed to give you a free money health check! Take advantage of the calculators, goal-setting tools and home buying section to work out what you can afford to begin with and continue to track your goals throughout the money saving process.
We all bank online these days, but are you using this valuable tool to its best advantage? Never pay a late fee again by setting up direct debits with your providers. Make saving mandatory by setting up your online banking to remove a certain amount directly from your pay each month. Depending on the bank and app, you can also consolidate your accounts and debts to ensure you’re only paying one set of fees, monitor spending or set limits on your credit cards – all with the click of a button. There are even apps that make transferring money to friends, family and business partners overseas up to eight times less expensive than the rates offered by big four banks. Check out TransferWise for more information.
Lower your phone bill
Don’t have a mobile phone plan with unlimited talk and text? No worries. Get the most bang for your buck by using free text messaging services like Google Hangouts, WhatsApp or Messenger. If you’ve got family and friends overseas, there’s no more need to use those clunky international phone cards, because real-time audio and video chatting services like FaceTime and Skype mean you can call anyone anywhere in the world for free – at any time of the day or night. All you need to make them work is an Internet connection.
Monitor the cost of utilities
We all need utilities, but that doesn’t mean we should pay top dollar. The Australian Federal Government’s website, Energy Made Easy, gives you the power to compare the rates of various energy suppliers. Plus, it offers tried and tested tips to help you reduce your energy consumption and lower your overall costs. You can also contest bills, request up-to-date metre information and even receive a discount if you pay your bill early. Furthermore, retailers such as AGL, EnergyAustralia and Origin Energy allow you to compare your energy usage and bill amounts last month, last quarter and last year – so you can see why and how your bills are rising. It’s information worth knowing so you can control how much you spend more wisely.
Be part of the gig economy
Not only do apps like Uber, AirTasker or Deliveroo mean you can get a driver, cleaner, handyman or take-away food cheaper and faster – they also offer you the opportunity to earn more. If you’re saving for something special like a holiday or a deposit for your first home, using your spare time after work or on your days off can really help pump up your home deposit savings. Or if you’re looking to declutter, don’t just throw your belongings away. Try setting up a store and selling things on eBay or creating listings on Gumtree to help raise extra cash. You’ll reach your home deposit goal much more quickly, if join the gig economy and watch the bucks roll in.
Take advantage of special offers
Special offers have always been around but now, thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever to find them. Did you know that your bank, insurance company, phone, Internet and utilities providers, superannuation funds and many other organisations have benefits schemes for customers? Telstra Thanks, Optus Perks, AAMI Lucky Club and NRMA’s More4Members all offer a huge range of discounts – including $10 movie tickets, travel offers and access to free shows, activities and exhibitions – to help you save money for your home deposit while still living life to the fullest.
Let technology entertain you
On a budget and having trouble keeping the kids entertained? Technology can help you keep life interesting. Not only are there a myriad free-to-air TV apps like iView, SBS on Demand and TenPlay to take care of all your viewing needs, websites like Project Gutenburg provide access to free ebooks. These include classics like Animal Farm, Pride and Prejudice, A Tale of Two Cities and Treasure Island that are in the public domain, which means the original version of the book belongs to the community as a whole. You can even access some of these free books through the Kindle, Google Play and iBookstore apps. Another way to get free entertainment? Libraries. And if your local library is a member of OverDrive, you can access and borrow their digital content – movies, music, magazines and books – from anywhere in the world just by logging in.
Click, click – ka-ching!
So what’s your excuse for not saving for your home deposit? If you’re having trouble getting started, technology is here to help. Hop online and get Googling – the key to getting a savings strategy for your dream home on track could be no more than a click away.