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“How can I save for a house while renting?” It’s a common question which we hear a lot! Sadly, for many people, buying a first home currently seems like it’s getting further away instead of closer.

Both the cost of living and rising rental prices are increasingly putting a strain on savings – and that’s before the increase in property prices has even been considered. 20% is how much?!

This is not a doom and gloom article though. We want to reassure you that it is possible to save for a house deposit while renting – it just takes some strategic planning and disciplined saving. So, here are some practical tips to help you on the journey to homeownership if you’re currently renting.

Create a detailed budget

First up – and we probably sound like a broken record – start by creating a detailed budget that tracks all your income and expenses. Understanding where every dollar of your money goes each month is crucial.

By categorising your expenses you’ll be able to see where you’re spending and identify the areas where you can cut back. Identify how much you spend on your essentials (your rent, utilities, groceries and debt) and non-essentials (such as dining out and entertainment).

Our budgeting app, mymo by P&N Bank, can help you get started with budgeting. It’s easy to use and you can link up all your bank accounts not just your P&N ones. The cashflow function and transaction tagging make it easy to see how you spend – plus, when it comes to actually applying for a home loan, you’ll have all your spending details to hand already. Win!

Cut back on non-essentials

So, you’ve identified your non-essential spending? Great! Now it’s time to get serious.

Set yourself the goal of increasing your savings by reducing non-essential spending. Skip the daily morning coffee run or reduce your lunchtime takeaways. It may not feel like a lot to begin with, but those small, regular expenses soon add up.

One $5 coffee every day on the way to work, is $25 a week. That’s $1,300 a year – just on coffee! Redirecting these funds to your savings instead can make a huge difference to reaching your home deposit goal sooner. We’re not saying you have to sacrifice all of life’s pleasures, but being mindful of your spending and prioritising your long-term goals over short-term gratification is the key here!

Set a clear savings goal

It may sound obvious, but you need to determine how much you need for your house deposit. You may already know the median house price in your desired suburb, but things change – and have done quite significantly across Perth in recent months.

Once you’re familiar with the housing market in your target area, you’ll be able to set the amount to aim for. Remember, a home deposit is usually 20%, but some banks may lend to you if you have just 10% - P&N Bank is one of these lenders, and we even have home loans for up to 95% LVR!

Set your deposit goal and then break it down into a monthly savings goal – or fortnightly, if this works better for you and your pay cycle. Try not to be overly ambitious with your goal. Motivation-wise you’ll find it helps to regularly reach your savings goal instead of falling short each month because you’ve spent your money elsewhere.

Open a separate savings account

Savings accounts pay interest, which means you should ensure you’re making the most of your stash. Open a dedicated savings account for your home deposit and ensure you’re getting a competitive rate (with no fees). You may want to consider a savings account that rewards you for saving by paying bonus interest.

By having a dedicated account for your deposit savings, you’ll keep your funds separate from your everyday spending and be less likely to dip into – or ‘borrow from’ - them. If you also automate your saving transfers from your main transaction account to your savings every pay day, it will be one less thing to think about, and be a nice motivator when you check your balance and see your savings growing.

To get really savvy with your saving, we suggest using Pay&Save. Round up your everyday purchases and add the difference into your savings account. Saving without thinking about it? Ideal.

Avoid unnecessary debt

When you set up your budget, you would have identified any existing debts you have such as HEX debt or a car loan. But while you’re saving for a house deposit, it's crucial to avoid accumulating unnecessary new debt.

High-interest debt, such as credit card balances, can derail your savings plan. If you do have debts, focus on paying them down to reduce your interest payments or clearing them completely so you can free up more money which can be put towards your home deposit savings. For more tips on managing debt, check out our article.

Reduce rent where possible

We know that this could be a challenge in the current housing market, but if you haven’t done it already, consider speaking to your landlord. Maybe you can negotiate a rent reduction or get them to pay for something that will help you save money over time, like an upgraded heating system which could lower your energy bills.

This won’t suit everybody, but if cheaper rent where you are isn’t possible, then you may want to consider getting a housemate to split the rent with – if permitted within your lease, of course! Alternatively, consider moving to a more affordable rental property or house share so you can reduce your outgoings temporarily.

Increase your income

Now it’s time to look for ways to increase your income. Can you earn money from a hobby or sell some unwanted items? Can you do your 9-5 on a freelance basis after hours to add a little extra to your savings pot?

Requesting a pay rise from your employer can be intimidating, but it’s worth asking for. Alternatively, think outside the box. Can you earn cashback on your regular purchases via a rewards program? Like we’ve said before, every small amount added to your savings account will play its part.


There’s no denying that saving for a house deposit while renting requires discipline, planning, and sometimes a few lifestyle adjustments. However, with a clear goal, a detailed budget, and a commitment to saving, you can turn the dream of homeownership into a reality.

Banking and Credit products issued by Police & Nurses Limited (P&N Bank) ABN 69 087 651 876 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 240701. Any advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Read the relevant T&Cs, before downloading apps or acquiring any product, in considering and deciding whether it is right for you. The Target Market Determinations (TMDs) are available here or upon request.