Saving for your first home

How to save money for a house deposit

There are myriad ways to save money, but these are effective money saving tips to simultaneously budget and save money fast, accelerating your ability to save a deposit for your first home loan (or a car, holiday, investment property, etc: you name it).

Have a Savings Goal

Knowing what you need to save is the starting point. When buying a house, that amount is usually your deposit: If the average price of the properties you are researching is $750,000, and you are looking at a 20% deposit, $150,000 is the goal. So, how do you get there? You start with budgeting...


No savings plan is complete without a budget. Before you start saving, you need to know where your money goes. Track your spending over a given period, say two months. Calculate your income and expenses, review your results and adjust any non-essential spending accordingly. Most importantly: stick to it.

There are loads of apps to help you budget. Check out IMB's Budget Planner to get you on the right track, or download the ASIC’s MoneySmart Budget Planner, an Excel spreadsheet that is pre-loaded with all of the formula to map out your spending and income.

Consolidate your Debts

Pay down as much debt that you might have, including credit cards, personal loans and outstanding bills, as soon as you can. Debt can impact the amount you can borrow, but is by no means a deal-breaker. Speak with IMB’s Home Loan Specialists who can help with consolidating debt, paying down your current debt or understanding whether your can apply for a home loan with some existing debt.

Open a Separate Savings Account

Trying to save using an everyday transaction account can be tricky. You may be missing out on earning interest as most transaction accounts tend to have a lower interest rate than savings accounts. It can also be confusing trying to mentally separate what you can and can’t spend. The reality for most of us is this: when it's in front of us, we will likely spend the money.

Look around for a savings account that pays high interest or offers bonus interest for regular saving and use this as your ‘House Deposit’ account. Having the funds separate to your transaction account helps remove the temptation to spend it and will also make it easy to keep track of your progress. IMB’s Reward Saver account rewards regular depositing and discourages withdrawal until you are ready for the big one. You

You can open a Reward Saver account online, it only takes minutes.

Set up an automatic payment plan into your ‘House Deposit’ account

One secret to changing or starting a new behaviour is to remove the decision-making element. If you have to manually transfer your savings amount to your House Deposit account every pay, you have a chance to decide not to do it this week on account of a million potential reasons – you’ve had an unexpected expense, you accidentally bought a new pair of jeans or you want to go out for dinner on the weekend. By setting up a regular transfer, the money is saved before you even think about it.

Move in with the folks

Sure, moving in with family members could seriously dent your sense of self. But rent is usually our biggest expenditure. It’s also where you could make the biggest savings. If you are in Sydney, the median weekly rent for a house is $660 a week (units are $620), according to the Domain Rental Report (March 2023). This comes in at a cool $34,320 per year. Given that the average household electricity bills come in at around $1,252 per annum and you are spending over $35,000 a year!

If moving in with the folks is just too grim to bear, consider house-sitting long-term and only crashing at your parents when you need in between house-sits. You will usually have to pay for the utility bills but you might just land yourself a long-term house-sit in a suitable suburb. No lifestyle downgrade needed. You could try Aussie House Sitters or Mind a Home.

First Home Super Saver Scheme

AFederal Government initiative, the FHSS scheme allows you to save money foryour first home in your super fund.The scheme allows you to make voluntarycontributions (both before-tax concessional and after-tax non-concessional)into your super fund to save for your first home. If you meet the eligibilityrequirements, you can have these voluntary contributions released, up to alimit, (along with associated earnings) to help you purchase your first home. There are conditions of course, but this is another tool to get your first home deposit saved faster.

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Important Information

This article has been prepared by IMB Bank and contains general information only. It is not intended to be relied on as advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should seek your own legal,  financial, taxation or other professional advice before you make any decisions about your business. Consider the relevant Terms and Conditions or Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination available here before deciding whether to acquire any products or services offered by IMB Bank. Lending criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply to IMB loan products.

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