When you are saving for a house deposit, it can be hard to see the benefits in buying home brand milk and taking the bus to work. However, the more ways you find to cut your spending, the more you are able to save towards your home loan deposit, so you can be in your new home sooner, or you can afford a newer, bigger or nicer home.

by Lee Haywood via Flickr

As well as cutting your car use, your grocery bills and making your own cleaning products, if you are serious about looking for ways to save for your loan deposit, you need to think outside of the square too. Therefore, consider some of the more uncommon ways you can save money and you can find yourself uncommonly close to your goal in no time.

1 – Reuse old calendars

There is no doubt that it is useful to have a wall calendar or two in your home to help you keep track of time and commitments. However, instead of spending upwards of $20 each for calendars for your home this year, think about how you can reuse them. There are only seven versions of the yearly calendar so instead of buying a new 2011 calendar, find one from 2005, 1994 or 1983 where the days and dates will match up. You may know someone who keeps their calendars, or you can search eBay for a bargain, and a vintage calendar from 1966 to use.

2 – Save on holidays

Just because you are saving for a house it doesn’t mean you have miss out on holidays or new and exciting experiences. Instead, save on your accommodation by staying in less expensive hotels, or even hostels. Plus, staying in hostels will allow you to experience a truer culture of your destination, rather than one glossed over with plush carpets. And remember, by saving so much on your holidays, you will be in your own home sooner, where you can install all the plush carpets and fluffy bathrobes you want.

3 – Double up occasions

Parties can be very costly, whether you are celebrating your birthday or celebrating your wedding. However, there are ways you can save on celebrations while you are trying save for a home loan deposit.

The save on birthday celebrations for example, look at where the birth date falls and consider whether there are friends or other family members having their birthday around that time. If so, you can plan a double celebration as you will have many of the same guests, and you can go halves in the hire of a hall, the food, drinks and decorations. At the same time, your birthday may fall around a holiday such as Easter or Mother’s Day and in this instance you can celebrate with family or friends who are already getting together and catering the event, without you having to plan and pay for a separate party.

When it comes to your wedding you want to plan a special day to remember, but those memories don’t come cheaply. You could easily spend tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding to celebrate one day of your life, when you could put that same money towards a home loan deposit and build a foundation for your marriage for life.

However, you don’t have to elope or head down to the registry office to save on your wedding, instead, think about a double wedding. Do you have friends or a family member planning their wedding around the same time as you? Then why not share your special day with your best friends or your sister and plan a joint wedding. Again, many of the guests will be the same so you’re not going to have a blowout of numbers, and when you can split the cost of the cake, the venue hire, the cars, the invitations and the flowers with another couple, the savings will be significant. Plus your guests will be able to save too, and they’ll appreciate only having to buy one new outfit, and make on trip to the hairdresser and drycleaner.

4 – Save with soup

Soups are a favorite of frugal families the world over, but you don’t have to think of adding soup to your menu as boring. There are many ways soup can save you money, and you can make numerous different soups from some of the same – and some of the most affordable – ingredients. Soups can help you save money while you are saving for a house deposit because:

They can be low in calories. Broth soups are both filling and low in calories and while they are popular with those on a diet, they can also keep you healthy so you avoid expensive medicines and doctor’s visits.

They freeze well. This means you can make large batches and keep them on hand for those nights you don’t feel like cooking, avoiding expensive take away or instant dinners.

You’re not wasting food. Any left overs you have such as roasted vegetables, left over rice or pasta, or cuts of meat for example can be thrown into a pot of soup, rather than thrown away, and stretch you to another meal.

Cheap vegetables are made tasty. While it can be hard to stomach a plate of turnips, beans or beets, when they are presented on their own, stew them together into a soup and you’ll have an affordable and tasty meal.

You can eat it any time of the day. If you haven’t thought of soup for breakfast why not? A bacon and egg soup for example with some potatoes, herbs and spices makes for a filling start to the day, and you are enjoying your morning bacon without the fat fry up. Plus a child fruit soup can make an afford dessert, for example, try a berry or cantaloupe soup, a cream of mango or a chocolate soup for a treat.

You can add grains. Again to keep you healthy as well as keep down the grocery bill, look at adding some unusual grains you may not have used in your cooking before. Look at barley, quinoa, brown rice or couscous to bulk up soups for winter.

You can take it as a packed lunch. In a sturdy container of course, left over soup can make an affordable and tasty alternative to buying lunch at work each day, and you’re also getting something warm and filling – much more appealing than another sandwich.

5 – Repair instead of replace

It has become so easy to replace things that break in our lives, that this tends to be the first instinct of most people. However, when you are trying to save money for your house deposit, stop and think before heading out to the store. It is so easy to replace broken items because their replacements appear to be so cheap, however, is a poorly made replacement going to be the answer, when you can get your original good quality item repaired for less than the price of an equivalent good quality item?

While they may be a little harder to find since most people will go for a quick replacement, rather than a quick repair, you can find repair shops for TVs and other electronics, shoes, bags or furniture. Not only will you be helping local businesses and helping reduce waste, you’ll also be filling your life with quality items, and keeping your house deposit account safe from frivolous purchases.

via Flickr

6 – Sit on the ball

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars a year on a gym membership you never have time to use, replace your desk chair with an exercise ball and workout all day. You can buy an exercise ball for around $15 which is much less than both a gym membership and an ergonomic office chair. At the same time you’ll be building your core muscles, straightening your spine and avoiding back pain.

7 – Be social

This means getting out into the real world and seeing your friends, not just poking them on Facebook, because when you foster relationships with family and friends you can also solicit dinner invitations. This means you can still get for meals, without having to pay high restaurant costs. Plus, you don’t have to feel greedy as you save your dinner dollars for your house deposit, because once you’re in your new home, you can return the favor with a big housewarming party for everyone.

8 – Put off having children

You don’t have to avoid having children all together to get into your dream home, but simply wait until you are in your home to think about it. This leaves all the money for doctor’s visits, maternity clothing, a nursery, clothing and more – to be used for your home loan, because even before a baby is born they will be costing you money.

9 – Shop smart

A unique way to save money is as simple as looking at the tags on your clothes before you buy them. If you make sure to buy only clothes which don’t need dry cleaning, you can save on those costs each week, and put the money towards your home.

10 – It’s what’s on the inside

Start thinking about what you put onto your skin for your complexion as well as your bank account. Look at the chemicals in your cleansers and find natural alternatives to beauty products such as green tea and milk. And use less makeup each day, and try and use none at all and you will be surprised at how much you’ll save when you don’t need to restock at the cosmetics counter each week. Your skin will also thank you as you’ll find your skin is clearer from wearing less makeup, and needs fewer cleanings.

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