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How to save money while renting


The lowdown on saving for a home deposit while renting.

We know saving for a home loan takes time. But we also know a few tips and tricks that could help get you there sooner, turning you from a renter into a home-owner.

Budgeting 101

You spend a lot of time and energy earning it, but do you know exactly where you spend it? Tracking your spending is key when you’ve got big goals to kick.

Our in-app tool Free2Spend is one of the best ways to keep on top of your finances. Your job is to put in a savings goal (like a house deposit) and a timeline, as well as your income and fixed expenses, including rent. Free2Spend’s job is to give you a daily number you can spend every day – on anything you like! All while keeping you on track to hit your finance goals and commitments.

Pro tip: You can use our
handy online calculators to help you figure out how much you could borrow and what you' ll need for a deposit.

Get a handle on living expenses

While rent, food, bills are non-negotiables, there are ways to trim costs. Consider moving to a cheaper suburb, getting a roommate, or downsizing. Taking public transport or riding to work could help your hip pocket, too (as well as your carbon footprint).

Check your bank isn’t charging you unwanted fees. Our savings and transaction accounts have no sign-up fees, no monthly fees and no minimum deposit required. You could even get a cheeky bonus rate as a cherry on top if you sign up for both our USave savings account and a USpend transaction account!

Netflix and save?

While we believe in ‘treat yo self’ moments, it’s less about turning things down and more about having discipline moments as well – to help you save for that home deposit faster.

Do a count of your streaming subscriptions. Are you really using all of them? If not, use it as a chance to pick a favourite and cancel the rest, putting the savings straight into your house deposit fund. Then, make the most the one you’ve kept and prioritise nights at home with takeaway, series bingeing (and no taxi fees) alongside your nights out, too.

Work hard for the money…

We’re living in the time of the side hustle, and pulling in extra funds alongside your day job is a great way to feed into your home deposit savings.

Declutter your wardrobe, kitchen and bookshelves for things that don’t bring you joy and then sell them for a tidy price to someone who will love it. Selling items online has never been easier, thanks to traditional marketplaces like eBay and Gumtree, and the rise of buy, sell or trade groups on Facebook and Instagram.

You can also look at picking up some ride-sharing shifts or turning a hobby like photography or cake decorating into a side business. Or simply put your tax return towards your home deposit instead of a splashy purchase – when you put your mind to it, there’s countless opportunities to boost your income.

…Then make your money work hard for you

To really give your savings growing power, check out our power couple, USave and USpend. Linking a USave savings account with a USpend transaction account could unlock bonus interest and supercharge your moolah*. You can also have up to 10 different USave accounts - so you could have one for general savings and a couple for more specific goals like a new car or upcoming wedding.

Pro tip: There are others, like shares and bonds. Just remember to do your own research and choose the product that’s right for you.

It’s a challenge facing many Australians today: how to pay rent, keep up with bills and maintain your lifestyle while also squirrelling away enough for a home deposit. It does take time, but with a plan in place, you’ll be hitting the open homes, ready to apply for a home loan, and secure that dream home.


* To qualify for the bonus variable interest rate on eligible amounts in your USave account(s) in a calendar month, you must have both a USave and USpend account and deposit $200 or more into your USpend transaction account or your linked USave savings account from non-UBank accounts during the same month. The bonus variable interest rate will be applied to a combined balance of up to $250,000 held in your USave account(s), including joint accounts. Any remaining balance greater than $250,000 will earn the USave base variable rate. Bonus interest is earned the same month you meet the bonus interest criteria and paid by the first day of the following month.

The information contained in this article is of a general nature only. It doesn’t take account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, you should consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances and seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice.