Saving for a home is a goal for many people but saving nearly 20 percent of a house’s value to raise enough for a deposit can seem a tall order. You may have already cut back in order to save, but have you thought about how you could also make saving fun? A no-spend weekend that’s full of fun activities could not only help you save money, but also broaden your horizons and allow you to try new experiences.
1. Have a ‘Pot Luck’ Meal with Friends
Weekends are often the best time to catch up with your friends and family. Socialising at a bar or restaurant can easily set you back a couple of hundred dollars, so why not hold a ‘pot luck’ meal using ingredients you already have at home? Ask your friends to all contribute a homemade meal or sides. It’s a great way to socialise without the sometimes high costs of going out.
2. Make the Most of Free Entry to State Libraries or Museums
Here in Australia we’re lucky in that we have a huge number of amazing museums and libraries that offer free entry. You could spend some time exploring books on your favourite topic or learn something new at an interesting exhibition. Try something totally new in an area you know little about. You never know what new artist you could discover or what you may learn about a new place you’d like to visit.
3. Hold Your Own Film Festival
Ask some close friends or family to come around with one of their favourite films. You could create a themed afternoon of classics from the 50s, watch a trilogy, or even hold a marathon where you watch all the Star Wars movies. Ask people to bring food and refreshments with them and provide snacks from your cupboard for a really great, free way to spend a weekend.
4. Do a Scavenger Hunt with Geocaching
Geocaching combines the best parts of a scavenger hunt with modern technology. Geocaching works on a very simple principle: you use a GPS device such as a smartphone to look for hidden items in specific locations. The cache is typically a container holding a logbook where you can record finding the cache. Caches may also contain items of interest for you to enjoy. It’s general etiquette to replace any items you keep with an item of equal or greater value. Find out more on Australia’s geocaching website here*.
5. Enjoy a Free Festival
Search social media postings for your local area or city and see what events and festivals are on. There could be a range of events that you can enjoy for free. Pack a lunch and take bottles of drinks with you to keep it as low-cost as possible.
6. Have a Garage Sale
If you have some clutter or items that need a new home, why not see whether you can make some cash? Setting up a yard sale requires some advanced planning, for example you will need to make sure you’re not breaking any local laws. Put the word out on social media sites about your yard sale to get local interest.
On the day, set up in the early morning so visitors have easy access to items for sale. Put clear pricing on items but be open to negotiation and be willing to throw in a free item or two. The more you sell, the less you have to put away at the end of the day!
7. Consider a Voluntary Position
Volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to your community and make new friends. There are so many volunteering roles available—there’s sure to be something to fit your interests and availability. GoVolunteer* has hundreds of volunteering positions across Australia. Many positions will reimburse you for travel, so you won’t need to spend anything to make a difference.
8. Learn a New Skill
Do you know someone who could teach you a new skill, such as woodwork or knitting? Ask them if they’d spare some time teaching you the basics. You could agree to do a skills swap in return or cook them a meal in exchange for their time. There are also many meetups where you can learn to do almost anything in your local area.
9. Take a Picnic to the Beach
The beach is a huge part of life for many Australians, but why not see whether you can find a less well-known beach to explore? Take a picnic with you to enjoy on the day, and get off the beaten path. Australia has some of the finest beaches in the world, and many are on your doorstep to enjoy for free.
10. Try a Cycling Route Nearby
If you have access to a bike, you could research good tracks or routes in your local area. It’s a fun way to explore your surroundings and get fit, all for free!
Saving for a House Doesn’t Have to Be Dull!
It’s hard trying to do everything ‘right’ to save for a home, even if it seems at times like you are giving up your social life. Cutting unnecessary expenses right down will help you achieve your savings goals, but you can mix it up with some free activities at the weekend. Explore the ideas you like the sound of while knowing you’re on track for your dream home.
Disclaimer: This article contains general comments and recommendations only. This article has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation, or needs. Before taking any action, you should consider the appropriateness of the comments made in the article, having regard to your objectives, financial situation, and needs. If this article relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular credit product, you should obtain and consider the relevant disclosure documents before applying for the product.
* https://geocaching.com.au/. Accessed 2nd December 2019.
* https://govolunteer.com.au/volunteering. Accessed 2nd December 2019.