Today we reached what feels like a major milestone, our deposit is saved! After deciding to save for a deposit around May 2015, less than a year later (around 11 months), we have just passed our target number.

Having the deposit saved now means we’re financially ready for the build to begin at any stage. As we wait for the land, we’ll continue to save, but instead of focusing on money that’ll go to the builder and the bank, our saving efforts will now go towards post-build expenses.

There’s a decent list of post-build expenses we’ve come up with, however the list of immediate post-build expenses is reasonably small. Of course we’re keen to fencing, clothes line, TV antenna and a mailbox in the days after we get the keys.

Other items like furniture and landscaping may have to be a progressive effort over a period of months.

It is a relief to have the deposit tucked away and very glad we were both able to minimise expenses and save aggressively to not only meet, but exceed our saving targets.

In an era of housing affordability out of the reach of many couples, the decision to build regional location has meant we can make this work. Over the last year, I don’t feel like we’ve lived on a shoe string, instead just opted for what we need rather than what we can afford and want. That made the difference and will mean we can achieve the dream of home ownership.

My complex spreadsheet now features a very charming ‘To go’ field, that now contains a value of -$221.48, meaning we’re past our target for the deposit. This deposit includes 5% of the house cost to the builder, Metricon and a healthy 13% of the total house and land cost as a deposit to the bank. The Metricon deposit will be pre-load making it a significant amount we’ll never pay interest on.

The spreadsheet was critical in tracking everything with a sheet on the house options and running total, our individual and combined incomes, our expenses and our savings. This allowed for pretty accurate projects of where we’d be by this stage and allow us to gain confidence the repayments are achievable (can’t wait to ditch rent).

Our best month of saving was August 2015 by a decent margin, while Christmas certainly ate into our average saving rate and led to our worst month. We are in the best position of our lives to save right now with 2 full time wages and no kids.. also known as DINKs (Dual income, no kids). That certainly won’t last.

With our accounts growing over the past year, something I hadn’t considered at the start is the boost we’d get from the interest on the accounts. Of course we’ll pay tax on this, but having 3% interest on a house deposit has  certainly helped things along.

Feeling very happy we can tick this achievement off.