How to save a deposit: house-sitting

Alexandra Cain

One of the toughest parts of realising the dream of owning a home is saving for a deposit. The options seem pretty dismal – subsisting on a diet of beans on toast, never socialising, moving back in with the parents – and are almost enough to prompt a commitment to a life of renting.

To help the savings grow without resorting to these options, many people house-sit while squirrelling away funds.

Dave and Esther Muller, a couple in their mid-20s, have saved almost $25,000 they would have used on bills and rent by house-sitting. It was an especially good financial decision when they were living on a single wage, with Dave working at the local bike shop as Esther finished her final year at university.

Before they started house-sitting, Dave and Esther were renting a small apartment in Mosman, NSW, and they estimate they have saved $22,000 in rent and approximately $2000 in bills by house-sitting.

Of course, it is much easier if you have flexibility in where you live and for how long, but the real key is an ambition to save.

“Many of Mindahome’s members are professional couples and singles who are paying off debts or saving for a deposit for a home of their own. House-sitting gives them an opportunity to live comfortably and see different places while saving money,” explains Mindahome Australia’s Sue Coombs.

“Young Australians can adapt easily to new experiences and locations, making them ideal candidates for house-sitting. They usually have few belongings to lug around, so it’s easier to deal with the transition between house-sits. It’s also a great way to trial different areas before committing to buying a home or apartment.”

Of course, you may not have all the comforts of home, but house-sitting can even mean seeing a bit of the world while saving a deposit.

“We recommend you offer your services for free in return for a free stay,” says Rachel Martin from “You could even house-sit in another country, saving you money and giving you a holiday at the same time.”

Ready to find out how much you need to save and how to do it? Talk to FinanceCorp Finance Manager.