Self-employed but don't know where to start?

Updated: Feb 3, 2019

6 steps to build that home loan deposit when you’re your own boss.



When you’re self-employed you know only too well, your income can vary each month and that makes saving up for a home pretty tough going. If you really want to show potential lenders you’re a good candidate for a home loan, having a history of steady, regular savings is a really great place to start. Here are six ways you can amp up your ability to put that money aside.


1. Doing well? Save more When things are going well and you’re earning more money, don’t be tempted to splash out and reward yourself – keep your eye on the bigger, more important goal you care about. Stash a good piece of that extra cash. The real reward is the bigger number in your interest-earning savings account.


2. Set yourself a target Work out where you want to live first, then calculate how much you need to save for a deposit in that area – and don’t forget to add on those extra costs like stamp duty and legal fees. Remember that, depending on the product you‘re applying for, different lenders may charge different fees. It’s technically possible to get a loan with a five per cent deposit, but hitting the 20% targets will help you avoid extra fees.


3. Watch your progress It’s not just kids that respond to visual reminders – we all do. Make a colourful wall chart of your savings target, so it is always front of mind and you can see it grow when you add each new amount to the top.


4. Be smart with taxes If you’re self-employed, there are tax deductions for business-related expenses that can really add up to help you save. These might include things like home office expenses. To get good information about what you can claim, check out the ATO website or have a chat with a qualified tax professional or an accountant who can help.


5. Always put a little something away A little goes a long way. When your income is different each month it can be tempting to only put money aside when you get large payments in. Everyone’s situation is unique but if you save a bit of what you earn every time you get paid, you’re always working towards your own home target and you’re getting there one step at a time, every time.


6. Protect your income If you can’t work because of injury or illness, income protection insurance can help cover for lost income so you don’t use your deposit savings to live on. ASIC's Money Smart website offers some good tips and information about income protection insurance that’s worth checking out.

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