Generally, you need a 20% deposit to qualify for a home loan, but don't be put off by the thought of pulling together all that money. Every little bit helps, so start putting aside some money each time you're paid. You can set up an automatic payment to a savings account, so the money disappears from your everyday account before you have a chance to spend it. As well as building up a nest egg, you'll be building a good savings history - which is something we'll look at when you apply for a home loan.
If you're a KiwiSaver member and are looking to buy your first home, congratulations, you're already saving. First time buyers who've been contributing to the scheme for for at least three years, can dip into their KiwiSaver with a first home withdrawal You might also be eligible for a First Home Grant of up to $10,000. You could also look for help closer to home - if your family is in a position to help out, they can gift you money towards your home loan.
And if a 20% target is too daunting, there are also ways you might be able to get into a house with a lower deposit. There are options that mean you may only need 10%, but the more deposit you have, the better.
Think of a budget as a money plan, rather than something that's going to stop you from ever spending money on fun things again. A budget will help you see where you're spending money and where you can save money.
Before starting to save, deal with any consumer debt you have - like credit cards, personal loans, store cards or hire purchases.
An emergency fund can stop your finances from going backwards when life throws you a curve ball. Put a bit of money aside so you can deal with unexpected bills or expenses.