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I’m 26, earn $70k, rent and am ready to buy my first home

Chris rents in inner-Sydney and is ready to buy his first home. Source: Getty/Supplied
Chris rents in inner-Sydney and is ready to buy his first home. Source: Getty/Supplied

At 26 years old, Chris* works in sales, is on a $70,000 salary, and rents in Sydney’s inner-west.

While he spent around $20,000 on a five-month holiday overseas last year, he’s still got $70,000 in the bank and is ready to buy his first home.

Chris breaks down his budget with Yahoo Finance.

How much do you earn?

I earn $70,000 a year, which translates to around $4,300 every month.

Once every quarter, if I hit my target at work, I earn a commission. That can be anywhere up to $7,000.

How much does your rent cost?

I rent in the inner-west, which costs me $200. I pay fortnightly, so $400 a fortnight.

Do you have any other ongoing expenses?

I have a gym membership, which costs me $21 a week, and I catch the train to and from work everyday, which works out to around $35 per week.

My phone bill is cheap – it costs me $24 a month.

I have a car, and generally I’ll save up and pay for that at the start of the year for the year. My insurance this year cost me $950, and quarterly rego is around $210.

We also pay utilities here, which works out to around $85 each per quarter. My girlfriend and I split the monthly internet bill too, which costs us $30 each.

Do you have any debts?

Nope – I’ve never had a credit card and I won’t use any buy-now, pay-later apps. I do have a HECS debt, but I generally only feel that in my tax return when much of my return goes to paying HECS.

How often do you eat out, and how much would food cost you per week?

My girlfriend and I will probably eat out around two to three times a week max.

Over the week, because there’s two of us, it could cost us anywhere between $100 and $250.

One meal from Uber Eats can cost us anywhere between $45 and $60, but usually we take turns in paying, so I’ll end up paying around $100 to $150 per week.

We cook Sunday to Thursday usually, which means we’ll grocery shop every week. A big shop will cost us around $120, which we split, or a smaller one will cost us around $60.

Do you spend money on travel?

Last year I went away for five months, which cost me around $20,000. Other than that, I fly back home to Adelaide every two to three months, which will cost me anywhere between $300 and $400.

Chris travelled for four months last year. This is him in Egypt. Source: Supplied
Chris travelled for four months last year. This is him in Egypt. Source: Supplied

Do you put any money in savings?

Now, I set aside $1,000 a month minimum, and if I’ve got any extra money left at the end of my pay cycle I’ll put aside more.

I lived at home until I was 24, which meant I saved around $2,000 a month and had less expenses obviously.

I have $70,000 saved up now, and I plan on buying a house in the next few years. Sydney’s a bit more expensive, so I’m looking at units and apartments in the inner-west areas.

I also earn monthly interest on my savings because I never take money out of the account. It’s around $100 per month, but it did drop when the interest rates dropped.

Do you receive any financial assistance?

None at all.

What are your tips for getting by?

I don’t think a lot of people my age are willing to go without things that they don’t need. It doesn’t mean don’t go out or don’t have a fun time, but maybe just put that all into perspective.

At the end of the day, it’s not necessarily about the dollar value in your account, but it’s about what you have to show for your time.

*Name has been changed.

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