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Tradie works 14-hour days to afford 1-bedroom apartment

An expert says working two jobs is the new reality for many Aussies, as the cost-of-living and property prices skyrocket.

An Aussie tradie has worked two jobs and lived at home with his parents to get a foot on the increasingly expensive property ladder.

David Warner is a qualified metal fabricator and has been in the job for seven years. But he told Yahoo Finance it was his second job delivering takeaway that allowed him to save enough money for a $32,000 home deposit.

The 25-year-old has been working various delivery jobs for the past eight years to afford to travel and now to buy a home, working an extra four hours up to five nights a week after his full-time tradie job.

Tradie David Warner and his partner, first home buyers.
Tradie David Warner and his partner, Madeline Cleverly, recently purchased their first home. (Source: Supplied)

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“I don’t think I could completely do it without having two jobs,” Warner told Yahoo Finance.


“If you are trying to get somewhere you’ve got to do big hours or you have to be on really good money these days.”

Warner said he was earning a good salary as a manager at a metal fabrication warehouse, but his wages initially started off low so he always had a second job to supplement his income.

Before he was qualified he was earning just $13 an hour as a first-year apprentice.

With his side job, he currently earns $20 per hour, plus $5 for each delivery. On top of that he can pocket some tips. He said this works out to at least $130 a night in cash.

“Even though I’m getting better money now with my current job, I like working on the side for cash,” Warner said.

“It’s such a good way to get extra money and that is really how I’ve been able to afford to travel and to be able to buy.”

Tradie David Warner
David said he was only able to buy the property by working a second job doing takeaway deliveries. (Source: Supplied)

Warner and his partner, Madeline Cleverly, just bought an off-the-plan one-bedroom apartment on the Central Coast for $625,000.

Cleverly works in the childcare industry and also has a side hustle making candles.

Warner said living with his parents also helped him save. He pays them $100 a week for rent.

The couple are strict with their budgeting. They rarely go out, or get take away, and set aside $100 for groceries each week.


The apartment, which is part of the Rumbalara Residences, is expected to be completed in December but Warner said he plans to keep at his second job even after they move in. Since saving up his deposit, he has reduced his extra hours down to two nights per week.

“It can be a lot, I’ll be honest. I work 45 to 50 hours at my regular job … To any other person it would be overworking but I’m just used to it. I feel like I’ve got enough energy,” he said.

“I actually enjoy working the other job and it’s not just the money. You get a free feed, it’s not hard work and you’re just doing delivery.”

How much do I need to earn to afford to buy a house?

Warner’s situation is the new reality for many Aussies wanting to get onto the property ladder, Finder head of consumer research Graham Cooke said.

Aussies now need to be earning a minimum household income of $183,845 a year to buy an average-priced house at $931,117, according to Finder’s data.

To be able to afford an average-priced unit at $635,410, households still need to be earning $125,459 a year which is above the average income of $98,218 a year for full-time workers.

“It’s significantly higher than the average income,” Cooke told Yahoo Finance.

“The high cash rate and 13 cash rate increases mean it is [also] way more expensive to pay your mortgage once you do save up a deposit.

“All of that combined is making houses even more unaffordable for people on the average wage, like a lot of tradies would be.”

Millions considering second jobs

Nearly a third of Aussies - or 6.7 million people - said they feel financially pressured to look for a second job this year, Finder research found.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 970,700 people across the country who worked multiple jobs in December last year.

Cooke said Aussies were still experiencing “extreme” cost-of-living pressures, even though inflation was coming down, with groceries now a major source of financial stress for more than 40 per cent of people.

“When groceries are starting to cause financial stress that’s a sign that things are getting quite difficult and that’s why a lot of people are looking for side hustles,” Cooke said.

Along with increased financial pressures, Cooke said there are more opportunities for people to earn money through side hustles.

“Also it’s now easier than ever to get a second job. So a lot of people are delivering food delivery services, driving for Uber, volunteering their trades or their time on sites like Airtasker to do tasks. So there are more opportunities to earn money on the side," Cooke said.

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