How to budget for a holiday after spending big on your dream home

Don't be tempted to borrow money to pay for a dream holiday - you'll be paying it off for years.Don’t be tempted to borrow money to pay for a dream holiday – you’ll be paying it off for years.

When we find our dream home it’s so easy to get swept away with emotion. We love it so much we absolutely have to have it, so we’ll pay whatever it takes.

And in this market it often takes a lot, since property is not exactly cheap.

Easter is a great time to rent your home on a short-term basis, as well as other popular holiday times including Christmas and long weekends

But then reality hits. You’re living in a home you love but you’re probably not thoroughly enjoying it because you’re working so hard to make ends meet.

Then a holiday period like Easter rolls around, and after putting in the hard yards since returning to work in the new year you feel like you just really need to get away. But how can you, with no spare cash?

To lower your mortgage repayments and give you some financial breathing space you could switch to interest-only for a short time if you’re currently paying principal and interest. This will give you a little extra money to play with.

It’s not a great idea in the long run though because you won’t make any headway into your mortgage, making future holidays even less likely.

Perhaps a more clever way to pay for the break you need is to rent your home out on a short-stay accommodation platform such as Airbnb or Stayz while you go away.

It will give you the cash injection you need to holiday yourself, with the added bonus of having a pseudo house sitter that pays you, rather than vice versa.

It’s unlikely renting your home like this will cover the entire cost of a holiday. It really depends on what you want to do – it may cover camping, but jet-setting overseas might be a different story.

According to Airbnb, the average amount earned by those renting out their homes in Australia is $3700, with an average rental period of 30 nights. The average earned in Sydney is $2400 a year, and in Melbourne it’s $4500.

But you’ll need to determine how much cash you’ll be left with after you’ve paid costs such as commission, insurance and tax to see whether it will actually be worth your while.

It’s taxable income so you’ll need to forfeit some of the gains (especially with the Australian Taxation Office checking up on undeclared income) although you can claim costs as a deduction.

With many short-stay websites around it’s easy to put a listing up, but first consider whether you have a home that will actually be in demand from fellow holiday makers, with those by the beach some of the most popular.

Easter is a great time to rent your home on a short-term basis, as well as other popular holiday times including Christmas and long weekends, and during major events such as the Australian Grand Prix or Mardi Gras.

Another great – but less common – option if you want to holiday but don’t have the cash is doing a house swap.

This will take care of one of the biggest holiday costs – accommodation – but you’ll still need to foot the bill for travelling and spending costs, and membership fees for house swap sites.

If you’re unsure about opening your home up to strangers, you can simply explore options for more affordable holidays, such as camping, or search for cheap airfares.

While you might be desperate for a holiday, don’t be tempted to borrow money or put it on the credit card. It will take you so long to pay off you’ll be sipping cocktails in Hawaii strictly in your daydreams for the foreseeable future.

Your bank account may not look pretty after buying a home.

21 Apr, 2017 By Vanessa De Groot

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