How Melbourne woman bought $525k townhouse in St Albans

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A Victorian woman who recently graduated from university has scored a two-bedroom, two-bathroom town house in Melbourne all by herself.

A Victorian woman who recently graduated from university has scored a $525,000 town house in Melbourne.

Jess Nguyen, 25, has credited the purchase to her mum — but not because she was given any money.

Instead, she said that growing up as the fifth child of a single mother has taught her how to save cash and stretch what she has as far as it can go.

Despite being on a modest five-figure salary as a recently graduated civil engineer, she is managing to save between $2500 and $3000 every month.

“I guess from a young age, I became aware that my mum could not afford to buy everything we wanted,” she told

It started with buying her own phone in high school, as well as budgeting for the phone bill, before she went for “bigger goals” in university like braces and eventually her own car.

Ms Nguyen listened to budgeting and financial freedom podcasts and learned to limit her “treats” such as coffees. Sometimes when going out with friends she would hold off on having an alcoholic drink with everyone else to save her cash.

In March this year, her stringent savings regime paid off: she bought a two-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse in St Albans in northwest Melbourne.

To “hold down” the St Albans property, Ms Nguyen had to put down an initial 10 per cent deposit, but this was brought down to five per cent by the developer.

In March, she paid $25,000 for the townhouse.

Most of the homes in the St Albans development are built.

Ms Nguyen is planning to save up a further $90,000 by the time she settles the property halfway through next year.

“The way I’ve done it was by mid-next year, I wanted to save up a certain amount of money,” she said.

She has been living at home with her mum and one other sibling, and they split the bills.

“I have always been careful of money,” Ms Nguyen said.

“First I budgeted how much I spent on essentials, food, skincare.

“Obviously I do have some buffer money on the side, I’m not too strict on it. I’m aware of what I spend.”

Before she made the decision to be a homeowner she said: “Back then if I wanted something I’d just get it, now I think about it. A bit more self-conscious.”

Ms Nguyen said part of her initial deposit was thanks to her savings from university when she worked as a waitress for between $18 and $20 an hour.

“One thing I do take on board, which helps me with a habit of saving, I try not to have no money to spend,” she said as a word of advice to other aspirational homeowners.

“If I put too much money back into my savings, I’d keep dipping into it.

“My advice to everyone is to start setting small reasonable goals while still being flexible and forgiving so you don’t beat yourself up.

“Setting goals can feel really motivating and gives you the self-confidence that you can achieve whatever you set your eyes on. You also to learn to distinguish what you value and what you don’t.”

Read related topics:Melbourne

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