How Gen Y Are Paying Off Mortgages While Still Having A Life

How Gen Y Are Paying Off Mortgages While Still Having A Life

Home Ownership – How we really are living the dream!

Are you one of the many young Australians considering home ownership but too scared to jump in because you think it will affect your carefree lifestyle?

The Great Australian Dream is both nerve wracking and exciting at the same time and is often the start of a long term wealth creation plan that sets you up for a life of choice and freedom, the life we all dream of!

Whoever heard of equity and leverage back in the days of our parents who probably struggled to meet the rent, let alone ever imagine owning their own house?

But will pooling all your pennies into an expensive mortgage chain you to boring weekends at home, frozen dinners and a less than affluent lifestyle?

If owning your own home is now more achievable than ever, why are some of us hesitating to take the plunge? Are we too afraid to give up our Friday night drinks, trips to the day spa and designer clothes?

Gen Y want it all, and we want it now!

We’ve been (unfairly) dubbed the “lazy generation”, wanting everything without having to work for it; calling the shots despite doing the time and all in all reaping the rewards from the groundwork laid by previous generations who did it tough, only to hand a better life with an abundance of opportunity to us on a silver platter.

We want the brand new 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom double garage home with all the extras, but we also want the lifestyle to go with it. Dinners out, weekends away and all the goodies that a high disposable income combined with no commitments can buy.

So can we have both?

Of course we can! Spoken like a true Gen Y’er. But it really depends on your attitude, your level of commitment and how you allocate your income.

I bought my first house just before my 21st birthday in 2001.

Being the social creature I am, I came up with a plan of how I was going to pay my house off as well as maintain the lifestyle I was accustomed to living at the time.

Here’s what I did…

  1. I had a really hard think about what made me happy.
  2. I created a basic budget.
  3. I improvised.
  4. I got a flatmate.
  5. I bought the right property.

Here’s how it went…

What Made Me Happy

Hanging out with friends and having a few laughs was important to me and rather than go out to a nightclub or restaurant, I held BBQ’s every weekend and everyone brought a plate of food. The same amount of fun for a fraction of the cost of going out, and you don’t need to worry about an expensive cab ride home.

A Budget

I worked out my income and expenses and put it on a spreadsheet so I could see where my money was going. Being conscious and aware of my expenses helped me to allocate funds where I felt they were most needed according to my needs and wants.


Like the example above, rather than go out, I had people come to my place. I replaced my daily latte with tea from home, and had movie nights with my friends rather than go to the cinema. I cut out all of the expensive activities that really didn’t make me any happier and all in all my lifestyle improved.

I Got A Flatmate

Since the house I bought had 3 bedrooms, I advertised a room for rent and got a flatmate who paid me roughly half of my weekly repayment. Not only did I have someone to hang out with at home, they were also helping to pay my mortgage. Win/win.

If you structure it right and buy the right property, you can rent out rooms that almost cover your entire repayment. This is what a lot of young investors I know are doing, and it’s working a charm for them.

I Bought The Right Property

Being in the real estate game I was fortunate to come across many opportunities and gain the right advice from my more experienced colleagues. The property I bought ticked all the right boxes for me to live the life I wanted, get off the rent bandwagon and put me on the wealth creation road of property.

Can we have it all? Absolutely!

You just need to be smart about it. Get the right advice, buy the right property, structure the finance correctly and keep your Sunday sessions – just have them at your place and save the cab fare home.


Wendy Russell is an Independent Buyer's Agent, Property Mentor and Auction Strategist with 17 years real estate experience, who helps buyers get into the market and get it right. As an expert negotiator and successful property investor in her own right, Wendy offers unbiased advice and no nonsense solutions to buyers looking to invest in the Brisbane property market. Wendy can be contacted 0410 584 850 or at

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