We know that saving for some people can be difficult, but there are many things you can do to start building up your deposit, so we’ve pulled together some ideas to help you get started.
It doesn’t matter how we dress it up, the idea of saving money (not spending!) is not much fun. But, the idea of buying your own home is pretty awesome, so focus on that – the end goal, because trust us it will be worth it.
Our tips to save to buy a house:
Get a savings account
You have to start somewhere, right? If you haven’t got one, open a savings account solely for stashing the cash to buy your own place. Check out the comparison sites to find the savings accounts offering the best interest rates and start saving what you can.
Put your savings on auto-pilot
Yes, it sounds simple, but actually having an automatic payment go into your savings account every month will make a big difference as you won’t be tempted to spend it elsewhere. It’s easy, just set up a standing order (you can do it online from your current bank account), and forget about it.
Cut the coffee (lunches/magazines/takeaways…)
Yes, you’ve probably heard this one before… How many coffees do you buy a week? A cappuccino on the way to work every day works out at over £60 a month. That’s £720 per year! If you spend a fiver on lunch every day, that’s over £100 per month or £1,200 per year. It’s surprising how quickly it all adds up, so take a close look at your current spending habits, and see what you can cut back on to save.
You don’t have to give up everything totally, try swapping these regular spends for a cheaper alternative, like making your sandwiches for work at home or doing a weekly shop.
Downsizing might not be appealing, but it makes financial sense. Paying to rent your own place is just eating away at your budget. Moving in with the family (or friends) means you’ll pay less rent and free up more cash to save. Remember, it’s only temporary, and if you really hate it, it’s a great incentive to save harder.
If you can’t move in with family, you could consider scaling back on your rent by moving into cheaper accommodation or a shared house, that’s likely to be considerably cheaper than renting a place on your own.
Switch and save
If you’re renting, you could look at saving some cash by comparing and switching on your energy bills. Can you cut your mobile phone contract, your TV subscriptions or even your gym membership? Use online services like Uswitch to help you easily compare and switch to cheaper deals.
Many people focus on saving. However, some of the richest people in the world actually focus on growing their wealth instead. Have you ever heard the saying “money makes money”?
If you have the time, getting a second job will mean you start to save extra cash, and by being at work, you have less time to be tempted to spend it!
Can you push towards a promotion or take any extra training to justify an increase in salary? Ideally, after any job change, allow a few months before moving, to qualify for the maximum number of mortgages.
Clear the debt
If you’re serious about buying a home, you’ll need a good credit score. It sounds odd when you’re supposed to be saving, but clearing your debts will save you money in the long run and improve the amount you could borrow for a mortgage. Making reliable regular payments until they are cleared will help boost your credit score too.
Don’t forget if you’re currently renting – register with The Rental Exchange to have your rental payments count positively towards your credit score.
If you’re really serious about saving, it’s a good idea to set yourself a monthly budget. Look at what you have coming in and then what HAS to go out. The bit that’s left, well that’s yours to save or spend. Be realistic, though; you are more likely to keep up good savings habits if you budget sensibly. Also, don’t forget to factor in the one off’s like Christmas and holidays to any budget.
There are loads of budgeting apps and online tools that can help. Here is a list of the top 10 budgeting apps.
Remember, saving is all about focusing on your goal and taking control of your finances, rather than dwelling on what you are missing out on. For more saving tips, check out our guides on Lifetime ISA’s. You could save up to an extra £1,000 a year if you do.
Happy saving, and if you are unsure about your circumstances, you should speak to one of our personal mortgage advisors. It’s better to ask now than miss out on your ideal property due to your credit score, spending habits or deposit size.