Buying your first home is really exciting! You might already know what exactly colours you want every room and what style sofa you want - but there’s that one little obstacle called a deposit! We know that saving for a deposit can be really hard, so here are our top tips for saving - 5 small things that will make a big difference and help you reach your goal a bit quicker!
1) Plan and budget
Looking at your income and outgoings is the first step! Write down all of your financial commitments, things like bills and loan payments, and then deduct those from your monthly income. Now you have a clear picture of exactly how much you have leftover each month, and from that you can decide how much you want to save and how much you’d like to have to spend.
Also take a good look at your direct debits. Are there some things you pay for every month that you could go without? Maybe the Netflix or Sky subscription? Saving the money that you spend unnecessarily could make a huge difference over time!
2) Boost your income
There are so many ways that you can boost your income. It might be in the form of asking your boss for a pay rise, or even finding a side hustle. It could even be as easy as selling unwanted items online, renting out your spare room, or hiring out the bike you don’t use. Cut down on takeaways or buying lunch at work and put that extra money into your savings. Get creative!
3) Open a savings account
Opening a dedicated account and keeping your savings separate from your other commitments is an easy way to be organised with your finances. Decide on a specific amount you want to put aside each month, and deposit that into your savings the day you get paid. Be strict with yourself - once the money is in the account, don’t dip into it unless it’s an emergency.
Lifetime ISA’s are savings accounts designed specifically for first-time buyers that reward you for saving, so definitely look into one of those!
4) Do your research
A bit of research will give you a better idea of all the costs involved in purchasing a property - things like stamp duty and legal costs. It’s a great idea to look at these and factor them into your savings plans. It’s also worth considering the location you’re looking to buy in. Is the area suitable for your needs or could there be somewhere not too far away with more affordable house prices?
5) Free alternatives
You don’t have to stop having fun when you’re trying to save money! But looking for free or cheaper alternatives to things will certainly help. Find free days out. Cancel your gym membership for a few months and exercise outside or follow an online workout at home. Take a picnic to a local park instead of going out for dinner.