10 Tips to Save Money for Buying Your First Home
Saving to buy your first home can feel like an incredibly long uphill battle. Whether unforeseen expenses make a dent in your funds, or you simply feel like you’re just getting nowhere, saving up a deposit can be soul crushing to the point where you wonder why you’re even bothering. If this is you, I feel you. My husband and I have been saving for our first house for a while now, and along the way there’s a few lessons we’ve learned. So, if you’re struggling to scrape together the deposit for buying your first home, check out my ten ways to help you save!
1. Consider Other Factors & Prioritise
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that deciding to buy a house isn’t one of those things you just decide to do, but make sure you’ve thought things through and that it’s the right time for you. For example, my husband and I were engaged when we left university, and we had already made the decision that we wanted to get married first, so that became the priority over saving for a house. Considering any life changes that will affect you financially, such as changing your job, will make sure that you prioritise what’s most important and that you don’t bite off more than you can chew!
2. Have an Idea of What You Want
Have you actually sat down to think about what you want from your first home? Do you want a house? An apartment? 3 bedrooms? 2 bedrooms? How many bathrooms? Where do you want to live? Have a clear idea in your mind of what it is you’re looking for and what’s most important to you, so that you know roughly how much you’ll need to be saving. It’s even more important to sit and discuss this if you’re buying a house with your partner too. When it comes to looking at properties later on, there’s a whole bunch of things you’ll be needing to consider, so making sure you’re on the same page is key!
3. Shop Online
Online shopping has become increasingly popular over the years, with many pros and cons to its name. Despite a few negatives, most of us seem to favour it over heading to the shops. And why wouldn’t we? There’s no crowds to battle with, more choice, and you can do it all from the comfort of your own home. Not only that, but it’s possible to even save as you shop. Through using voucher codes or cashback sites, you can enjoy a nice little discount off your basket, or a percentage of your order back. While it won’t make you rich overnight, the money you can save over time will soon mount up, leaving you a little extra cash for your deposit!
4. Open a Savings Account
If you haven’t got one already, opening up a savings account is a must when saving for your first home. There are many benefits to having a savings account alongside your current one, the main one being that you’ll earn interest on your money. Not only that, you can set up a regular payment into it to make sure that you’re always keeping it topped up!
5. Look at Your Current Living Situation
Learning from experience, one of the main things that will eat into your funds is if you’re renting your current place. So, if you’re able to temporarily move somewhere a little cheaper, or perhaps share a house with a friend, it’s worth looking into. Additionally, while it may not be an option for everyone, you could always consider moving back in with your family. Yes, it’s probably not the most convenient, but think of how much quicker you’ll get that deposit saved!
6. Work Out a Budget
Working out your monthly budget is a good way to see where you are with your finances and it’ll also keep you from overspending. Look at your outgoings for the month and see what’s leftover, and you’ll be able to make a better choice on how much you can afford to put away. Just remember to factor in any extra things you might need to pay for each month, like getting your car serviced or any trips you’ve got coming up.
7. Learn the Lingo
If you’re like me, and you didn’t have a clue on the terminology when it comes to buying a house, it’s definitely worth doing a little research so that you can be clued up. This article is a great to help you learn some of the basics! It’s also a good idea to make an appointment with a mortgage advisory and they’ll be able to guide you on what products are best for you so that you can get the most for your money.
8. Cut Back on What You Don't Need
If you want a speedy way to save up that deposit, one way is to cut back on any unnecessary spending. While we all love to treat ourselves, if you can get by without booking your holiday this year or by staying in instead of going out, it’s worth doing. While it may be difficult to pass up the chance of a lavish night out or week in the sunshine, just think of that lovely new house you’ve got to look forward to!
9. Shop Around for the Best Deals
If you have something that’s coming up to be renewed, make sure you shop around first. While it can be frustrating and often quite time consuming, if you can get a better deal on your insurance policies or your internet package, it’s all worthwhile! Don’t be afraid to haggle with companies either. If a quote isn’t quite good enough, tell them!
10. Cut Some of Your Debts Down
While it can be tempting to just jump straight in and start putting money away for your deposit, make sure you clear some of your debts first. If you have any outstanding loans or credit card bills, work to lower them, or even better pay them off completely. While you can still buy a house with a few debts to your name, paying them off will mean that you can increase the amount of how much you borrow when it comes to applying for a mortgage, so it’s definitely something to bear in mind.