If you’re in the process of saving for your first ever house deposit, then no doubts you’ve already come across one key obstacle … saving money is hard! Especially seeing as the average UK house deposit is now more than £30,000. In the past, getting on the property ladder wasn’t as much of a challenge. But now, if you’re looking to save for your first deposit, you’re going to need to follow every one of these 10 expert tips.
1. Cut back on your utilities
You might think that you are stuck paying a certain amount each and every month for your utilities once you moved into your property. Well, that’s not, in fact, the case. Instead, you have the ability to regularly price-check and switch utility provider as and when you find one cheaper. uSwitch is a good place to start.
2. Budget, budget, budget!
The most effective way to save for a house deposit is to set up a strict budgeting plan. Numbers don’t lie. So, if you bring in “x” amount every month from work but are spending more than this on expenses, you won’t be able to save. As such, work out a plan that sees you saving the necessary percentage of your paycheck each month. Then stick to it!
3. Skip on the frivolities
Now, it’s time to go through your expenses and look for areas where you can start making quick savings. The best place for this is to look at things like money spent on holidays, weekend getaways and trips to the cinema. But don’t worry, tip number 4 doesn’t require you to cut back on all treats …
4. Cash in on cash back
Cash back is a fantastic way to start saving money, as it doesn’t require you to necessarily change all of your spending habits. Instead, cash back sites allow you to get back a percentage of your overall purchase value once you’ve made payment. To find out more and to discover which are the best sites to start earning cashback, check out this article from Money Saving Expert.
5. Seek out discounts
Again, just because you’re saving, it doesn’t mean you need to cut back on all expenses entirely. Just start using discounts more often, whenever you’re looking to treat yourself. For example, Vouchercloud offers thousands of free discounts at retailers and restaurants all across the UK.
6. Downgrade your existing home
What is your largest expense each and every month? The likely answer is your home. We all like to live in a nice home and pay a little more on rent so as to have a great location or flashy kitchen fittings. But perhaps it’s time to start making some major savings by moving somewhere far cheaper. Such as a less expensive location or even back in with your parents. That way you can cut out paying rent altogether and really fast-track your savings plan!
7. Access government subsidies
Believe it or not, the government do actually want you to own a home. And they’ve put in place a number of very appealing schemes in order to help you achieve this. Perhaps the best one being Help To Buy. Via this scheme, you can choose to buy anywhere between 25 and 75% of the home’s value and the government buys the rest and rents it to you.
8. Get your money working for you
Hopefully, all of your existing savings are sitting in a nice savings account, busy earning interest whilst you continue to top it up. Well, if not, then you should consider putting your money into an ISA. More specifically, a Help To Buy ISA. These can see the government topping up your savings by as much as 25%, up to £3,000 per person. So, if you’re saving with your partner, then together you can benefit from £6,000 in free added savings.
9. Sell unused items
It’s time to go through your home and pick out any items you really never even use. Then, sell them! You can earn hundreds, if not thousands of pounds just by listing unused items on sites like eBay and Amazon. Or, why not opt for a good old-fashioned, boot fair?
10. Make your friends and family aware
Last, but certainly not least, is to tell all for your close friends and family about your savings plan. They can then make it easier by not tempting you with expensive plans or weekend getaways. Also, they can swap out any presents they’d normally buy you, for cash that will go straight into your savings fund.
Ultimately, saving for your first deposit is all about being strict on your spending and following a well thought out savings plan. Sure, things might be tough for a year or 2. But after that, you’ll find yourself relaxing in your very own home! So get to work following these 10 top tips, today!