Saving enough money to purchase your first home is becoming increasing difficult, particularly if you’re already paying rent to a landlord. If you’re working all the hours possible, scrimping and saving, and making sacrifices where you can, then it is easy to feel a little despondent.
Here are a few little tips which may help you along the way.
Can you work extra hours?
Okay, so sometimes we may not feel like going to work in the morning or doing that extra shift but unfortunately if you want to achieve that long term goal then any overtime is a bonus. Ask your employer if there is any more work available to bring in some extra cash.
Do you have a hobby that you could turn into a profit?
If you are at all arty or crafty then you could set up a small online business selling your items. Family, friends or work colleagues would be a great place start setting up your customer base and they may lend support along the way. Websites like Etsy are a great way of selling your wares and getting your name out there.
When your regular groceries are on offer, buy in bulk. Yes, it may seem a bit extreme buying 60 rolls of toilet paper but if you stock up on items when they are on sale, then you will save in the long run and it saves on countless trips to the supermarket!
Take a shopping list with you and keep any extras to a minimum. Remember that extreme budgeting will not be forever but can really make a difference in the short term while you save. One of the most important rules to follow is – ‘only buy what you need, not just what you want’. Also, just because an item is heavily discounted, does that mean you really need it?
Remember, it’s only a bargain if you would have bought it at full price.
Take your own lunch to work
The costs of all those coffees, snacks and lunchtime sandwiches soon mount up! Taking your home made lunch to work could save £5-£6 a day and it only takes a few minutes in the morning or night before to put a tasty lunch together – and it’s probably healthier, too.
Track your spending
Analysing where your money is going by using a log book or spreadsheets on a computer to work out all your incomings and outgoings can be an eye-opener. Keeping track of your spending will allow you to see where you can make savings and you will be able to predict how long it should take to reach your goal.
Seeing figures in black and white really helps you keep on target and can give you the motivation to keep going. And if you start to have more net income, don’t be tempted to increase your standard of living.
Price comparison check all your utility bills and look at any way in which you can reduce outgoings. When you are shopping always ask yourself, ‘do I really NEED this?’ We all have something we find hard to resist, whether it’s the latest gadget or a new pair of shoes, but if you don’t actually need it in your life then you don’t need to make that purchase. When buying something online, shop around for the cheapest retailer and postage fees.
Try to travel during off-peak times. School holidays are known for being a very pricey time of year to travel. Book well in advance so you have time to shop around for the best deals available. If you really do have to travel during the peak season, see if you can split the costs of travel and accommodation by travelling with others.
Think before putting in place your New Year resolutions
You may not yet have put those New Year resolutions in place, but before you splash out on an expensive gym membership, consider whether you could simply utilise the great outdoors? Many people are turning to local running groups as a great way to keep fit and socialise, and in many cases this a is low cost or even free option.
It is never easy to save for a deposit and there will always be compromises along the way. The end goal is definitely worth it!
When you do manage to accumulate your deposit, always be sure to get a home buyer’s survey carried by an independent RICS Chartered Surveyor.