Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Saving for a House Deposit

Being in our mid 30s, Simon and I belong to a generation of kids who lived at home for longer, were encouraged to borrow money and then suffered during an awful recession that saw many of us losing our jobs.  At times saving for a house deposit seemed like an impossible dream.   

We first discussed buying a house together when I relocated to Newcastle two years ago. We knew that we didn't want to continue spending our hard earned cash living in a flat that didn't belong to us, but were also slightly terrified that we'd never be able to save up enough money for a deposit.

We learnt a lot along the way, so here are our tips for saving for a deposit for your first home.
Take a Deep Breath
It's easy to get panicked when you think about the bigger picture.  Stop stressing about "if" you'll be able to save for a deposit and instead think about "when".   Neither Simon or myself are big earners but with a sensible plan and budget we were able to do it.  It could take you months, it could take you years – it doesn't matter! 
 
Start off by using a Monthly Budget Planner to take control of your spending.   It's a great way to see all of your outgoings and how much you could potentially save each month.
 
Clear your debts
Simon and I were both pretty irresponsible with money in our 20s and between us managed to build up a fair amount of debt in our younger years.
Before saving for our deposit we decided to clear our existing credit card debt so we could start with a clean slate, allowing us to focus on our savings.   We made sure we were paying off as much as we could possibly afford each month rather than the just the minimum amount.  This also gave us a great experience of what saving was like, and if we were prepared to commit to our saving plan. 
Sacrifices
 
I'm not going to lie, saving for a deposit is hard work and sacrifices will need to be made.  We looked at our finances for each month and decided what luxuries we couldn't live without and which we could give up.  We didn't want to become hermits so wanted to make sure we hit a healthy and achievable balance. 
Every Penny Counts
It's amazing how much money you can save from making a few changes. Here's some ideas to save some extra pennies:
* Rather than buying a coffee every day treat yourself to one a week.
* Take a packed lunch to work rather than buying expensive sandwiches
* Have a wardrobe clear out and start wearing forgotten treasures rather than buying new clothes.  If you're desperate for something new, do a clothes swap with a friend.
* Rather than buying the latest game for your Xbox start playing some of your old favourites again
* Take a look at your service providers and see if you can save money by switching.
* Plan cheap day trips with lots of long walks and picnics
* Rather than booking an expensive holiday abroad plan a staycation. 
Monthly Budgeting

Each month our diary looked pretty different.  Some months we didn't have many plans and could save away lots and other months we found ourselves travelling round the country attending weddings.
Life doesn't have to stop just because you're saving for your house deposit.  With careful budgeting you can still afford to attend important family gatherings and see your friends.
 
We sat down together a week before each pay day to go through our diary and agree budgets for all of our plans.   We made sensible decisions, sticking to diet cokes at weddings rather than hitting the bar and taking packed lunches on road trips to stop ourselves spending money in expensive service stations.
 
Extra Money
If there's any way of getting extra money grab it with both hands!  Money from relatives instead of presents at Christmas and Birthdays can be a great way to top up your total or if you can get extra hours at work or take on a second job it'll definitely help out. 
It's also a great time to sort through old possessions and see if you can sell anything you no longer need or want.
I could talk all day about saving, it definitely became a way of life for us and was an enjoyable experience once we'd got into the swing of it.  If anyone has any questions or tips of their own about saving for a house deposit, make sure you leave a comment. 

7 comments:

  1. Brilliant tips, and congratulations on the new house! I was in the same boat when i was buying a house, but we decided to save for a house instead of travelling or going to Uni and even then it took us a few years. Like you I found that it became a way of life and now I am in my home I have kept a lot of those saving techniques, they become your life long friends!

    Congrats again on the lovely house, and good luck in this exciting new adventure! :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Really love your blogpost ! xo
    Can we follow each other ? Let me know on my blog and I will follow back immediately xo

    BLOG | GorisHelena

    ReplyDelete
  3. Humungous congratulations on your new home - eeeek! Saving so hard and making all those little sacrifices make it all the sweeter when you can stick your money into something so wonderful.
    M x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Massive congratulations on your new home!! I totally get what you mean saying that saving is a lifestyle change. Myself & my partner bought a house three months ago & even now we're using the money we would have save to redecorate, so it's going towards something useful rather than 5 starbucks a week and the latest lippies :-) My makeup collection & wardrobe have taken a total back seat, but I absolutely love turning our house into a home. Best of luck with everything!! Would love to see some interior design relates posts :-)
    Claire.x
    www.xclaireabella.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Saving money is really difficult and you have to be really committed great tips. Lucy x

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's only about priorities. I prefer having my own home instead of an exotic holiday, so the last 3 years I visited UK and close to home to avoid spending lots on hotels or B&Bs. It's not difficult to reach a balance if you think at what matters most. For others, holidays are more important, good for them :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wisconsin Mortgage Corporation has been providing quality home loans across Wisconsin.Meet our loan officers. Please choose the loan officer that you were referred to view their personal page and apply online.Wisconsin First time home buyer Each loan officer's page includes the following services.

    ReplyDelete