Getting that first house deposit might seem like a mammoth task to get on the property ladder. But it is something that you will need to do to get that dream home. This epic journey has to start sometime and somewhere, so here’s how you make the right moves.
Sort out a budget
Use a budget calculator to work out what you earn and what all of your outgoings are. Include regular and occasional outgoings so that unexpected costs like washing machine repairs or new tyres are factored in.
By having all the numbers in front of you, you can see what you can cut back on. The easiest expenses to reduce are things like utility bills, insurance and phone contracts. You can also start taking your own coffee with you on your way into work and save as much as £50 or £60 per month.
Reduce your rent
Rental expenses are usually more than a mortgage, so how are you supposed to find the money for your deposit? If you can reduce or eliminate the amount of rent you pay, then you’re a part of the way there.
You could return to your family home for six months to a year if possible. You’ll need to agree how much you’ll be contributing to the household each month in terms of money and housework and also how long you’re planning to be there for.
You could also downsize – if your current rental has a room or two you rarely use, then it may be time to move somewhere smaller and cheaper. Alternatively, if the commuting costs workout, you could move further out from the town or city.
Make your savings work for you
You shouldn’t just deposit your money month after month and leave it lying there, as it could be working a bit harder for you. Shop around for better interest rates as this will help you to raise the money you need that little bit sooner.
If you already have a savings account, think about an ISA as well as it’s tax-free so you won’t be parting with any of your profits.
Make time each month to look at the interest rates offered by various banks so that you can move part or all of your savings into the best vehicles. Do make sure that you won’t be charged for early withdrawals, though. It might be a better idea to use instant access ISAs and savings accounts so you’re more agile.
Take a second job
This doesn’t have to mean working the night shift and trying to survive on three hours of sleep every week! You could take up dog-walking in the evenings or at weekends, for example. Or offer your amazing organisational abilities to stressed mums who can’t get on top of the housework.
Switch to supermarket own-brands
You’d be surprised by how much less you’ll be paying each week and how little you’ll notice the change. Keep some old favourites so that you don’t feel like you’re sucking all the joy out of your life. R
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