How to Save a Deposit for Your First House

Some people wonder how I bought a house with my boyfriend at the age of 21, well the answer is – it wasn’t easy but it was worth it.

I have always had an interest in property and have been surrounded by family who have rented houses or have lived in council houses (and there is nothing wrong with that) however I just wanted to do this for myself more than anything. I knew moving out would bring me my own space and a clear mind/head but before I could get to that point, I needed to be able to afford one.

I am in a standard 9-5 job, and have been throughout the past 5 years earning a comfortable salary for my age and I chose to live with my parents whilst I saved up rather than rent, because I knew I would be able to save more that way. I’ve created a list of how I did it and maybe some of these will help you too:

  1. SPREADSHEET SPREADSHEET SPREADSHEET! This is key! If you truly want to save up any money, you’ll need to know your in and out goings. So, create a table, put in your income and then have a look on your bank statements whether online or paper to track what you spend each month. I always start with my direct debits, so things like car tax, insurance etc and then I move on to the ‘nice to haves’ – so how much do I have to left to spend on eating out and still save money!?
    The best thing to do is to also add on any debts you may have or credit card/store cards, so you have a truly accurate view of how much you spend in a month.
  2. BE REALISTIC– The worst thing you can do is underestimate how much you spend and then feel disappointed when you can’t save as much as when you first thought. Set a realistic target of how much you’d like to save in the first month. It’s important to be comfortable and to not put pressure on yourself, otherwise you’ll find it harder. Save at a rate that’s comfortable for you and your situation, saving £50 a month is still saving and guess what, that’s £600 by the end of the year!
  3. DON’T BE TEMPTED – I started saving £200 a month before I opened a help to buy ISA and I just knew I wouldn’t be able to trust myself. If I saw the money there available in my account, I’d just transfer the money as and when I needed it and end up with nothing. So I spoke to my dad and asked if I could transfer the money to him every month and he keep it for me until I was ready – and luckily he said yes, so that’s what I did for the year. I can’t tell you how amazing it was after the 1st year when he handed my money over to me at Christmas! I was like wow, I didn’t even realise I had this much!!
  4. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SCHEMES AROUND YOU – Most recently there is access to the Help to Buy ISA. After my first year of saving with my dad, I decided to use the Help to Buy ISA instead because who knew you could get free money from the government just from saving money!? You can open an account with your bank and open up to a maximum of £1200 in your first month and pay a maximum of £200 a month thereafter. Each month that you add money you’ll be entitled to 25% bonus on whatever you’ve saved (the bonus can only be used towards your house purchase) but still, free money – what’s not to love?! Myself and my boyfriend both opened a separate account which meant we could utilise both of our help to buy isa’s for the same purchase. You can click here to read more information – https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/help-to-buy-isa/how-does-it-work/ There is also Help to Buy for when you actually buy your property.
  5. TREAT YOURSELF – It’s all very well using your budget for the necessities but don’t forget to have fun too. See a dress in the sale that you just can’t resist?! Buy it! You can still treat yourself to meals out and new things whilst being sensible, as long as you’re tracking all your spending then you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Follow all of these tips and I’m sure you’ll be on the right track to saving your first house deposit. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or if there’s a tip you’d like to share with everyone!

Jessica

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