I’ve spoken about our living situation before – we currently rent a gorgeous house but we’re hoping to buy our first home together at some point in the next 3-5 years. I’ll be a first-time buyer, but my husband has owned before.
He’s slightly older than me, so managed to get on the property ladder when he was about 20, with no deposit and his first house cost him £29,000! He moved again with a previous girlfriend, but after the break down of a relationship a few years later, he returned to rental property. Now we’re in our 30’s, we really want to be in the position of owning our own home.
When we’re looking at houses and mortgage deals these days, he wistfully remembers his first home. The housing market soon boomed after he’d taken out his mortgage, and prices rose astronomically. We checked what his house would be worth now, and discovered even though he’s sold it for a £40,000 profit, it had increased a further £10,000 in value! If only he’d kept that house, that would have been great deposit towards the size of house we need now.
Life has got in the way of us saving for a deposit in the past – he left his job to study for a degree, I gave birth to our son, then instead of going back to work, I also completed a degree. My degree finished a couple of months ago and I’m doing regular freelance work from home, and he’s landed his dream job as a copywriter. Everything has started to fall into place and by the end of the year we hope to have the start of a nest egg.
How We’re Saving for a Deposit
Our money saving revolves around cutting back on a few non-essentials. It was really important to us that we didn’t feel like we were cutting out all treats. We’ve worked hard to get into this position, so the last thing we wanted was to feel like we’re needlessly missing out.
Said goodbye to unnecessary subscriptions
My husband very graciously said he could live without Sky Sports, and as a gesture of goodwill, I also ditched my beauty box subscriptions. It saved us a fair amount each month so far.
Plan spending (and if it’s not planned, don’t spend!)
This mostly covers buying little treats at the shops. Magazines and chocolate sneak into our trolley. If we nip to the corner shop for a loaf, we come back £10 lighter and carrying a bagful of goodies so stopping these unplanned spending sprees soon adds up. Every little helps, and you soon realise you spend on ‘treats’ without thinking.
A combination of laziness and a lack of planning meant we would buy lunch on the run several times a week. Not only was this habit usually unhealthy, it was costing us a fair bit too! An average meal deal is about £3.50 – that’s absolutely loads when you compare it with the cost of a home-made sandwich and some crisps from a multi-pack. Cutting back on spending at lunch time has added up really quickly. It seems like small change at the time, but when you’re faced with a monthly total, you realise you’ve been spending close to £70 each month!
Use Loyalty cards
The food shop is non-negotiable (everyone needs food, right?), so why not get rewarded for your spending? We collect points on things like food and petrol, then about twice a year we cash in those points to reduce our basket total. It works out quite nicely for us because it means we can get 2 full food shops for next to nothing! That leaves us with little bit of money we can put away.
Saving little bits as you have them can make your savings account grow quite quickly. I’ve learnt to bank anything left over if I don’t need it, and hopefully this good habit will help us get enough together for a deposit on our first home.