I’m 25, I still live at home with my parents but soon that will be changing. I’m about to buy a house!! I can’t even begin to tell you just how excited I am.
When I was 19 I moved away from home for 3 years and went to university. I found moving back home when I finished my degree difficult as I had suddenly lost all the freedom that I had become so used to having.
For me, I’ve never wanted to rent as it’s just chucking money away with no end result. I’ve always wanted to stay at home and save to be able to afford a deposit for a house. I know this isn’t possible for everyone, but I’m in a very fortunate situation where I’ve been able to live at home whilst working full time and my parents charge me very minimal rent money. This has made saving much easier.
I live in the South West where house prices are very high. The city I live in is extremely expensive compared to other areas of the country. For a 2 bedroom house you’d be looking at around £190,000 – £210,000 and for a three bedroom house you’re looking at around £210,000 – £280,000 which is crazy compared to other areas of the country.
I opened a Help to Buy ISA account almost 2 years ago. The highest amount you can pay into this account each month is £200.00. I have a standing order set up for the day after I get paid to automatically transfer the maximum amount of £200.00 across to the account. I find having a standing order set up really useful as it means I have no excuse to ‘forget’ to transfer the money over. If you want more information on Help to Buy ISA’s you can visit the Direct Gov page which will help.
I also have an additional savings account which runs alongside my bank account. I can easily log into my online bank account and transfer money from my current account to my savings account. It varies each month how much I transfer across, but I always set myself a minimum of £400.00. This means between the ISA and the savings account I’m saving at least £600.00 a month. Although most months I probably save around £800.00 in total.
I did a post a while back on ways that I save money but in addition to this, there are a few other ways that I try and be sensible to make saving for a mortgage slightly easier. One of the main things is using loyalty/club cards for various shops. I have a Boots advantage card that is a life saver. Nearly all of my makeup and toiletries come from Boots and by building up points throughout the year I am able to use them at Christmas to make buying presents more affordable. When I reach November/December I usually have about £60.00 built up on my card which I can put towards presents. You can do similar things with other places; I personally don’t do food shops each week as I obviously live at home with my parents, but I know my mum does a similar thing with her Sainsburys Nectar Card. She builds the points up throughout the year and she uses them to do the Christmas food shop. By the time Christmas comes around she usually has about £180.00’s worth of Nectar points to spend.
Saving for a mortgage is never going to be easy. If you’re serious about it and want to get it done ASAP I would say that it’s do-able within about 18 months but you have to make sacrifices. Gone are the days where you can go out every weekend and spend £80.00 in one go. You’ll have to cut back on those girly shopping trips that you used to do a few times a month and spend a load of money.
But the main thing to remember is that you can still do enjoyable things and save at the same time. Shaun and I still enjoy meals out together, we’ve still been on holidays, we go to the cinema and go bowling. We just make sure we aren’t doing these things 3 times a week and we make sure we’re both regularly putting money into a savings account.
I hope this was helpful to anyone else out there that are also trying to save for a house!