It’s no secret that I’ve been wanting to move out of the family home for about 3 years now. I had a taste of independence when I moved to Southampton for University and since then, I’ve been saving as much as I can for a deposit.
It’s not easy though trying to put money away and also live your life. Having to say no to social occasions is foreign territory for me and I’ve actually managed to carry on saying yes whilst also putting money in my savings.
There’s been lots of obstacles along the way such as my love affair with clothes. I’m slightly addicted to online shopping but I have cut this down to a minimum which has definitely helped my bank (and my over flowing wardrobe!) but more on that later.
Here are my top 5 ways to save for a deposit on a house.
DON’T BUY UNNECESSARY ITEMS!
This has got to be the biggest one for me. I can be a bit of an impulse buyer and a ‘if you’ve got money, spend it sort of person.’ I have been known to buy two of the same dresses in different colours, going into Primark and picking up all sorts of knick knacks that I end up never using or buying another chocolate bar to satisfy my craving.
I’ve been really strict on myself with shopping habits the past couple of years. I only buy something new if I think I really need it. Gone are the days of picking up impulse buys in Primark and yes, I still spend an inordinate amount of money on food but I comfort myself in knowing that I usually choose cheaper options now.
If you still feel the pull of the high street shops, watch Stacey Dooley’s documentary on fast fashion. You’ll be shopping in charity shops soon enough.
Kicking the coffee habit is a good tip to save money. I don’t actually like coffee but the amount that is spent on a quick drink could make up a small part of a deposit. Try taking a flask with you to stop the cravings.
SET YOURSELF TARGETS
Another game changer for me has been setting myself saving targets. I aim to put 70% of my wages into my savings account each month and mostly, this has been working. It’s not achievable every month (especially not around Christmas) but it’s felt great to see the money creeping up each month.
A good incentive to save has been the fact that my boyfriend has been at University for the last 4 years meaning he hasn’t been in a position to move out. We’d like to move out together and share the cost so I’ve had 4 years to save as much as I can.
MAKE LUNCH INSTEAD OF BUYING IT AT WORK
Buying food is expensive. Unfortunately, it always seems to taste better than anything I make myself! I try very hard to only spend money at weekends so I rarely buy lunch at work. This has had a massive effect on the amount of money I’m able to save. I spend money on petrol during the week but nothing else. I make sure to bring lots of food to work so I’m not tempted to buy something from the café. Our office are really good at keeping us stocked up with biscuits and cakes too which helps!
SELL YOUR UNWANTED STUFF
I had a stall at my local car boot sale earlier this year and although I didn’t make much money, I still got rid of things I no longer needed and made extra money. It felt good that I wasn’t throwing pieces out (I’m quite sentimental when it comes to old toys etc) and knew they were going to be used again.
Facebook also has a great marketplace function where you can upload photos of your unwanted items and sell them. Look for localised selling pages to attract people in your area.
I haven’t tried this one but eBay is a popular way to make money from your old stuff. There are lots of websites out there where you can make money this way.
LOOK AT YOUR DIRECT DEBITS & MINIMISE SPENDING
Are you getting the best deals for your phone contract and your car insurance? Do you really need Amazon Prime? If these are hefty outgoings for you each month, think about changing providers and finding a better deal.
I always use comparison sites for car insurance, I changed my phone contract to a cheaper network and have limited the direct debits I have going out. I cancelled a gym membership that I rarely used and tend to stick to free exercise now. I have just deleted Netflix too as I’m not using it at the moment. All these things feel good and cut down on my spending each month.
I’ve managed to save enough for a deposit on a small flat which is more than enough to go halves on a deposit with my boyfriend on. However, we’re not in a position to move yet so I’m still saving away and aim to have more than enough to cover all the other expenses that come with buying a house such as solicitor fees and furniture.
Saving money isn’t so bad really and can be rewarding when you see how much can be put away. What tips do you have on saving money?