You might feel like it’s a Herculean effort to get a house deposit together, but instead of giving up and resigning yourself to renting forever, get some great ideas and advice here. You can save your house deposit up – it’ll take time, effort and sacrifice, but it can be done if you follow some easy rules and tips.
Stop thinking about how much further you’ve got to go
Realistically, you’ll need £20,000 or £30,000 at least as a down-payment on a property, even a first one. Rather than looking at this figure, glinting away in the distance like a mirage, think about how far you’ve moved towards gathering it. It’s a subtle but effective change of mindset that can keep you keeping on.
Look at how much money you waste every month
Even if you think you’re being careful, there’ll be something you can stop buying, or that you can buy less regularly. Comb through your bank statements and look for any recurring, non-essential expenses. That’ll be your takeaway coffees every morning, your penchant for novelty fairy lights and the not-quite-necessary trips to Scandinavian furniture stores. You don’t have to do without the occasional vanilla latte to go, of course, but just stop off twice a week instead of four or five times, save the fairy light splurges for Christmas and just take cash to that store.
Eat less meat
You’d be surprised by how much cheaper your groceries are each week if you reduce the amount of meat. There are a few different ways of doing this; you can go fully vegetarian or vegan, have two or three meat-free days a week, or swap out half of the meat you’d normally use in a recipe for lentils or soya mince. Lowering your meat consumption may have health benefits, too, so it’s a double-win.
Take advantage of governmental help
The government has several schemes for people hoping to buy a property; these schemes are particularly aimed at first-timers. You can opt for a shared ownership property, for example, which needs a much smaller deposit than most properties on the open market. You can start off by owning between 25% and 75% of the place. There’s also the Equity Loan scheme, which is when the government lends you 20% of the price of a new-build first home. You must raise a 5% deposit and take out a 75% deposit.
These schemes do have eligibility criteria, with first-time buyers being the preferred demographic, but if you’re trying to get together a deposit, you most likely are a first-time buyer.
Work more if you can
Ouch. However, bringing more money into the proceedings helps you to hit your target faster. If you can get some overtime at work, take it. You could also offer a dog-walking service at weekends or on summer evenings if you’re home early enough. If your day job involves a professional skill of some kind, then you might be able to do a bit of freelancing or tutoring in your spare time.
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