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There’s always something at the beginning of a new year that makes people want to knuckle down with their money and savings, isn’t there? Especially after Christmas when finances can be a little lower than usual. We all want to get back on track ASAP and up those savings again. I know I do! I’m focusing on saving now more than ever. It’s time for me to start thinking about a car (now I’m managing my anxiety much better with driving), a house and my future.

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

There are an awful lot of savings tips out there. Whilst cutting back on takeaways is a good place to start (for your bank account and for your health!), sometimes you need a little bit more discipline than that and additional methods of saving money. That’s why, for this post, I’ve teamed up with The Nottingham for some extra information about savings accounts that could boost your first home savings – something that I’m definitely interested in. Let’s see what The Nottingham have to say!

So over to the people that know best… (the following is a guest post)

Hi from The Nottingham! Today we’re bringing you some tips and information that will hopefully help any first time buyers with the confusing process of getting onto the property ladder. Under The Nottingham, as a business, we have savings and mortgages from Nottingham Building Society and Nottingham Mortgage Services, a mortgage broker who’s advisers will find you the right mortgage for you.

It’s the Chinese zodiac Year of the Rat, with people born during 2020 said to be blessed with industrious and thrifty characteristics, twinned with diligence and positivity. Those are the types of behaviors that help people to save, plan and protect for the future, so it’s a good year to review your finances and look at being thriftier. Can you channel the Year of the Rat vibes?

In previous research* that we have done we highlighted 48% of people thought that they should have started saving for their first home at an earlier age.

If you’re ready to start saving it’s time to look into the account which may give you a helping hand:

The Government introduced the Lifetime ISA in April 2017, an account designed for first home and retirement savings for people aged 18-39. This account gives a 25% bonus (yes, free money towards your house deposit!) Plus, here at The Nottingham, we currently have the high street leading interest rate on our Lifetime ISA account. Check out the facts about the Lifetime ISA below:

  • Open your account easily online or in a branch of The Nottingham with just £10
  • Save up to £4,000 per tax year (this runs April 6th to April 5th each year)
  • The Lifetime ISA bonus goes straight into your savings account. You don’t have to claim it after a property purchase like its predecessor, the Help to Buy: ISA
  • You can use your Lifetime ISA to buy a property up to £450,000 providing you’re a first time buyer***
  • If you use your Lifetime ISA savings for a first home purchase, you can then continue to save into the account for your retirement and continue to receive the bonus until you’re 50
  • The account must be open for 12 months before using the savings and bonus to buy a first home
  • The 25% Government bonus gets calculated by HMRC, applied for by us and will be in your savings account within four to nine weeks after each deposit going into the Lifetime ISA
  • You’ll be charged 25% to withdraw money for reasons other than buying your first home or you’re aged 60 or over. If this happens you could get back less than you put in. It’s important to only open this account if you are sure that you want to use it for these two reasons
  • If you are in a couple both you and your partner can use your own Lifetime ISA accounts to purchase your first home together, as long as you’re both first-time buyers and the property is valued below £450,000. You’ll both receive the 25% bonus from the Government too as you save separately
  • You can pay into the account until you are 50 years old. You can withdraw money penalty-free when you reach 60 years old. Your savings will earn interest during these 10 years.

Already have a Help to Buy: ISA and are confused about the difference between this and the Lifetime ISA? We have a handy guide all about first time buyer ISAs which can explain the two accounts.

When you’re ready to look for your first home, Nottingham Mortgage Services will search over 60 lenders to find the right deal for you. This can save you time visiting branch after branch and website after website of mortgage providers. By opening your LISA with The Nottingham, after 12 months you may qualify for fee free mortgage advice (worth up to £299) with the Nottingham Mortgage Services. Advisers will search thousands of mortgages, get the right match for you, explain the jargon and take care of the paperwork so you can move into your first home with ease.

We, at Nottingham Building Society are here to help you push aside any doom and gloom you may have around finances with a series of suggestions and tips. Here are some bonus savings tips to help keep you on track!

  • Set a realistic savings goal for each month and stick to it. The amount you can afford will be different for everyone, but even if it’s just £10 a week it all adds up
  • Regularly go through your outgoings and utilities such as broadband, TV, electricity, gas and insurances and see where you can make savings by swapping tariffs
  • Communicate about finances with your loved ones. Our survey** found that of all the subjects people prefer to talk about the least, mortgages and savings topped the table. There are benefits in talking to your family or partner about your financial goals, and some of the stress can be taken away too by sharing the aims. Opening up about money and putting a plan in place can be such a relief!

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Full terms and conditions are available at
High street leading rate correct at time of publishing.
Whole of market mortgage advice is provided by Nottingham Mortgage Services Ltd (NMS); an appointed representative of Quilter Mortgage Planning Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority; registered No. 440718. NMS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nottingham Building Society and registered in England and Wales, No. 03089887; Nottingham House, 3 Fulforth Street, Nottingham NG1 3DL.
* The Nottingham commissioned Atomik Research (4 media) to run an online survey of 2,000 adults in the United Kingdom. The nationally representative sample is based on age/gender/regions quotas that match those that are applicable to the adult population of the UK – from data released by ONS. The survey has a confidence interval of 95 percent. The fieldwork took place between 11th and 17th June 2019. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency.
** Survey of 2,006 UK adults conducted by The Leadership Factor in October 2019 on behalf of The Nottingham.
*** A first-time buyer is someone who has never owned a property before, including a home outside of the UK. If you’ve inherited a property, or owned a share of one, you will not be classed as a first-time buyer.


  1. This is really helpful! We’re still miles off of buying but we opened a Help to Buy ISA before the deadline last year, but we actually think a Lifetime might be better for us. It’s interesting to hear the Nottingham have the best interest rate, very useful info!

  2. There are some really helpful tips and great information in here. I’m about a million years from being in a position to buy but it’s still great to have the information x

  3. Very useful post! I won’t be saving for a house so wouldn’t look at an ISA for that purpose but am seriously considering an ISA… We haven’t saved anything so far!

  4. I would love to get on the property ladder one day and I wish we had an account like that where I live. Saving up for a house can be really stressful, so anything that can make this process at least a little smoother sounds great to me!

  5. Okay so there are some tips buried in this article like going through your finances each month and talking with your partner about your finances so my bad. Still I had to really look for that, which bugs me. It should be obvious not buried at the end of the article.

  6. Yeah this may be helpful but a)I live in the US so not so much and b)it mostly reads like an ad for the Nottingham business which is great and all but how about some tips that DON’T involve them? Hopefully this doesn’t come across as too snarky.

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