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A Step onto the Property Ladder: Saving For Your First Home

Getting onto the property ladder is one of the best things you can do in your adult life. It gives you financial security, it means you’re not wasting money on rent and it gives you a little place in the world that’s just yours. But it’s not always plain sailing, and saving for a mortgage can take many years of hard work. If this is something you’re seriously considering doing, here are some of the ways you can

 

Get the best price for your utility bills

When it comes to our household bills, it’s easy to assume that we just have to pay whatever amount we’re told. However, if you’ve not switched suppliers or checked your tariff for a while, you’ll almost certainly be paying over the odds. Take a couple of hours one day to run some quotes through price comparison sites, phone up your company as well as others to see what the best price is they can offer you. Because these companies are competitive, they’ll often give you a good deal to try and either keep you or win you as a customer. If you state that you’re unhappy with what you’re paying, more often than not they’ll drop the price. This is especially true if you’re out of contract, as you’ll be in a position to leave and go with another company whenever you like. Things like broadband and mobile phone bills are great for making savings on, but even on gas, electricity and other general household expenses you can generally make at least some annual savings. Any extra money you save is really useful when you’re trying to save up for a mortgage deposit.

 

Cancel your digital subscriptions

Digital subscriptions can be really useful. They give you access to all of the music you could ever want, movies, tv shows, online books, magazines and much more. While they don’t usually cost much on their own, if you sit and add up all of your subscriptions you might be surprised. Do you use services like Amazon Prime, Netflix or Spotify? While you’re trying to save money, it could be worth cancelling these little luxuries. You might even find you don’t miss them as much as you think, there are lots of free services out there and while they might not be as good, they can do the trick when you need to save cash.

 

Save money on food

Food and drink is one area that most of us us overspend. From buying groceries and later throwing them out where we’ve bought too much, to always choosing the big brands. Things like takeaways, coffee shop coffees and buying lunches at work can all add up in a big way. The best way to save money on food is to get organised. Write out a weekly menu, and then create a list based on exactly what you need. This stops you from buying food you wont use, or getting pulled in by offers (which actually make you spend more, rather than save you money). Cook more at home, if you’re bored of the same old dinners then go on Pinterest and find some exciting new recipes. Prepare your own lunches at home rather than buying them when you go out. Something like a pasta salad can be really tasty, you can whip up a big batch then portion it into tupperware boxes for the week. If you’re careful, you can make massive savings when it comes to your food and drink- to the tune of hundreds of pounds a month. Think how much quicker you’ll be able to save! Best of all, you’ll be eating better and might even shift a few pounds too, since everything you make at home is likely to be healthier than what you’d buy pre-made or from a takeaway.

 

Use the car less

Is your car’s fuel gobbling up your budget? If you’re in a position to use it less, why not do so? You could use your bike to get to work, or walk to take the kids to school. When you’re running errands closer to home, ask yourself if you really need to pay for the fuel and parking costs when your own legs can get you there just as well! Again, not only will you save money but you could lose weight and tone up too. We all know we need to be getting more active, and so this enables you to kill two birds with one stone. If you’re able to go without your car completely, you could even take it off the road for a while. This would save you on fuel, tax, insurance, MOT and repair costs which can all be used to put towards your deposit. It might seem like an extreme step, but if you’re desperate to own a home then this is one way you could end up saving a lot of money.

 

Sell what you no longer need

Most of us are sitting on hundreds, even thousands of pounds in unused items at home without even realising. Old technology where we’ve upgraded, games, disks, clothes and more can all be sold to raise cash if you’re no longer using them. Every little bit makes a difference, it’s a chance to declutter your home and put some extra funds in your mortgage deposit savings account.

 

Utilise government help to buy schemes

The recession is now over, and the economy has picked up again after a difficult decade. What this means is that more houses are being built that are aimed at first time buyers. There are new homes for sale which enable first time buyers access to grants and schemes such as the government’s ‘help to buy’ scheme. See if this is something you’re entitled to, as it could mean you’re in a position to own a home much sooner than you think!

 

Are you saving for a mortgage, or is this something you plan on doing in 2019?

 

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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