Tips on saving for a house deposit

Today I want to talk about saving for a deposit. One of my good friends hit her deposit goal by the age of 21 without any help from her family. She simply worked very very hard. She lived at home throughout university, worked during her course and reached her goal. I’ve always been inspired by her strong work ethics and her dedication.

A study by Direct Blinds has revealed that a third (33%) of people can’t afford to move out and pay rent. I was shocked to read that 15% of people from the study said adults living at home were lazy. I think people who live at home for as long as they can are very wise. As long as they’re contributing to keeping their family home clean and tidy – never take advantage of anyone. I’d love to know if any of you are currently living at home with your parents. 

I’m yet to buy my first home but I started saving a long time ago. I’m currently living in Sheffield and although I’m keen to invest in a property to live in I’m finding it hard to find an area I really like and a house which ticks all the right boxes. My short-term plan is to continue saving and researching into where I would like to live.

Do not save what is left after spending, spend what is left after saving

I’m very interested in money management, I think it’s a very important topic and one that I see people discussing regularly. I thought that I’d share some of the things I’ve been doing towards saving towards my deposit. If you have any further questions then I’ll be more than happy to answer them in the comment section below.

Goals – Firstly, it’s important to know how much you need to save. Don’t shy away from it, do you research and be aware of your long-term goal. This will help you to stay focused. Once you’ve done this you can start small and continue to build and increase upon your savings over the years.

Standing order – This is my favourite method of saving. Set up a standing order to leave your bank and transfer into your savings account at the start of each month. It’s better to save at the start of the month as opposed to the end of the month. Start with a small amount and then increase the standing order whenever you can.I also highly recommend having a savings account which is difficult to get into. I have to take my savings book into the branch and request to take money out. That means I won’t be using this account to replenish my bank account after a late-night camera shopping spree.

Multiple bank accounts – Set up extra bank accounts to act as savings for each of your goals. I have one for my deposit and one for short-term goals like holidays and camera equipment. You can obviously tailor this to your own goals. Some people like to have an account for birthday/Christmas gifts, it’s totally up to you. Doing this helps to keep you organised and to understand how far you have to go to hit your savings goals.

Budgeting – Keep track of what you’re spending. Analyse your fixed costs (bills, rent, gym membership etc) and variable costs (food shopping, weekend activities etc) for each month and then set a clear budget. This will help you to know how much you can save at the start of each month. Pop over to Fran’s blog to learn more about budgeting.

Lifestyle changes –  Making small and simple lifestyle changes can really help you to save. When I was living in Norwich I would buy a coffee every day and take it to work. After a few months I realised that this wasn’t the best habit for my health or bank account. I started using a Nespresso machine which supplied me with better coffee and helped me to cut down significantly on how much I was drinking. I still (2 years later) only buy coffee out when I meet up with friends. I sometimes fill up my Keep Cup or Teami to go and take it out with me, especially on train journeys.

Another important way to cut back and save money is by meal planning. I know it sounds boring but it really does make life much easier. It will help you to cut back on your weekly food budget and it takes away the stress of having to decide what to make for dinner after a busy day at work. I’m not strict with my meal planning, I simply pick 5 or 6 meals for the week, get the ingredients and make whichever I fancy on the day.

Don’t cut back on everything, it’s important to continue enjoying your life otherwise you’ll get very bored of saving. I personally like to have a gym membership so I can go to various classes each week. Some people may be happy to go running every morning instead of paying for a gym membership. It’s all down to your personal preference.

If you need a little help with finding out ways to cut back on unnecessary luxuries then feel free to drop me an email. I’m always happy to chat and give you a few ideas.  

I think money management is very important, especially when you’ve got the big goal ahead of saving for a deposit. I’d love to write more about the topic here on Prettygreentea, let me know if you’d be interested.

Be mindful, keep track of what you spend and always have your end goal in mind. Everyone has the chance to save towards a deposit. It doesn’t matter how small you start as long as you just get the ball rolling. 

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  • ninegrandstudent

    Such an achievement to have a house deposit by that age! I suppose I’m unlucky in the sense that I *had* to move away to uni to do the course I wanted, then to get the career I want its almost certain I’ll be living in London (or commuting in) so saving is difficult! I’ve always worked and do have some savings, but I can’t imagine it will be enough to put down a deposit in an area commutable to London anytime soon! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

    • It might take time but it sounds like you’re taking steps in the right direction. Having savings no matter how small/big is important towards hitting the goal. It’s not easy but do try and put a little aside each month.

      What course are you studying? xx

  • Cat

    Great tips here, and that’s amazing that your friend managed that by 21! I’m 26 and well…let’s say I’m a long way off. I’m looking to carry out a few more adventures (i.e. go on a few more holidays and trips) before I start knuckling down and saving for a house deposit, but I do have the benefit of living at home with my parents at the moment – although I don’t really like doing it, it has allowed me to save money whilst still contributing.

    • Ah that;s lucky! I wish I still lived at home! Make the most of that, it will really help you to save. x

  • Natalie-Claire L

    Totally bookmarking this page – as of 2017 I will seriously start saving!
    Thank you for your great tips.