The average amount of money needed for a 15% deposit in the UK is over £30,000 now based on average house prices. Whether you’re one half of a couple or whether you’re going solo, you have a real journey ahead of you to save up this figure.
It can be done, however, and if you get some help along the way that’s even better. This help can be from the Bank of Mum and Dad, from some canny savings or investments or even from a government scheme. Most of the hard yards will be walked by you, though. Here’s some ideas to get you started.
Go out a bit less
Most 25 to 30-year-olds spend around £60 on a night out and they tend to go out once a week at least. This could represent £400 a month or more. Think about ways to cut these expenses maybe by staying in every other weekend or entertaining at home instead. Join forces with someone in a similar boat and commit to a film night with cheap plonk and homemade popcorn once a month. This could see anything from £3,000 to £6,000 going into your deposit pot each year.
Change your holiday plans
The average holiday for two costs £2,500 to £3,000 nowadays. You can reduce these costs, though. Try a UK-based holiday, for example, to save money on flights. Alternatively, grab a last-minute bargain to somewhere you might not have considered before.
Once you’re at your destination, you can help your savings campaign further by not overspending. Most of us do it, but one definite sinkhole for money is transaction charges on debit and credit cards; get yourselves an international prepaid debit card so that at the very least you’re not being stung £2.50 or so every time you flash your plastic.
Your home may be hiding anything from £400 to £1,000 in unused, forgotten or unwanted items. It may be old textbooks, clothes, computer games or collectors’ items, but if they go for decent prices, that’s another few hundred towards your target. It’s also less packing once you finally move into the new home you’re saving for.
Open a Help to Buy ISA
This savings account is tax-free and once you’ve saved at least £1,600, the government will top it up by 25% of your total. You’ll need to be buying a home that’s selling for up to £250,000 (£450,000 in London) and this property must be your main home. Head to the Gov.uk webpage to find out more.
Downsize a bit
If possible, move into a smaller flat or house and pocket the difference in rent. If you can’t downsize then you might be able to move a bit further out of the town centre, as long as any increased commute costs don’t eat up your rental savings.