For most people, a house will be the biggest purchase of their lives, not to mention the most important. Saving for a house can be stressful but a little planning can make all the difference. For 10 non-nonsense savings tips on how to save for a house that really work, look no further.
Before we jump into the actual list, our biggest piece of general advice on the best way to save for a house is to save smart and save early. To save smart, make sure your saving amount is realistic and work backwards to be able to set attainable goals. As for saving early, remember that time is the great multiplier of small savings. As multi-billionaire, Warren Buffet, once said, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
Let’s look at 10 useful tips to save for a house deposit effectively. Here’s how to get your house in order, so you can order a house.
1: Compare the market
Energy and utility bills are tedious but necessary. For most people, car insurance, broadband and phone bills are the same. However, all of the companies offering these services profit from the average person’s lack of interest in making savings.
For those looking to make a nice dent in their outgoings, a small investment of time on a price comparison site can work wonders. Check whenever your contract is up for renewal. Then, about two weeks beforehand, schedule some time to look around for better deals.
Alternatively, you could use an automatic switching service to do the legwork for you.
Update (28th October): With the UK energy crisis in full swing, it’s difficult or in most cases impossible to make savings on gas and energy bills. You can’t really shop around when every provider is offering prices that exceed the current Energy Price Guarantee. Instead, focus on reducing your household usage of gas, electrity and heated water wherever possible.
2: Unsubscribe and chill
We all enjoy having on-demand choices for our digital entertainment. However, subscribing to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky and other packages all at once is expensive and probably an ‘option overload’. Coping with less content can save you a decent amount of cash each month and you may find you’re not missing out.
Sites like justwatch.com are a great way of discovering where series are broadcast, so you can pick and choose your platforms more carefully. Don’t forget free on-demand platforms too.
Similarly, don’t forget that memberships can sometimes be paused. If you are keen to keep using a service, it can also be worth looking at exactly what you are getting. Sometimes even a standard package has unnecessary extras.
3: Burn financial fat – quit the gym
People stayed fit long before private gyms, and many charge eye-watering fees. So, consider whether you actually use it enough. If you do, can you transfer your routine out of the gym and shed the financial cost?
Park yoga, running groups and free weights are all easily viable alternatives. Plus, the internet is an endless source of high-quality workout videos and ideas for an active, healthy lifestyle.
4: Shop around
Local shops and supermarkets are convenient but don’t discount the savings possible with adjustments to your shopping routines. Partitioning your shops will allow you to access the speciality cooks’ ingredients at the high-end chains, while saving money on day-to-day items in budget supermarkets. Also, use your loyalty cards to the fullest.
5: Two legs good, four wheels bad
High prices at the pump can really damage your budget! And don’t forget all the additional costs of running a car. Why not make the most of the post-lockdown freedom to take the Shoelace Express and walk wherever possible? This will also help you get your steps in, now you’ve cancelled your gym membership.
6: Check your direct debits
How often do you sign up for a monthly subscription on a free trial basis and then forget about it? It happens to the best of us.
Go into your banking app to identify regular payments. There’s a good chance you’ll find at least one that is outdated, unessential or can be temporarily put on hold.
7: Set up a standing payment
While you’re looking for any direct debits that are surplus to requirement, it could be a good time to review how much you can afford to actively put aside each month. You could set up a direct debit scheduled after payday to a secondary account devoted to your house saving.
Putting aside a reasonable amount will remove the ability to impulse spend later in the month. It will also challenge you to push your remaining money further. Finally, the separate account can be a focus for your growing house fund.
8: Waste not…
Food waste costs UK households between £250 – £400 annually. Utilising batch cooking and defrosting portions as they are needed is a great way to get the most value out of meals. It also saves overall cooking time during the week.
For individual meals, be precise with measurements. When it’s cost-effective to buy more, make a plan to incorporate extra food in a specific dish. Mushy fruit and soft veg are great in smoothies, which are often overpriced in gyms and supermarkets.
More cautious cooks could consider meal delivery boxes. These companies often have introductory deals that work out cheaply with follow-up referral discounts. Time to find some friends!
9: Use your free time
During the pandemic, the furlough allowed many people to realise extra time and turn their hand to other tasks. The new reality of remote working in certain job sectors has enabled employees to work more efficiently, with many taking on second jobs.
If you’re working from home, consider what ‘house fund’ activities you can fit in around your salaried hours, including:
Crafting items for saleSelling unwanted items from your home onlineDoing house jobs that you’d otherwise pay a professional to do
10: Dress to impress, not to excess
Saving money on clothes doesn’t mean darning your old socks – though don’t let that stop you. Give the old threads at the bottom of your drawer a new lease of life. Or try clothes swaps with a friend. Remember that money saved is the same as money earned – it’s still in your pocket.
Stay on track – the savings will quickly stack up
It’s important to stay goal-oriented when trying to figure out how to save for a house deposit. There may be times when circumstances might require a little more spending, but your overall success will be measured by your willpower. Resist the temptation of impulse buys by thinking about the long-term gain, not the short-term loss of satisfaction.
If you liked these ideas on how to save for a house, remember that HomeViews has many articles on the subject of buying your home, including tips on help-to-buy schemes, getting a mortgage and more. Check out the links below.
HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, house builders, operators, housing associations and the Government to recognise high performers and help improve standards in the built environment.