Tips for saving for a deposit

Added on 17 June 2016

Almost 4 in 10 members of the UK public believe that they will never own a house to call their own, calling the government’s efforts to lessen the current UK housing crisis into doubt. In a survey recently conducted by the Observer on the attitudes to British Housing, 69% of those asked think the UK is currently in the depths of a housing crisis. A further 71% of prospective home owners doubt their ability to buy a property without the aid of a family member.

It isn’t as impossible to afford a mortgage as it may seem, but it’s not something that takes place overnight, it just takes dedication, a little penny pinching and long term planning.

Get strict with your income
This is the first and most difficult step to take, which will mean a few months without luxuries. You should start by calculating the maximum amount of money that you can save after bills and put that away. We recommend setting up a separate bank account for these savings such as a Help to Buy ISA (we’ll explain this more later) as it’s best to make sure the money isn’t easy to access in order to prevent any spontaneous purchases.

Sell any and all unused and unwanted items
eBay was created for these situations. You should begin to sort through your possessions and make decisions about the clutter you don’t want or need anymore. Any clothes, furniture, electronics etc. should be sorted and sold. This will not only simplify the process of packing when you finally buy a house, but it will also help you to make a little extra cash to put away.

Do your best to get rid of your debts
Putting extra focus on paying something off may seem counterproductive but the long term benefits can really help. If you work on getting rid of any debts it will have an effect on how much you can borrow when you decide to buy a home. Secondly, the less debt you have, the smaller your monthly repayments will be and the money saved from this can go straight into your savings account towards an investment. 

Make some sacrifices where possible 
We know it’s a little depressing to cut back on luxuries but it will be worth it in the long run. There are smaller changes that you can make, such as downgrading your TV package or bringing a packed lunch rather than visiting McDonalds every lunch time. Larger changes include not going abroad for your holiday this year and changing your weekly shop from Waitrose to Aldi. Each change you make no matter how small will eventually add up.

Get the most from your savings
With all these extra savings you’re making, it’s best to get the most out of them. If you’re a first time buyer, Help to Buy ISA’s are your best opportunity to do this. Help to Buy is a recently introduced scheme from the government to help first time buyers get on the property ladder. The way the account works is simple. You open an account and make a first deposit of up to £1200 and then monthly deposits of up to £200 going forward. When you come to buy your first home, you can use this account to apply for 25% from the government. This means that if you save the maximum amount of £12,000, you’ll receive a £3,000 bonus that will go towards your house deposit. You can take the money out whenever you like and this account is an absolute no brainer for first time buyers.

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