For many, owning their own home is the ultimate financial goal. Unfortunately, many are giving up on this goal due to the rising house prices and indeed the rising cost of living.
The problem is, the rise in house prices has had a knock on effect on the size of the deposit required. For example a 15% deposit on a £238,000 (The average UK house price) house is £35,000, however with many experts predicting dramatic rises in house prices, this deposit is set to rise to over £40,000 over the next 5 years.
Naturally, the idea of saving nearly £40,000 seems pretty unrealistic especially in these tough economic times. Despite this, financial goals should never be given up on, regardless of how far away they may seem. We’ve come up with some top tips that should help you when saving for a deposit:
Identify areas where you can cutback
If, over the past few years you’ve had very little reason to save money, then the chances are you’ll have simply let your finances drift along and won’t have worried too much about your spending. Now that you have got an incentive to save, you’re going to have to assess your finances and look for areas to save money each month.
The best way of doing this is to create a budget. Nowadays, you can either choose to create it manually or use an online software service such as the budget planner on the Money Advice Service website.
Initially, it is likely that one or two areas will immediately stand out, however if they don’t you’re going to have to scratch beneath the surface. While you’ll be unable to do anything about your rental costs or your utilities, it is your variable outgoings such as your weekly shop, transport costs and entertainment costs that are likely to be costing more than they could be.
Make money outside of work
With many people working long hours already, taking on a second job or asking for overtime is out of the question. Fortunately, there are now things you can do that take very little time out of your busy daily schedule and could prove to be a nice little earner.
Firstly, you could sell some old stuff. There are a number of routes you could go down here; eBay can prove successful, however beware of the seller fess involved which are often quite high. Another option is Gumtree; this is a free online ad trader and while the prices your goods fetch may not be as high as those you’d get through eBay, there will be no listing or seller fees involved. Alternatively, you could take your old goods to an old fashioned car boot sale; however these are decreasing in popularity due to the presence of sites like eBay and Gumtree.
Another way to boost your income is to compare costs of current credit commitments in a hope to find a cheaper deal. For example you could save in excess of £200 just by switching energy providers; you may also be able to save £20 here and there on broadband, mobile phone and TV subscriptions.
Ensure you’re getting the most out of your savings
Having worked so hard to get the most out of your wages and cut back on outgoings, the last thing you want to do is put your hard earned savings into an account that is going to offer very little in terms of interest. While savings rates are very low currently, it doesn’t mean you have to settle for second best. Look out for Cash ISAs, Fixed Rate Bonds and Easy Access Savings; these are likely to offer the best rates for your money.
When looking to save for a deposit, the trick is to act quickly. As we outlined above, house prices are expected to rise over the coming year, so the quicker you can save, the lower the amount you’ll require. Consequently the longer you leave it, the more you’re going to need to save.