Let’s be honest, saving for a house deposit is no mean feat. In fact, recent studies have shown that it can take up to eight years for first-time buyers to save enough cash. Thankfully, there are some ways you can speed the process up considerably. Here’s how to boost your cash flow and save for a house deposit more efficiently…
1. Review standing orders
First off, you’re going to need to take a long hard look at your income versus your outgoings and identify any areas for review. Be ruthless – do you really need an Amazon Prime membership? Or that glossy magazine subscription? When was the last time you went to the gym more than twice in a month? Make cuts wherever you can when it comes to standing orders.
2. Stop frivolous spending
Next, you need to assess where you’re spending more than you could be. We’re all guilty of it, and you’ll be amazed at how much you can save by making a few adjustments. Reflect on whether you can cut things out altogether, look for cheaper alternatives, or simply purchase less frequently. It all adds up, and this method can boost savings by upwards of £1,000 per year.
Whether it’s swapping to a cheaper supermarket, forfeiting the payday clothes splurge or making that Just Eat Cheeky Tuesday a monthly treat instead of weekly, think hard about where you can make changes. Consider new initiatives, too. We love the idea of a no-spend weekend once a month, where you get creative with food leftovers and only do free activities for fun. Set new habits in motion, and stick to them wherever possible.
3. Consider selling your car
Unless you need your car for commuting, think carefully about whether or not you could get by without it – at least until you’re settled in your lovely new home. More and more of us are working between home and the office post-pandemic, and getting the bus, cycling, or walking from A to B could save you thousands of pounds in petrol in a year. That’s even before we factor in the lump sum you’d get for selling!
4. Approach your service providers
Suppliers don’t want to lose your custom, so it’s well worth getting in touch to see if you can get your bill down by threatening to go elsewhere. You may find they offer you a discounted rate for the next six months, or they can simply lob a few pounds off your monthly bill automatically.
Failing that, there may be some ways you can work together to get your payments down. Are there some TV channels you could drop, for instance? Or could you sacrifice that upcoming mobile phone upgrade and opt for a sim-only contract instead? Ask for advice.
5. Check your income tax code and council tax band
It’s really easy to check you’re on the right tax code and in the right council tax band, and it could stop you overpaying large amounts each month. You just need to fill in some details online to find out – click here for tax code help, and here for council tax band advice.
6. Ask for a salary increase
Huge percentages of people are unhappy with their salary and feel undervalued in their roles, but don’t do anything about it. If you feel you deserve a raise, or you haven’t had a pay rise in more than a year, it’s time to sit down with your manager and have an honest conversation.
You’ll need to be clear on the reasons why you’re asking for the raise, and go in armed with a business case that backs up your request. Compile solid examples of where you’ve gone above and beyond in your role, and bring performance review records along for reference. Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get! Be polite, open and honest, and you just might be surprised at the outcome.
7. Set up a standing order…
Setting up a standing order a few days after payday is a great way to start saving. It means you’re not relying on yourself to put money away each month. If you leave saving to your discretion, there will always, always be another purchase or expense that comes up, and you won’t be able to save as effectively.
8…and set savings goals
Set yourself saving goals to work towards, rather than the final aim of saving enough money for a deposit. Break that down into smaller figures across more regular intervals. Not only will the process of saving for a deposit feel a lot more manageable this way, but it’ll also increase your motivation levels to reach your targets.
9. Have a major clear out
We all have stuff lying around that we never use or wear, and these items could be highly sought-after by other people. After all, one man’s trash is another’s treasure! Think about what you don’t want or need, or what you could live without, and put it all up for sale. You could earn much more than you think. Break it down even further, and use selling as a top-up to your own savings, decluttering a different room each month and then adding the earnings into your existing funds.
10. Move into cheaper rented property
If you’re living in a rented property right now, think about how you could save by moving out. If rent is taking up a large part of your income, saving can feel impossible. Moving to a smaller property, a different area, or signing up a lodger can help reduce rental costs.
You could also look to friends or family for a short period to help fast-forward the saving process. Over the last few years, there’s been an increase in young people moving back in with parents temporarily, for instance, while saving to get on the property ladder. Consider whether this is an option for you.
Good luck! Keep focused and, before you know it, you'll be settling into a home that you can call your very own. Rezigo's got you covered, too, with a multitude of service providers on-hand to make the big move a total breeze, when the times comes. In the meantime, come back and visit us for more top tips, and give our social channels a follow via the links below.