Friday, 7 October 2016

First Time Home Owner - Our Saving Tips

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As you all know our project is a self build so our requirements for our deposit were a little different to what is needed for that of a first time buyer. As we were building the house we didn't necessarily need a specific amount of money saved like a first time buyer would. 
We were extremely blessed to have our site in our names and this meant that we could use the land as a strength for us for our mortgage application. The land aside we still needed A LOT of money behind us to start the build. We had to been seen to be consistently saving each month in order to prove that we could afford to make mortgage repayments in the future. We had to have enough money to make required contributions to the build along with the mortgage provided by the bank. 

Our biggest concern when the time came to begin saving for our deposit over two years ago was that we didn't want our lifestyle to change greatly. We love to go out for meals together, we loved our weekends away and nights out with our friends, I love my high-end make up collection and Gerard has an addiction to Zara coats. We knew that we had to be careful about how much we spent each month, but we didn't want our lifestyle to suffer while saving. 

Here's a few little things we did to help our savings grow. 


Setting A Budget 
We wanted to keep our life as comfortable as we enjoyed it before we began saving so we looked at our budget. We made a list of all the things we enjoyed doing each month - nights out, meals out, shopping, personal care and beauty etc. and we decided together how much we could be happy to keep aside for each. We took away our bills and utilities and then we decided on a savings amount that we both felt comfortable in saving each month. We wanted to make sure that it was enough to create a decent amount of savings but also not too much that it makes a negative effect on our lives.  

Saving with the Credit Union
We both had a credit union savings accounts linked with our payroll in work. This meant that every pay day our savings were automatically taken out of our payslip and placed into the Credit Union. We never felt like the money was gone, it was almost like it was another tax taken off our wage safely tucked away in our savings accounts. This was the best way for us to save. As we needed consistent savings we had the same about lodged into each of our savings accounts each month and we never touched the savings as the bank needed to see at least six months of savings untouched in our statements. Easier said than done I know but this was a very effective way for us to save. 

Make Smart Choices 
Yes we wanted to keep our lifestyle the same but we still had to be smart with our money and spending. We could keep our lives as comfortable as we wanted while we saved but we still needed to make smart choices and a few sacrifices along the way. For example we didn't go on a summer holiday this year because we wanted to put that money towards the house. The summer before we went to Italy for 5 days to cut back a little and again put the savings we made towards the house. We know that small smart choices like this would help us get to our home faster and it would all the worth it in the end. 

Silly I Know But.....Get A Piggy Bank
I bought one and it was actually sad how much I enjoyed filling it. I would empty my purse every few days and see the savings box fill up. I kept this for a few months and I ended up with enough money to buy my dining room chairs from TK Max. See not so silly after all!! 

Don't Put Yourself Under Pressure 
Life is for living, yes we all need a home of our own and roof over our heads but don't put extra financial strain on yourself that you cannot afford. If you decided to save half of your wages each month, but after bills and other experiences you are left with so little to live on you will just feel stressed and under pressure. There is no need for that. Only save what you feel comfortable with financially saving. It may take you longer to save if you save less each month but you can only save what you can afford to live without. We only saved what we felt comfortable saving, yes we could have saved more or cut back on certain things but we wanted to maintain our lifestyle while saving. We did not see the point in saving extra and being miserable or having to take money from our savings to cover extra costs. 

I really hope these little tips help. This is what worked for us, of course it may not work for everyone but I hope it helps someone out there. 

Amy x 

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