With property prices rising a little higher as each year passes, saving a deposit has never been so difficult. If you want to buy your own place, you need to make a few sacrifices here and there. Not gonna lie, you’ll need unsubscribe from that ASOS mailing list, live off beans on toast, and decline so many nights out that your mates forget who you are.
According to a survey from My Voucher Codes, 64% of respondents would stop going on holidays to save more money for their own home, 62% would stop going to the pub and ordering takeaways, and 41% would stop paying for gym membership.
I asked some friends what they’ve given up to get on the property ladder…
Lizzie: “I pretty much gave up nights out. I used to go to the pub after work every Friday and I’d sometimes have a bit of a mad one on Saturday nights. Since I started saving a deposit though, I’ve had to turn down so many nights out. I’ve only been out three times since January! On the positive side, I’ve managed to save £3,200 myself so far this year towards my first house with my boyfriend. I’ve lost a stone from drinking less too.”
Sarah: “I stopped buying a coffee on my way to work each morning. Obviously the money I’ve saved from this alone isn’t anywhere near enough to buy my own place, but by teaming this with other things like eating out less, it’s made a difference. It was really hard for the first couple of weeks because I pass a Starbucks and Costa shortly after I get off the train, but I got in the habit of not buying them eventually.”
Tom: “I used to spend a lot of money on takeaways and eating out. I’d probably eat out seven or eight times a month on average and would get a takeaway most weekends. I’d also get a kebab after the pub on a Friday night. Cutting down on this crap was my New Year’s Resolution. I found it really hard to get out the habit at first, but I’ve been doing well for the last couple of months. I think I’ve saved maybe £650 so far this year just by cutting down on junk food. That’s obviously not going to get me a lot of house so I’ve been working loads of overtime to get more money in. There’s £5,500 in my savings accounts so far and I’m aiming to save £15,000 for a house in east Manchester. When I finally get my own place, I’m not exactly going to look back and wish I’d eaten more baltis or chow mein.”
Ashley: “I’ve not been on holiday for the last two years because me and my girlfriend are saving to buy a flat. Giving up holidays was more her idea than mine. I’m dying for a trip away but I know that when we factor in flights, accommodation, spends and all the holiday clothes we’d end up buying, it’ll set us back a couple of months. My girlfriend’s also self-employed and so if we were to go away for a week, that’d be a week without her earning any money. It’ll be worth it when we have enough for a 20% deposit on a tiny flat. Hopefully should be ready to buy a place next spring.”
Jess: “I’ve tried really hard to give up clothes shopping so that I can buy a flat in Leeds next year. It’s really embarrassing but I probably used to spend £300 a month on clothes before. I still find myself buying the occasional top but I’ve managed to save £9,000 in the last two years by not going shopping at the weekends, unsubscribing from mailing lists and putting a chunk of my wages in my savings account on pay day. Giving up clothes shopping hasn’t been the only thing I’ve done to save money though. Me and my boyfriend have been shopping at Aldi instead of more expensive food shops and I managed to get a small pay rise at work.”
Sam: “I still can’t believe I did this but I sold my car. I managed to get £3,200 for it and I save more than £250 a month on running costs. I now get trains and buses which is really annoying but it felt great to put so much money in my savings account straight away when I sold my car. I put £200 a month in a Help to Buy ISA and the rest goes in a high interest current account.”
I’ve written before about young people’s obsession with living life to the full and spending money while we’re young, but this YOLO attitude to money can really stand in the way of us saving for life’s big cliche milestones like buying a home. Of course, home ownership isn’t for everyone, and if you’d prefer to rent, then by all means spend your money on other things. But if you love the idea of telling your landlord where to shove it and having a place to yourself, it’s time to start making sacrifices now! Unconvinced that giving up things like coffees and takeaways will make a difference? Take a look at the My First Home Calculator. It’ll force you to work out exactly where your money is going each month before helping you look for ways to cut back.