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Whether you’re just out of school and looking for ways to prepare for your future, planning a family or have decided you’re sick of being a renter, buying a house is one of the biggest endeavours you’ll embark on in your life.
No doubt you’ve already thought about the sort of mortgage you can afford and what kind of deposit you will need in this financial climate. Perhaps you’ve already set up some kind of high interest savings account or online basic bank account to keep your deposit money separate to your daily expenses. Or maybe you’ve only just decided to start saving. Either way, chances are you’re looking for more ways to save or ramp up your savings plans and here are some great tips that can help get you on the road to home ownership.
Move in with parent or take a boarder
If you’re lucky enough to have the option, why not consider moving back with your parents? However, to avoid the pitfalls and problems that often come with this scenario, approach your parents with a plan and definite length of stay. Tell them how much you can save by moving back in to their home and explain that you’ll pay for your own food and utilities. By setting up some solid ground rules, you should be able to convince them that it’s a good idea and avoid any resentment building.
If moving back home is not an option and you’ve got a spare room that’s become more like a storage facility why not consider getting a boarder to rent your room out for a short while. Often you will find students and travellers who will jump at the chance for a short term board opportunity. Keeping it to the short term will prevent any troublesome boarders becoming a long term issue.
While you might think that you’re living close to the bone, chances are there are lots of ways that you can make changes to your current lifestyle that will help you to put away more pounds. Not only that, once you’ve got your very own mortgage, you’ll probably have to make adjustments to your lifestyle anyway. So see this as a good training ground to prepare for the financial constraints of home ownership.
Cancel any subscriptions, you don’t need the latest glossy every month and you probably don’t need streamed television or music on tap either. Instead, treat your self to the odd magazine now and then, or a second hand CD online.
If you love going out to dinner and seeing movies regularly, these are two very easy ways to save your money. But there’s no need to miss out on good food and films. Have friends over for dinner and rent a dvd instead. You could go out once a month instead and make it a really special occasion. Not only can you save money by cutting back on going out, if you set yourself a new cuisine to learn every month, you’ll be a gourmet cook by the end of the year.
Create a budget
Changes in lifestyle go hand in hand with creating a budget. And just like cutting back will help you to prepare for life with a mortgage, having a budget will also help to prepare you for paying off a mortgage. Unlike rent, you can’t miss a mortgage repayment unless you want to put a serious dent in your credit score, so having enough money for monthly repayments is crucial.
Creating a budget will not only help you get a realistic idea of what your income and expenses are, it will help you to recognise where you can make further cuts which will lead to further savings.
Take another job
While taking second job might sound like a big step, it doesn’t have to come in the form of working at your local shop. Perhaps you’ve got a skill or talent that you can put to good use. Do you play an instrument? Can you build websites? Are you a wiz on the computer, a keen ironer or a dab hand in the garden? All these skills can be traded for money, in form of services like ironing, lawn services, tutoring, music lessons or web design. These days it’s very easy cost effective to set up a small website to describe the services you provide. You could print up a few pamphlets and home deliver them in your local area and be well on your way to earning a few extra pounds a week.