Scraping together your deposit is just the first of many costs involved when you buy your first home. From conveyancing fees to kitting out your new home with furniture and fittings, the bills soon mount up.
We’ve put together some top money saving tips to help you build the biggest ‘moving house’ pot possible.
1. Work out where you can cut expenses
For at least a month, ideally three months, write down everything you buy, no matter if it’s just a 25p chocolate bar – write it down.
Do you have a habit of buying a takeaway coffee a few times a week? You could cut these out or, if that’s too big an ask, take a reusable mug instead. All major coffee chains now offer up to 50p off every drink made in a reusable mug. Do this three times a week and you’ve saved £78 a year, and without giving up coffee too!
The same goes for lunch at work. Taking a packed lunch even a few days a week will soon add up.
Other ways to cut expenses include walking, cycling, or taking a bus instead of driving or taking a taxi.
Switching to own-brand food is another easy way to save those essential pennies. Making just a few changes like this could save you more money than you might think.
2. Get expert mortgage advice
Going to a high street bank and speaking directly to their mortgage adviser means you’re only going to be offered their deals.
Instead, you can speak to your local mortgage expert. They’ll have access to thousands of mortgage products from various different lenders, so could find a deal that is more suitable for you. For instance, they could find you a mortgage with smaller deposit requirements or lower interest rates which is a great way to save you money in the short and long-term.
Contact your Sheffield mortgage adviser on 01142 998532 or book an appointment for more help and advice.
3. Reduce your rent if possible
Adults spend the biggest chunk of their monthly income on their rent. Consider finding ways to reduce your rent, if that’s possible. You could negotiate with your landlord if you have a good relationship.
Consider moving into a shared house with friends or other professionals. This way, you can split the bills for utilities, or if you’re in a house, consider downsizing into a smaller flat. It might feel cramped for a while but you know it’s just a temporary solution while you’re saving for your home.
Many people move back in with their parents. This might feel like a backwards step to your independence, but you’ll save hundreds of pounds in rent each month towards your new home’s deposit.
4. Switch suppliers to save money
Utility bills and insurances seem to rise every single year. Use a switching service like USwitch to compare deals and find a better tariff for your electricity and gas. This switch alone could save you hundreds of pounds a year.
You can also shop around when your car and home contents insurance policies are due for renewal. Instead of taking the automatic renewal price, compare other policies and find the cheapest equivalent. Again, this can save hundreds of pounds a year.
5. Save your pennies
Set up a ‘sweeper app’ like HyperJar or via a banking app. These apps automatically round up your spare change every time you make a purchase.
For example, if you’ve bought something costing £4.80, the app rounds this up to £5. The extra 20p is ‘swept’ into a savings account. You won’t even notice you’re saving!
6. Get surveys before you commit buying a house
When it comes to actual house stuff, make sure you’re not landing yourself with a money pit by skipping the surveys. Get the relevant home surveys and land searches completed before you exchange contracts.
You can make an offer on a house before you’ve paid for these surveys. However, it’s worth potentially losing a couple of hundred pounds on a survey than thousands of pounds when you find hidden damage in need of repairs.
7. Declutter and sell your unwanted stuff
Moving house is a great opportunity to declutter and sort through those long-lost boxes in the attic. This activity has two major benefits. First, you won’t have to move so much stuff into your new home, and second, you could make some extra cash.
Sell unwanted clothes, that waffle iron you never used, or even your childhood collection of Polly Pockets and Hot Wheels. There’s a market for everything so try apps like Ebay, Schpock, and Gumtree as well as local Facebook groups to sell your items.
8. Ask friends and family to help on moving day
Removals companies can cost thousands of pounds. If you’re fit enough, you can save hundreds by hiring a self-drive and packing and moving everything yourself.
Spread the workload with friends and family and ask some to help pack and load at your current house, with others ready to unload and unpack at your new house.
You can also ask those unwilling or unable to carry out physical lifting and carrying jobs to help in other ways. Perhaps grandparents can look after your children for the day, or a friend can mind your pets for a couple of days to reduce the stress of moving for them.
9. Have a painting party
No doubt you’ll want to add your personal touch to the place. Hiring decorators and plasterers is costly, though.
See what you can do yourself to save cash. Some things like plumbing and electrics, must be done by professionals. But if you want to put new colours on the walls, invite friends over for a painting party.
Trade a tasty dinner in return for a few hours of painting. With lots of hands on deck, you could have several rooms redecorated in just one afternoon.
10. Use second-hand furniture
Finally, it’s time to kit out your new home. You don’t have to buy brand new furniture to start off with though.
Websites like Freecycle and Gumtree let you find items your local neighbours are giving away for free. From sofas to coffee tables, bed frames to bookshelves, if you put in some legwork you could bag a lot of second-hand furniture for free to get you started.
You could also visit second-hand furniture shops for great deals on items that you’ve not been able to find for free. These cut-price shops are a great way to equip your home without busting your budget.
Shop around for your mortgage and insurance to save
The number one biggest cost of buying a home is, of course, the mortgage. Did you know that your local mortgage expert can not only find you great mortgage deals but also help negotiate insurance policies too?
Save thousands on your mortgage and insurance and book your appointment today to find out how much you could save with expert mortgage advice.