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Desperate to find a home deposit? Here’s how

A home is probably the largest purchase you will ever make, and it doesn’t come cheap. But if you want to make your first foray into the property market, there are things you can do.

Here, Jenni Hill, creator of the award-winning personal finance blog Can’t Swing a Cat shares some of her top tips for saving a deposit.

Deposit tips

In September 2014 I decided to start saving a deposit for my first house. I was living in a rented flat at the time but I wanted to decorate without getting told off by the landlord and start paying my own mortgage instead of someone else’s.

Thankfully, by reducing my living expenses, giving up nights out and takeaways, shopping second hand, selling my old belongings, and boosting my income, I managed to save £10,000 in a year. If you’d like to start saving a deposit too, here are a few suggestions:

  • Reduce living expenses
  • First thing’s first, try to find ways to reduce your living expenses. There are plenty of ways to do this:
  • Move in with your parents
  • Rent a room in a shared house
  • Ask around to see if any of your home-owning friends would like a lodger
  • If you have a spare room in a property you rent, see if sub-letting is an option
  • Become a ‘property guardian’ by living in an old school, church or listed building

Slash unnecessary spending

Every time you think about making a purchase, question whether you really need the item you’re about to buy and whether you can get it cheaper elsewhere. Reduce the amount you spend on unnecessary items and constantly remind yourself of your end goal.

Embrace preloved items

If you really do need to buy something, consider buying it second hand rather than new. Shop at charity shops, visit car boot sales on Sundays and keep an eye on Facebook selling groups in case something you need pops up.


Boost your income

By boosting your income you can see your savings sky rocket. If asking for a pay rise or finding a better paid job isn’t an option, there are plenty of other things you could do.

Maybe you have a particular skill such as speaking a second language or playing the guitar. If so, you could make extra cash by teaching others to do the same.

If you’re feeling really ambitious, consider turning your passions into a small business. Whether you’re a great baker or you love making your own jewellery, this can be a brilliant way of making money by doing what you love.

If you want to make extra cash without the commitment, consider dog walking, babysitting, gardening or cleaning.

Grow your savings

Every time you get paid, put a lump sum in a savings account or ISA. By doing this, you’ll be less likely to spend your spare cash on unnecessary purchases.

 A Help to Buy ISA could also be worth considering if you’re a first time buyer as the government will boost your savings by 25%. You can save up to £200 a month in your Help to Buy ISA and when you come to buy a property, you’ll benefit from the government top-up.

This is a guest post from Can’t Swing a Cat and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Money Advice Service. You can find out more about Can’t Swing a Cat over on her website

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  • ANN MARIA / 10 February 2016

    I'm currently earning ug shs. 140,000 as salary, yet plan to construct my own house in a few years from now. any other method that can enable me achieve this apart from savings. thanks

  • Pazza / 8 February 2016

    Great advice Well done!