ďHouse prices continue to rise. ďFirst time buyers continue to struggle to get a hold on the property market.Ē The headlines in the newspapers must make depressing reading for would-be first time house purchasers.
Ten years ago around £4,000 would have been considered a reasonable deposit on a house. This figure has reportedly risen to around £12,000.
No wonder the average age for a first time buyer has gone from 30 to 34 years old.
There is nothing for it but to get down and save. Forget the ďIím spending nothing this week; Iíll do with out a holiday/work through my holiday, even.Ē This is unrealistic, you wonít keep it up. It would be much better to start to save in a realistic manner, making cuts in spending wherever possible.
One of the first tasks to sort out is exactly how much you can commit yourself to in the way of a mortgage. This will give you your figure for the deposit and youíll be able to work out the monthly mortgage repayments. The internet is the best place to look to compare mortgage details and give you an idea of what youíre aiming for.
If you keep a record of your spending you should be able to sort out just what youíre spending your money on, and maybe there could be some things you could cut back on. Just by writing things down you could become more conscious of where your money is going and it will probably help you to spend a little less.
Are there any small amounts of money about? Maybe a small savings account youíd forgotten about, or even your old money-box. Gather these together and add any spare money, itís surprising how the cash can mount up.
What about a typical day at work. Do you grab a coffee on the way? This can mount up to around £15 a week, £60 a month and £720 a year! If youíve a long journey and you really canít survive without a coffee, then it only takes a few minutes to make a flask up. Itís quite a saving. Buying lunch out is expensive and during a busy day at work, itís easy to get distracted and end up choosing something more expensive than you intended. Pre-packed sandwiches are usually quite expensive but a worthwhile saving can be made by making and bringing in your own.
There are quite probably some monthly debits youíre paying for. The magazines you donít really read any more. The club memberships you really donít need and canít justify. Cancel them.
Assuming youíre responsible for at least a share of utility bills, make all the economies you can. Turn off some of those unnecessary lights, unplugging appliances and save water by turning taps on for a minimum of time. Itís more economical to shower than to bathe. Turning down the heating a notch or two may be possible. There are sometimes discounts for paying accounts in full when you get a bill, rather than paying extra to pay in instalments, for your car insurance or suchlike. Maybe this would be a good time to check that youíre not paying too much for car or contents insurance? Check the internet for comparisons.
If you have credit card debts, could you save money by moving your balance to a zero interest card, which would mean you were paying money to reduce your actual balance, rather than paying interest?
Choose a home for your savings. Consider a tax-free ISA or a high interest savings account. Youíll get more interest by leaving the money in place for longer so choose one that requires, say, three months notice, to encourage your savings to mount up.
Become a penny-pincher. Itís the only way to get on that ladder!
Mortgage Machine provides UK mortgages articles online.