12 Months to Save for a Mortgage: The Halfway point

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If someone asked me a few months ago if I would be able to save for a house deposit in the space of twelve months, I probably would have laughed in their face. Saving money never used to be my priority, I would splurge on handbags, shoes and fancy meals and have no money left in my bank halfway through the month. I was oblivious to how much money I was throwing away and at that moment in time, I didn't really care - I lived for the moment, not the future.  In the period between Christmas and New Year last year, my landlord came over to our house to fix a fault with our shower and as he was leaving, he blurted out that he wanted to sell the house in twelve months time and asked us if we wanted to buy it.  At that point in time we had £10 in our savings and had never considered buying a house before, but the thought of having to move to a more expensive rental and lose the house that we had actually grown fond of over the years started to dawn on us.

After serious discussions between my husband, my parents and myself, we decided that we were going to try purchase the house, the only issue was that we had only twelve months to get a deposit. Early January we had a meeting with the bank and set up an Help to Buy ISA and an extra savings account and embarked on our journey of saving and now we're at the halfway point and so far, we've got half  way to our desired goal. It wasn't easy, we had to cut out a lot of things we loved doing, put a hold on our travelling and become anti social hermits, but so far so good and we're on track. Today I thought I'd put together a few things I've learnt during the last six months, which hopefully will inspire you to save, whatever you are planning on saving for.

Don't give up on everything you love

When you start saving it is tempting to cut everything out and live off the basics, but just like smoking and dieting, going cold turkey doesn't always work -it just makes you crave the things you love even more. Make a list of what you enjoy doing and rank them in order of ones that you could definitely not live without and the ones that you would be willing to sacrifice until you have reached your goal. After you've made your list, have a look and see if you can still do the things you love, but less of them. My husband and I used to go to restaurants nearly every week, but now we have our once a month date night instead.

Analyse your incomings and outgoings

Once you have made a list of things you would happily keep and get rid of, it is time to analyse your incomings and outgoings to see how much you are able to save per month. You need to be honest with yourself about how much you are spending and try to consider how much money will enable you to live comfortably while saving. After you have evaluated you spending, you can have a look at what you can cut back on such as making your own lunches instead of eating out or cutting down your weekly shopping bill.

Set monthly goals

Always try to set yourself a monthly goal - it doesn't matter if you cannot keep to it every month, but it is great to have something to work towards. Try to find out how much money you need for what you are saving for - such as a holiday or a house deposit and then divide it by how many months you will need to save up for it. Some months you will have more bills than others, so always take these into account. We try to save more in the months we have more money, then cut back in the months where all our quarterly bills come out.

Side hustle

I would have got nowhere near my saving goals if I didn't take on extra work. These days there are lots of ways you can make money from working at home, from filling out surveys to becoming a transcriber and selling things on eBay. Just remember to register with the taxman if you are earning additional money from home.

Be realistic

Finally, be realistic with your saving goal and don't be too harsh on yourself if you don't manage to make it in the time you have been given. I already know that there's a chance we might not be able to save the amount I need by Christmas, but at least I know that I will have plenty of savings to buy another house when the time is right if this doesn't happen.


Are you saving for anything special right now?



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9 comments

  1. I hope you manage to save enough, it is so hard to save now especially if you are renting x

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  2. Saving money is always a huge worry. Hope you manage ok!

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  3. We are currently saving more baby items and eventually our wedding. We are only able to afford these things due to being money savvy. It takes a while to adjust to constantly saving money but after a while you realise the material things don't really matter that much!

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  4. That sounds like an exciting challenge, hope everything works out for you.

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  5. Good luck! This is a great post, I am saving for a holiday to Orlando in four years time :) Kaz x

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  6. Good luck. I have also been saving for a mortgage so I know how hard it is!

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  7. I have to say that I think that "Don't give up on everything you love" is the best tip! It's so hard to cope when you strip away all the fun! xxx

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  8. Good luck with your savings. I feel like a nag but have told my daughter to set up a help to buy ISA too

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  9. Good luck! It sounds like you are doing well so far. It's actually my worst nightmare that our landlord will decided to sell up from under us, especially in this market with us living in such an expensive city-it gives me the fear!

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