Saving Tips for the First-Time Buyer

Saving Tips for the First-Time Buyer

Getting the keys to your own home and becoming a first-time buyer is a huge milestone in your life. There are many barriers facing young people as they try to get their foot on the property ladder. Renting is no longer a viable option so taking the necessary steps to buy your own home is the best path for people to follow. The lack of rental accommodation and sky-high rental rates are forcing to buy rather than rent. Buying a home requires you to have significant savings in order to pay the deposit price.  

Central Bank rules mean first-time buyers must have a down payment of at least 10pc, with 20pc required by other borrowers – Irish Independent. 
Here’s how you, the first-time buyer, can begin to save money to put towards your dream home.

1 Create a monthly budget

Budgeting is an easy way to keep track of your income and expenditure, the money coming in and out of your pocket. Creating a budget allows you to plan for how you spend your money. It allows you to see how much you make and how much you spend on bills and utilities. By keeping track of your expenditure you can begin to identify ways you can save money. It is advisable that you keep a budget for a few months before making any significant spending changes. Get an idea of what your current situation is and then start planning from there.

2 Budget for each category and stick to it

Once you’ve kept a detailed budget for a few months, it’s time to make some changes. Set a limit for your expenditure under each category (food, bills, travel, social, health etc.) Once you have your limit set then stick to it. Be disciplined! Keep to this limit and you can begin to save money. It may only be a little at first but every cent counts.  

3 Hide the credit card

Credit cards make it so easy for us to spend above our limits. We’ve all experienced the sudden panic when the bill arrives and you suddenly realise just how much you have spent without even realising it. Put your card away somewhere safe and out of reach. You can’t use it if you don’t have it on you! Set yourself a limit of weekly spending money. This will let you know just how much you have spent and how much you have left at the end of the week. Be proud of any and all savings you make! 

4 Look for better deals on utilities & insurance

Utilities are a huge expense for everyone. Every month you pay out on heating, electricity, phone plans, broadband, insurance etc. You can make significant savings on these utilities. See what savings you can make on these sites; Bonkers.ie and Switcher.ie.

It is also advisable to contact your service providers and see what deals they can give you. It’s definitely worth a try, if you don’t ask you won’t receive, so pick up the phone and see if you can save yourself some cash. 

5 Quit smoking and drinking

This may not apply to everyone but if it does apply to you then read on. Cigarettes and alcohol are two big expense areas for people. If you are a smoker consider quitting. Visit the Quit Smoking site for help and advice on how to do this. Likewise if you consume alcohol regularly consider cutting back on the amount you drink. You could also quit drinking completely if you so wished. Visit the DrinkAware site for help and advice.

Cutting back on these two things will save you a considerable amount of money every year.  

6 Use energy efficient appliances

Being more eco-friendly is helping to save the planet but it can also save your pocket. Using older appliances and light bulbs uses up much more energy and electricity which results in higher utility bills. Invest in some energy efficient appliances and light bulbs so you can cut back on your bills and also save the planet. Be an eco-warrior! 

7 Reduce, reuse and recycle

Buying reusable products can also save you money. By buying a reusable water bottle and coffee cups we are saving ourselves from having to buy the disposable versions which over time can add up to massive sums of money. Use BPA free water bottles and coffee cups to save the environment and your pocket!   

8 Cancel subscriptions and memberships

Gym memberships and other exercise classes that you don’t attend or use are just a waste of your hard-earned cash. Instead opt to pay-as-you-go, that way you will only pay for what you use. It’s also easy to forget about some things we subscribe or sign-up to. It is worth noting that some sites automatically renew your membership for the next year and you may end up paying again for something you don’t want. It’s a good idea to re-check and visit anything you’ve signed-up to, to ensure that the automatic re-subscription option isn’t activated.

Always think before you sign on the dotted line or click the button and make sure that you get the value for the money you spend.

9 Coupons and loyalty points

Loyalty cards and coupons are of no use to us when they are left sitting at home. Every time your new coupons and points balance comes in the letterbox make sure to leave them in your bag and/or plan out your spending to incorporate them. They can help us to make huge savings and can cut your spending considerably when used wisely.  

10. Save your change

Remember when you were a child and got your first piggy bank, a safe place you could save all the loose change you were gifted or found? It’s time to break out the piggy bank again! Save up any loose change you have or any you find. You’d be surprised by how much you can accumulate over time. You can then either use this to pay off utility bills or else you can lodge it into your savings account when you accumulate a nice sum of money. It’s always a nice feeling when you are lodging money rather than withdrawing it from your account.

These are just some small hints and tips to help you save money. While they won’t save you thousands in the short run they will make a big difference to your savings annually. It is difficult to get your foot on the property ladder but having a little something in your savings account could mean the difference between getting accepted or declined for a mortgage. You should start saving as early as you can. Remember that little changes in spending can make a BIG difference!

 Good luck on your journey to becoming a first-time buyer!

How can Key Financials help you?
Every recommendation we make is designed to help our customer achieve their financial goals. And because our company is an independent brokerage, your needs are always placed before our own. We will research the products from a number of providers across the market, to ensure that you have access to the best possible product for your specific needs. We are funded by the financial companies we work with, you will never have to pay us fees or commissions.

Our goals are fully aligned with your goals, and we are committed to delivering impartial advice and strong value to our clients.

We welcome frequent contact from our customers, to ask a question, to make a suggestion – or tell us about a change in circumstances which might influence their investment choices.

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