May 19, 2024

A Journalist On 26k Trying To Buy A House

Looking to buy a property is a perfect time to get your finances in order. Start by paying off any debts, renegotiating bills, switching providers for a better deal, and shopping around for cheaper food and fuel, including mobile and broadband packages.

Also, cancelling any unnecessary or unwanted subscriptions, such as TV and music streaming services, gyms and clubs. Reducing your expenses can boost how much you can borrow. It may not be much, but every little helps!

I would encourage setting some targets for the property you want to purchase. Think about what kind of property you aim for, where you want to buy, what you can afford in monthly mortgage payments and the deposit required (ideally 5%/10% of the property purchase price).

Next, you want to consider how much you can borrow. You can easily do this with mortgage calculators online. Still, an average of 4. 5 times your salary will give you a good guide on what most lenders will be willing to lend (subject to credit scoring and financial commitments). Understanding your mortgage needs will provide more clarity and confidence and ensure you take advantage of opportunities to buy sooner.

Shave your spending

One of the most difficult aspects of personal finance is figuring out the best way to sort your spending, especially if you’re trying to save big on a small budget. The trick to shaving your spending is to cut back a little in each area rather than taking out big chunks of your budget all at once. Small changes to your day-to-day outgoings can significantly impact your savings. For example, £20 a week on takeouts totals £1,040 yearly. Likewise, from Monday to Friday, £5 a day on lunch or coffee amounts to £1,300 per year.

Opt for homemade meals or prepare lunch from home and save most of that money instead. Also, take a look at your monthly spending habits. Write down all expenses, then identify the areas you can cut back on, set daily, weekly or monthly spending limits and keep an active track of spending.

Pay yourself first

Saving enough money to buy your own home can seem daunting. The current cost of living and higher house prices make getting on the property ladder even more challenging. The latest Office for National Statistics suggests house prices in the UK have increased by 10. 6% over the past year. But don’t despair – this doesn’t mean buying a home is impossible; it’s about working smarter, not harder.

Start by setting up a standing order to transfer money into a savings account each month on payday. That way, the money is out of your current account, and you are less likely to be tempted to touch it. Saving for a house is a marathon, not a sprint – and there will be sacrifices along the way – but keep your eye on the prize by being disciplined.

Increase your income

There are countless ways to boost your monthly income, such as a weekend job, babysitting, coaching, copywriting, and affiliate marking; the list is endless. Also, things that take up extra space in your home could earn you extra cash; try sorting your belongings and selling what you don’t need on sites such as eBay, Vinted and Facebook Marketplace. It’s also a great way to prepare yourself for when moving home. If you want to make more money and still maintain the same job, consider asking for a pay rise.

Of course, asking for a salary increase is sensitive and not guaranteed, but you may only get it if you ask. You must plan to evidence the additional value you provide to convince your company that you deserve the increase. Push for a percentage pay rise (i. e. 5% or 10%), which sounds better than a monetary amount.

Make your money work

First-time buyers between 18 and 39 can open up a Lifetime ISA account. You can pay up to £4,000 each tax year into the account. The government then adds a 25% bonus (£1,000 maximum). It’s a great way to gain extra money for your property deposit. It’s also worth shopping around to get the most attractive savings interest rate on the market, and many comparison sites make this task less tedious. Some top-tier savings interest may have restrictions or strings attached, such as withdrawal limits and caps on contributions.

So read the small print and find one that works for you and your savings needs. I recommend speaking with a qualified financial adviser to ensure all your future financial needs are looked after, such as buying a home, building growth for the future, and protecting your income.

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