Dream of owning a home? Here are some top tips for saving your deposit
Brought to you by permanent tsb
More spender than saver? Too much month left at the end of the money?
The thought of having to save sounds daunting friends, especially when you think about all the cute outfits you’ll be missing out on. But honestly, the hardest part is deciding you’re going to start and we promise if you follow these excellent tips, you’ll get there in the end!
Soon, you'll be well on your way to sorting out your mortgage savings.
1. Cut the bills
Sadly, we can’t cut them entirely, but we can certainly start paying less.
So many of us just stick with the same electricity, TV and broadband and insurance providers out of pure laziness but having a search through other service providers’ offerings could save you hundreds of euros on your annual bills.
Right now is the perfect time to see if you can switch or negotiate a better deal. Think about whether to spread payments or pay upfront. Paying upfront for the year is usually cheaper, if you can afford it.
See if there are any discounts for paying online or opting for paperless billing. Does your employer offer a discounted group health insurance scheme? Can you get a multi-policy discount if you take out home and car insurance with the same company? If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
2. Marie Kondo your spending
Be honest, be ruthless, and cut any outgoings you can.
That TV subscription you added for the Game of Thrones finale, the gym trainer whose calls you’ve been avoiding — ditch, ditch and save! Here are just a few examples of what you could do:
- Look at your current account fees
Depending on the bank you're with, consider reducing ATM withdrawal fees by taking out larger amounts at a time or finding a bank that doesn't charge for every transaction. Keep in mind, contactless transaction fees could be cheaper than ATM withdrawal fees, so which would be the better option for you to carry out your purchase?
Some banks allow you to avoid transaction fees if you keep a minimum amount in your account at all times (usually between €2,000 and €3,000). Better still, look for one that gives you money back on your transactions.
Moral of the story — know what your bank charges you and what for.
- Save a fortune, while saving the planet
Turn down the heating (or simply have it on in the room you’re in), turn off your appliances when you’re not using them, unplug your devices when they’re fully charged, switch to energy-efficient light bulbs and wash clothes at low temperatures and at off-peak times. Carry a reusable water bottle and coffee cup too!
- Slash your commuting costs
Sweet talk your boss into signing up to the Taxsaver scheme and you could save up to a whopping 52% on your rail, bus and Luas costs.
3. Stalk your spending
Keeping a diary of your day-to-day expenses could reveal the shocking truth behind your caffeine habit. That morning cappuccino may only cost €3.50 but that adds up to €24.50 a week or a staggering €1,225 a year. Small changes like walking to work or making your lunch can all add up to big savings over time. You can still enjoy your blueberry baked French toast — just opt to make it yourself.
You can also keep tabs on your spending with apps that track your income and expenses, helping you to budget for monthly bills and even save your spare change for you.
4. Ditch the piggy bank and open a savings account
If you want to buy a house, saving is key. The bank will want to see that you are financially responsible so a record of regular savings over time, no matter how small the amounts, can really help.
There’s no point in having your savings sitting in your current account where you could be tempted to dip in and out. Open a savings account and set up a direct debit for a set amount to go out as soon as you get paid each month. Don’t wait until the end of the month, when you might not have any money left.
5. Tackle those debts
There’s not much point in having savings if your credit cards are all maxed out and costing you a fortune each month. Credit card debt can be very costly if not managed correctly so be sure to keep a watchful eye over it. If you have a build-up of debt that you need to get down, look into (or talk to your bank) about a balance transfer.
6. Give yourself some credit
If you pay tax and haven’t used all of your tax credits over the last four years, you might be owed some tax back. They won’t come to you so make sure you go to them. Some companies will check this for you for a small percentage of any money you get back but you can also do this so easily and entirely for free on Revenue.ie! You could be due a nice little windfall.
7. Get by with a little help from the Government
If you’re a first-time buyer and want to buy or build a new home, check out the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme. This refunds tax paid over the last four years up to a value of €20,000 or 5% of the purchase price. It could be a major boost to your deposit!
8. Have a #CheatDay
But we can’t be good all the time, right? Allow yourself some treats or cheat days but make sure you balance these with savings. Here’s the clever bit — whenever you splash out on a treat, aim to put the same amount into savings. If you can’t afford the savings, you can’t afford the treat. Simples.
Check out our ‘Home Buyers HQ’ from saving to sale agreed, everything you need to know. If you're looking to start your own home buying journey you can book an appointment with the permanent tsb team today.
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Brought to you by permanent tsb