Reach your savings goal with small everyday changes


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Saving for that all important house deposit can often feel a little overwhelming. When you’re aware of the amount you need to save in order to secure your dream home, it can feel a million miles away. Sometimes like you’ll never get there. However, it doesn’t have to be as hard as you initially thought. With some small everyday changes to your spending habits, you’ll be able to reach your savings goal in no time.

Little savings month by month can add up to make big gains. And by just changing your lifestyle ever so slightly, it won’t feel like a huge struggle. You can easily cut back on some expenses and unnecessary spending here and there. And, the amount you save from this each month will soon add up. Here’s our tips of the changes you can make as part of your saving plan.

Cancel unused direct debits

Got a gym membership you haven’t used in three months? Did you and your partner both accidentally sign up to Netflix? Or maybe you forgot to cancel your subscription after that free trial was over? Cancelling any unused direct debits is an easy way to gain back some vital funds and put them in the savings pot.

In fact, adults in Britain waste an average of £40 a month on unused Direct Debits. Potentially adding up to a total of £30,000 in a lifetime, which is pretty daunting. So be sure to quit them now and put this money into savings instead.

Set an achievable savings goal

Little and often can be really effective when it comes to saving. By setting an unachievable amount each month, you run the risk of not reaching it and therefore becoming unmotivated by your plan. Another risk is by saving too much and not allowing yourself any money for activities or leisure. You may soon get bored and fall off track.

You could try and set a target of saving around £200 a month. Based on the average UK salary, it’s an achievable amount which will enable you to reach your saving goal quickly and buy your new home.

Switch up your supermarket

Your current choice of supermarket might be based on convenience – perhaps the location is close to your work. But, by travelling a little further, you might be able to make some significant savings.

Shop around and see which supermarket works out the cheapest. You can also make the most out of deals and try changing to own brand produce. Being smarter with your weekly food shop can be really effective when saving.

Sell some unwanted goods

One man’s trash is often another man’s treasure. Get rid of any unwanted items on eBay or Gumtree or even a car-boot sale and watch the money roll in. Old books, shoes, phones or clothes could be worth a lot more than you think and give you some of that much needed money.

Set up a Help to Buy ISA

The Government’s Help to Buy ISA scheme can be a huge help when saving for a deposit. If you set up an account and add to it each month, you will be rewarded with an extra 25% bonus on top of your savings. This can then be put towards a new build home.

See here for more Help to Buy ISA information about the scheme.

Master the 30 day rule

It can be easy to be accidentally frivolous every now and then, but dangerous when you’ve set out to reach your savings goal. Instead of heading out and buying things on a whim, wait 30 days to decide whether you really want or need it. Chances are you won’t, and this money can be put away instead.

Following this rule might actually make you fall back in love with old items you’d forgotten about, or encourage sharing with your family and friends.

Make use of your lunchbox

It will probably come as a surprise, but spending £5 a day on lunch adds up to over £1,000 a year. So, although it’s very tempting to go to the office canteen or local cafe, it can be detrimental to your savings plan.

Try preparing your lunch for the week on Sunday by batch cooking. Or there’s always the option of cooking a little extra for dinner, so you have enough for the next day too.

Have nights in instead of out

Staying in on a Saturday night doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, inviting friends over can be great fun, and you’ll save money on expensive food, drinks, and taxis.

You could try themed nights such as Mexican or Spanish, or have games nights or movie nights. You’ll probably find this makes for more quality time, and will help you reach your savings goal.

Make do and mend

Rather than throwing out clothes because of broken buttons or undone hems, pick up a needle and thread. Most basic sewing jobs can be easily done at home – just search YouTube for a suitable how-to video.

Try having a no-spend month

For one month, try only spending on the essentials, such as bills, insurance and food. You’d be surprised at how much you spend on take-away coffee when you could make one at home and take a flask, or trips to the cinema when you could just watch a DVD or stream online. This is a great way to save cash, quick.

By following these tips and making small everyday changes, there’s no reason why you can’t reach your savings goal. Before you know it, you’ll be in your new build dream home.