How to save for a home in London
Living in London and saving for a new home can seem a little daunting, but making small changes can go a long way. You don't have to sell all of your most precious items and stop socialising with your friends - and you can still have an active lifestyle too. Read on for our top tips on how to save for a home whilst living in London.
Start by reviewing your finances
Before you start adjusting your lifestyle, it's best to review your financial situation. Firstly, are you in a position to save £200 a month? Or is £50 a month more realistic? Have you considered opening a high interest savings account? These are just some points you should consider before you start.
It's also helpful to set a goal and create a budget planner so that you can start to save for a home. This will help you to work out how much you need to save and will give you more control over your money. Or if a budget planner seems too much, keep track of your spending in a diary. That way you can work out where your money is going and how to save it. There are also lots of helpful money saving apps that will let you keep track of your finances. Mobile-only banks such as Monzo, Revolut and Starling are easy to use and quick to set up. Track your spending, create saving pots and have more control over your money with these handy apps.
Save money whilst commuting
Getting around London can be expensive if you don't plan ahead. But with a few adjustments or small changes, you can travel around London and save for a home at the same time.
There are discounts available to help you save money when using public transport. If you're eligible for a National Railcard, you can save up to a third on your travels. You can even add your Railcard discount to your Oyster card. Planning your day in advance can also help to save the pennies as there are certain times in the day when travelling is cheaper. If you can, try to avoid travelling from 6:30 am to 9:29 am and from 4:00 pm to 6:59 pm.
If you're looking to get a little exercise whilst you commute, then why not walk or cycle? These are very inexpensive ways of getting around London. Investing in a bike could save you around £3000 a year on travel. This will not only help you save for a home, but will also help you burn calories.
You can still have an active social life whilst saving
There is a common misconception that in order to save for a home in London, you have to abandon your social life. But this isn't always the case. There are many ways to save money, whilst also spending quality time with your friends:
- Invite friends over for dinner - instead of spending money in a restaurant, ask each person to bring food or drink. That way everyone can save money and you can still hang out with your friends.
- Look out for restaurant/bar deals - if staying at home doesn't appeal to you, then keep an eye out for offers put on by local bars and restaurants. Scour sites like Groupon or invest in a Taste Card. This may need some extra research but it could result in you saving some money.
- Make the most of free museums - London is a hub for museums and galleries and a lot of them are free. The Natural History Museum, Tate Modern and Science Museum are just a few of the many free museums based in London.
- For entertainment, visit open-mic nights or comedy clubs - these are great ways of seeing a show, without having to pay a fortune.
Become a smarter shopper
Another great way to save for a home in London is to become a smart shopper. A smart shopper is someone who hunts out the latest deals and is thrifty. This can be in the form of charity shopping for second-hand clothing or furniture.
When shopping for food, look around for the best value for money. You can do this by comparing your local supermarkets using Which?'s Supermarket Price Comparison, to help you find the cheapest deals. When you're shopping, try buying the cheaper alternative such as shop brand items and only buy what you need.
Being thrifty with your food will also help you to waste less and save for a home. Make the most of your freezer and pre-prepare lunches and dinners for the following week. That way you'll be less tempted to go out and buy food. Also, get creative with your leftovers. They don't have to go in the bin, you can make something new out of what you have and save money in the process.
You can also be a smart shopper by considering your subscriptions and memberships. If you have five different streaming subscriptions, think about whether you watch them all enough to keep them. Similarly, if you have a gym membership that you never use, now may be the time to cancel and start working out at home.
There are many ways to save for a home in London, many of which don't have to impact your lifestyle. If you review your savings regularly, you can make sure that you're on track to your goal.
Are you ready to put your savings towards a new build home in London? Barratt London have a range of quality homes in desirable locations. Find your ideal home today.