Starting is often the hardest part of the process, and deciding to save for a house deposit is the first step.
But what’s the next step? How do you start saving and stay focused?
While the news is full of stories of people who’ve cut out their morning coffee or eaten fewer avocados, you don’t need to take such drastic action!
What you do need is a plan. The adage of “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! ” still ring true.
So if you don’t know where to start or have lost your way, we’ll cover how to build a deposit saving plan and stay motived.
Set realistic goals
In order to achieve anything in life, you first need to set goals. For each goal, you should plan how you will achieve it.
As we don’t learn how to set and achieve goals as kids, we lack the focus to set and work toward a goal as an adult.
While your goals should be SMART, here’s an even better way to set and achieve goals.
The power of 1
One is a powerful number. One is the start. If you focus on one thing long enough you’re more likely to succeed than fail.
So think about having one goal.
Need to save a £20,000 house deposit? You have your goal. Having a long list of goals that never get completed is easy. Instead, focus on one!
Have a plan
So now that you have your goal, it’s time to work backwards. If you’re trying to save what seems like a large amount for your house deposit, then by breaking it down will make it seem more achievable.
Our goal of £20k can be broken down into 10 smaller milestones.
Having to earn or save £2,000 instantly feels more achievable than our first goal. It’s just we need to do it 10 times.
Yes, that’s a little bit of a shock but still, focus on the smaller amount. So how can we come up with £2,000?
To reach our first milestone, we must use our time better. You’re probably short on time as it is, but don’t fear. If you can find an hour or two a night, and a few hours over the weekend, that’s fine.
An hour a day devoted to the task is way better than a scattered approach. Don’t leave it until the weekends, as you’ll find a reason to put it off.
Yes, it’s the hair and tortoise approach! So first calculate what time you can easily give each day.
Now that you have an idea of the time you have, let’s think about how to achieve each milestone.
Firstly, eBay. It’s the lowest hanging fruit. eBay believes we all have about £2,000 of unwanted stuff in our home. We could easily convert these items into cash.
A few top tips if you haven’t used eBay. Remember to calculate all of the costs before listing anything. Typically these costs are eBay fees, Paypal fees and Postage.
Also, look at what others are charging. If you have an item that’s desirable, it may shock you to find it’s selling for a lot more than it’s really worth!
Finally, if it doesn’t sell the first time, relist until it does. As long as you’ve priced the item fairly, someone will buy it – eventually.
If you love clothes and have lots of them, then arrange a swap night with friends. Ask everyone who attends to bring some old clothes and something to eat or drink.
Try to attractively arrange all of the items and let everyone choose a few items. While this idea doesn’t bring in any money, it does save some cash, which could be put toward your house deposit.
Dine out for half price
If you like to eat out then look online for vouchers or start shopping at Tesco as you can redeem point as meal vouchers at major restaurant chains.
You could also lookout for new restaurants in your area, who might be doing a free or pay what you think opening night.
Of course, there are hundreds of ways to make or save money including our 7 inventive deposit saving tips. The real secret, however, is to start with what you have.
Messy house? Lose the clutter with eBay!
Good at crafts? Get selling on Etsy.
Enjoy DIY? Then make some flyers and go door to door.
Measure your progress
Another reason most fail to set and achieve goals is they forget to measure progress! It’s a stupid mistake we’ve all made, but it’s a simple one to correct.
If you’re trying to earn £2,000 over the next 6 months, then you need to bank £333 in profit each month. This works out to around £84 per week.
So it’s worth measuring each week how you’ve done in comparison to where you should be. Again if you take a small step each day, you’ll soon find that you’ve nearly completed the goal.
Keep on keeping on
It’s easy to see saving for a house deposit as a never-ending journey. However, remember the hair and tortoise.
It’s better to take little steps often and track your progress than aim for massive jumps. As you keep on, you’ll see that your money compound, which in turn help you to achieve your goal faster.
Budget a monthly treat
It would suck if you got this far and our advice was if you fail, try again! While you should do that, you should also be kind to yourself along the journey.
Plan a token monthly treat like a night at the cinema or a spa day.
Plan a reward for each milestone and try to relish your success along the way.
Start to save your house deposit today
The best way to save for a house deposit is to focus on 1 goal and start today. Break your goal into manageable and smaller chunks, then plan a reward for hitting each milestone.
If you do lose focus or stray, don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, acknowledge you’ve slipped up, get back on course and keep going.
Saving for a house deposit is tough and can seem like it’s a never-ending process. However, stay focus and keep going!