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According to estate agent, Hamptons International, the average single first-time buyer has to save for more than a decade (10 years and three months) before they can afford a 15% mortgage deposit in England and Wales – six years longer than those purchasing as a couple.
Regardless of marital status, the research is sobering news for prospective homeowners looking to plant roots of their own.
How do you save money for a deposit to buy your first home?
Fortunately, there are lots of different ways in which you can bolster your savings to build a deposit, and there are a number of government-backed schemes designed to help you purchase your own home; Shared Ownership and Help to Buy Equity Loan, for example.
Below, NBS employees – a mixture of first-time buyers and recent homeowners – offer insight into how they saved for their house deposit:
“I had to be realistic and restrict myself; I made decisions on what was a necessity and what wasn’t. For example, not getting my nails done every month or buying lunch every day meant my money began to build. I still had the occasional treat and day out, however, I always reminded myself what I was saving for and what the result would be at the end.” - Jessica Stacey, Facilities and Health & Safety Coordinator
“Always do your research. As a single person, I had to look at alternative ways to purchase my home. I researched affordable housing schemes and discovered Shared Ownership. Amazingly, I only needed a 5% deposit which was a sliver of what I expected to pay out and after analysing my finances, I discovered I already had saved over half of what I needed. Now I live in a new-build flat right in the centre of town.” - Sian Dennis, Senior Marketing and Communications Coordinator
“I have an agreement with my Mum, the money I would have to pay as rent each month has to be saved. I then add extra on top out of my pay packet every month if I can. I also save £2, £1 and 50p coins in tins which you have to smash in order to be able to get to them.” - Claire Gale, Mobile Customer Service Adviser, Thatcham branch
“My partner and I are currently saving, and his parents kindly let me move in so I don’t have to pay rent and bills. We save by cutting down on everyday spending, and any money we have left at the end of the month gets paid straight into a savings account without fail.” - Lauren Troy, Mortgage Underwriting Assistant
“I have a LISA which I pay in to; however, I am looking to open a Newbury Building Society Home Saver savings account to boost my savings further and encourage a monthly savings habit.” - Will Simpson, Customer Service Adviser, Winchester branch
“I am currently saving up for a deposit with my girlfriend. I left university with the plan of living with her and her mum for a couple of weeks and then move out and rent together. After realising renting privately would be a lot more expensive, we decided to not move out until we were ready to buy a house. The way that we are saving for it is putting a set amount each month aside plus any “left over” money. We’re currently undecided if we’ll wait until we have the typical deposit needed or to look into Shared Ownership.” - Rory Oakley, 1st Line Customer Services Technician
“I was lucky enough to live at home so I was able to save a month what someone would be paying on rent. My husband and I also saved our £2 coins which, without realising, soon added up! Budgeting was also something I learned as this still allowed me to go out with friends and go on holidays whilst saving for my house deposit.” - Amba Garlick, Business Improvement Analyst
“My partner and I purchased through Shared Ownership as we didn’t have a huge deposit. We each had separate bank accounts with relatively good interest rates and stopped eating out on a weekly basis. This certainly helped us save! We also bought small items like a toaster and kettle before we had even found a property so furnishing costs was spread out.” - Lauren Dearlove, Intermediary Sales Adviser
“For my deposit I set a goal to save at least £10,000, so I was on a tight budget and lived at home. When I joined the Society, I opened a Welcome to Newbury savings account with £50 and a Home Saver savings account which I would religiously put £500 per month into.” - Becky Pearson, Mortgage Underwriting Assistant
“I had a specific savings account which I deposited into each month to help me save. I also try (not always successfully) to only spend my salary on essentials and then any extra or ‘treat payments’ come out of money I receive from other incomes (I am a maths tutor on the side).” - Alex Murrell, Finance Officer (Assets and Liabilities Management)
“I saved using the Help to Buy ISA for four years and also saved into two other Newbury savings accounts: Welcome to Newbury and Existing Member savings account. I also had bonds which I paid my pocket money and part-time wages into when I was younger.” - Jordan Sharpe, Business Development Manager
“As a Mobile Customer Service Adviser, I move around a lot and therefore opened a Welcome to Newbury savings account for my expenses to be paid into. I save by ensuring my account is a round figure once my expenses have been paid in each month. Once I get paid, I try and add a bit extra in. I aim to save £200 a month into the Welcome to Newbury account and then open a different account which I hope to put an additional £200 a month into.” - Sammy Forrester, Mobile Customer Service Adviser, Alton branch
“I am currently in the process of saving for a house deposit and have opened a separate ISA to put any remaining money (minimum £200) at the end of each month. I also ensure I put loose change into a pot and bank it every six months.” - Zach Hazelton, Business Improvement Analyst
“I have a Help to Buy ISA which I opened with a small lump sum and now pay into each month. I also put anything I have spare at the end of the month into another savings accounts as well. I’m still living at home so I pay a bit of rent but obviously not as much as if I were renting somewhere on my own.” - Matt Harris, Customer Service Adviser, Newbury branch
“I am currently saving for my house deposit using an ISA. I also have a coin jar where I put loose change in each week which I put to my deposit and have cut down my weekly coffees putting the extra money towards savings.” - Ian Bligdon, Customer Service Adviser, Alton branch
For further savings tips and tricks, read ‘Savings hacks to help grow your mortgage deposit’ and ‘Smart savings: how to get millennials out of the money conundrum’.