In partnership with the Financial Services National College (FSNC).
According to consumer advice website, Which?, the average single first-time buyer has to save for more than a decade before they can afford a 15% mortgage deposit in England and Wales – Londoners have the longest wait of all at 15 years.
Regardless of marital status or where in the country you live, 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’.
*all figures and data correct as of April 2019