Saving for a deposit on a house?

August 9, 2016

If you are saving for a deposit on a house, you may be overwhelmed by the task ahead. But it’s not impossible if you remember that limiting your spending greatly increases your ability to save. If you are not in the lucky position of being able to move back home while saving for your deposit, there are plenty of other ways to save on your outgoings.  Our spending calculator will help you keep track of where your money is going, and we have also put together some tips to help you cut your costs.

Set up a savings account

  • The first thing to do is set up an account that’s just for your savings. With most savings accounts, there is little risk to your money.
  •  Take a look at the CCPC’s financial product comparisons to see which savings account is best for you. You can see which account offers the best interest rate. Also consider going for one which has a notice period. This means you have to give, for example, 14 days’ notice if you want to access the money – this can be a good way to avoid the temptation to spend instead of save!
  • Even if you already have a savings account, take the time to look around at the accounts other financial institutions are offering. Switching accounts doesn’t have to be a headache  – the CCPC has laid out information to help you switch without hassle.
  • If you set up a savings account, it can help to set up a standing order that goes from your current account on your payday. That way, the money is transferred straight into your savings before you have time to miss it!

Entertainment

  • Instead of going out for a meal at the weekend, why not cook a nice dinner in? You will spend a fraction of the cost and won’t end up splurging on more than you had planned. Instead of going to the cinema, you could watch a film on TV or online. Or what about having friends over for a games night, or starting a book club? These are all low-cost activities which can still be fun. If you do decide to treat yourself to a meal out, keep an eye out for deals and vouchers – lots of restaurants do early birds and cheaper midweek menus.
  • Although it can be hard – don’t say yes to everything! Resist the “FOMO” and prioritise which events you would like to attend, and which ones you really can’t afford on your budget. When you do go on a night out, it can be a good idea to avoid getting into rounds and just pay for your own drinks. This way you can control how much you spend.

The great outdoors

  • Take a look at your paid subscriptions. Are you shelling out for a gym membership every month? Why not switch the cross trainer for a cheap second hand bike, or even just take advantage of Ireland’s beautiful countryside and go walking or hiking? It’s a great way to keep fit and fresh air doesn’t cost anything!

Transport

  • Do you drive to work every day? Take a look at what public transport options are available – the bus can often be cheaper than the various costs of running your car on a daily basis. Or better again, walk or cycle to work if possible. If this isn’t an option for you, maybe some people in your area would be willing to carpool. It’s a great way to divide up costs, and banking the difference will help you reach your savings target faster.

Food and drink

  • Do you buy your lunch out each day? Take a few minutes extra in the morning to prepare a lunch at home. By swapping your take-out coffee and sandwich for home-made food and drink each day, you could be saving a couple of thousand euro each year!
  • Eating at home isn’t without its unnecessary expenses, with many of us throwing out unused food at the end of each week. By taking some time to plan out your meals, and buying only what you need, you can really save on your grocery bills. Watch out for offers and buy in bulk if it’s better value, and remember – never shop when you’re hungry!

Household costs

  • We all know that we should switch off lights and plug out chargers when they’re not being used, but it’s all too easy to forget to do so. But if you’re on a mission to save for that deposit, being mindful of your utility usage can make a big difference. The SEAI has an energy survey that can show you where you can make savings. Keep reminding yourself to switch off lights, turn off unused sockets and don’t turn on your heating if it’s not really cold. Take meter readings and submit them regularly so you don’t overpay on estimates. And don’t be afraid to switch provider if you see a good deal with a different company – all these savings will add up more quickly than you think.
  • Shopping around shouldn’t stop at your energy provider, make sure you’re getting the best deal for TV, internet and phone contracts. Comparing options with different companies can take a bit of effort, but can pay off big time!
  • When is the last time you switched insurance companies? Next time your car, health or home insurance comes up for renewal, don’t just throw the letter in the back of the drawer! Take the time to see if you could save money by taking your business elsewhere.

We have more information on ways to save, including information on managing your money, ways to save and spending calculators.

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