If you’re a first-time buyer, you’re probably only too aware of the fact that lenders prefer big deposits. You’ll also probably be only too aware of the fact that big deposits can be hard work to put together, especially if you actually want to have a social life as well.
The good news is that it is possible and here are some tips for making it happen.
A first-time buyer should learn to say no
This may seem like an odd tip to start with, but here’s the key point to take away. You should only socialise when you actually want to. As a first-time buyer saving, you should not let yourself be pressured into socialising because someone else thinks you should.
For example, if a colleague you really like is having leaving drinks and you want to see them off, then, providing you can afford it, it’s fine to spend the money going out and having a good time.
If, however, you get a company-wide email about leaving drinks for a colleague you never actually knew existed until that point, then you are perfectly within your rights to say no, even if “everyone else is going”.
For the sake of completeness, similar comments apply to gifting, including the likes of secret Santa. If you enjoy it, fine, if you don’t, just say no.
Be very wary of “split-the-bill” meals
Here’s what happens at a lot of “split-the-bill” meals. A few people have some very expensive food, and/or alcohol and then the bill gets split between the whole party with the result that their meal gets subsidised by everyone else.
To be fair, this can be a very convenient way to organise a group bill, but it’s not a good approach if you’re a first-time buyer trying to save money yourself.
Instead, suggest going to places where it’s easy for people to pay their own way and/or go for all-inclusive deals, but always check these to make sure they are all-inclusive and if not, for example, if alcohol is extra, make sure it’s easy for people to buy their own.
Host your own budget-friendly events
Socialising doesn’t have to mean going out, at least not all the time. You can have family and friends around to your place. Being the host doesn’t mean you have to do everything, you can also delegate. Make sure your guests are aware of the bring your own bottle policy too so they don’t expect you to foot the drinks bill.
It does, however, mean that you get to set the rules and the budget, so, for example, if you want to host a wine and cheese, you can ask everyone to bring a bottle of wine up to a certain price and a kind of cheese up to a certain price and you’ll provide the crackers and fruit as well as the venue.
You don’t even necessarily need to “host” an event, just to organise one, which suits you, the people you’re inviting and your budget.
This can be as easy as doing some research in your local media to find out what’s on. Most places will have some interesting activities you can do for free, or at very low cost, regardless of the time of year. Some of these may be available on a permanent basis and others may be temporary, for example, exhibitions.
You can be “the one in the know” who gets people to go to them and choose exactly how much things should cost.
Simon Hardingham is the sales manager of Manchester estate agents; Indlu. Indlu offers a no sale, no fee estate agency service in the North West.