How to Save for a Mortgage as a First Time Buyer
So, you’ve decided to take the leap and get a mortgage – and the first thing on your list is saving for your deposit. Need some advice on reaching your goal? We’ve compiled a few practical tips to turn you into a savings superhero!
Have Something to Aim For
Set out a target at the start of your mortgage journey, and you’ll find it much easier to get where you want to be. Use our simple Mortgage Calculator to get an idea of what your monthly repayments will be and how much you’ll need for a deposit, then calculate your new weekly budget based on that. Be practical about what you can afford to save and make sure you’re not left short. To make things easier on yourself, you should also set up a savings account. At AIB, we offer a choice of savings accounts to suit your lifestyle, so why not start saving today?
Plan Ahead and Save Money
Having a plan is the best friend of any saver. Often, we end up overspending on impulse buys and generally spending where we shouldn’t. My Money Manager is a fantastic financial management tool that’s available on AIB Internet Banking. It separates out your everyday expenses into various categories which allows you to quickly and accurately see where you’re spending your money, and how you can make reductions which will help you make savings in the long term. It’s good to specify a regular time each week where you can sit down (on your own or with a partner) and make sure you’re sticking to your plan. If any bad habits are starting to creep in, you’ll be able to identify them quickly and you won’t get too far off track.
A Little Goes a Long Way
Rather than thinking about cutting things out of your life, consider how you can make little changes to save money and stay healthier.
To make sure you don’t pick up unnecessary items when you’re in the supermarket, list out exactly what you need before you go. Break up the week by creating a simple meal plan and then stick to it! You’ll no longer be spending money on spontaneous purchases and you’ll be eating healthier too.
Bringing a packed lunch to work is another great way to reduce your daily costs, and with a little imagination and preparation it’s easy to prepare something tastier – and healthier – than anything you’ll find in a shop or café. Leftovers can be your friend here too - cooking a tasty one pot meal, like a chili or stew, at the start of the week can provide lunch or dinner for several days.
Giving up your favourite restaurant might seem like a serious sacrifice, but throwing a dinner party for friends is a much more cost-effective way of entertaining – especially when they return the favour the following weekend! You can even introduce a little friendly competition by rotating dinner duties with your friends and voting after each meal like you’re starring in your own episode of Come Dine With Me.
But saving money doesn’t mean have to give up eating out entirely. If you do a little bit of research, you’ll find that almost all restaurants (even the fanciest ones) offer pre-theatre or early bird menus on certain days of the week. So if you’re slightly more flexible about your schedule, you could be eating at a Michelin-starred restaurant for bargain basement prices.
Lastly, why not combine your commute with a bit of healthy activity? As any driver knows, the costs of owning and maintaining a car can quickly mount up. Try walking more often instead of driving, or swap the four wheels for two and use a bike to get to work. You’ll save on petrol, as well as beating the rush hour traffic! Not sure where to start? Check out online sources for a cheap second-hand bike or if you’re in Dublin, Cork, Galway or Limerick, you can also take advantage of the cities’ public bike schemes.
Are You Saving for a Mortgage?
If you need advice on any stage of your mortgage journey, our expert AIB Mortgage Advisors are here to answer your questions.Book an appointmentwith your local Mortgage Advisor now.
Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is an authorised agent and servicer of AIB Mortgage Bank in relation to the origination and servicing of mortgage loans and mortgages. Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. and AIB Mortgage Bank are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Copyright Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. 1995.