Typically you will need to save in the region of 10% the value of a house, and if you are looking to purchase a £200,000 property, this means that you will need to have built up £20,000 in your savings account, or joint savings account, if purchasing with a partner. That can seem like a very scary figure, particularly in the current climate where food and other basic living costs are so high and there is pressure on employment and as a result most salaries are static.
There are no magic answers either, unfortunately. It comes down to discipline with your money, shrewd use, and careful budgeting. Clearly, the higher your income the easier it can be (although not necessarily as the more people earn it has been shown that quite often the more they spend). There is one key: to save money, you need to spend less money per month than you earn.
The first step therefore is to get a clear indication of what your incoming is each month after tax. If there are two of you, then sum your monthly salaries after tax to see what you have to play with. Then work out your costs and outgoings, such as food, rent (if you're currently renting or similar) and all your standard bills, and see what you have left. Now comes the disciplined part: rather that spending that money on some great nights out, save it away in the bank. Save as much as you can each month.
Once you have worked out how much you have coming in, going out, and are able to save each month, then you can see how long it will take you to raise the deposit, bearing in mind that you may as well discount interest at the time of writing as it is going to be so low as not to make a significant difference. If the figure comes out as a depressingly long time, then consider other ways of making additional income: many people have extra streams of income these days, whether it is through doing, say, tennis coaching on weekends, or running a small online shop or blog that contributes an extra £100 per month. Every bit helps when it comes to saving the deposit on your first home.
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