For the past few years now, saving has been a goal i’ve noted down as part of my yearly resolutions and I think saving is some sense will always be a goal of mine. For a while now i’ve wanted to get a little bit more serious with saving and I thought it would be helpful to note down my savings plans/goals, to hopefully also help some of you who are also trying to save those pennies this year.
A few savings plans for 2020…
For as long as I can remember my main savings goal has been saving for a house deposit, mainly anyway but I also save for other things throughout the year such as, car insurance/tax/MOT, holidays and then just in case for rainy days (AKA when something goes wrong with my car and I have to fork out for it). If you’ve been a long time reader of mine, I shared some tips way back when on how I was saving for a mortgage but little did that naive 22 year old know just what it takes to be able to even be accepted for mortgage.
Four years on from that blog post I still do the majority of the tips I mentioned in that post, so really that post is still relevant but my goals have changed ever so slightly as the potential of purchasing my first home is slightly more doable than it was back then. Just a month or so ago I applied for a shared ownership property, which to explain is where you can’t afford to buy a property at its full market value, so instead you own a percentage and pay rent on the rest. It’s great for people like myself who are trying to get on the property ladder by themselves, without the help of a second income from a partner. Unfortunately I am just on the cusp of not passing the affordability but with another a year of saving, that may change everything.
So with the above being said and without babbling on too much, here are a few savings plans for this year that I am hoping will see me in my first home come 2021. I’m also hoping that some of these tips will help others in a similar situation to me, where you too are hoping that this year is the year of saving!
Continue saving into my HTB ISA
As I touched on in my blog post from four years ago, I am still saving money into my Help To Buy ISA (which unfortunately you cannot apply for anymore, but lifetime ISAs are similar) and although it did take a massive battering last year all thanks to my gearbox breaking, it potentially was a bit of a blessing in disguise as it’s made me even more determined to save this year. If all goes to plan, I will hopefully have enough for a deposit and then some come the end of the year but I don’t want to speak too soon.
No Buy March
At the start of the year I saw a few bloggers doing ‘No Buy January’ and the concept of it really spoke to me. Although I do save a good amount, I do still spend money on things that I really do not need. As January and February have a lot of birthdays within my friends and family, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do a no buy month but I am hoping to begin a no buy month in March. For right now I don’t have an exact plan of what this will entail but I’m hoping that if it goes well, that I can continue the habits in April and maybe May. If a no buy month happens, i’m sure i’ll update with a blog post on how I get on.
One thing that scuppers my affordability is some of my outgoings, the main one being my car but that is an outgoing I can’t really get rid of. However, I can look at other outgoings to see how these could be reduced. One outgoing that i’ve already reduced is my phone bill as I was paying nearly £60 a month. Yes £60! I’ve since switched to a sim only contract which is £10 for the first 6 months, and then goes up to £20 for the remainder of the contract period. For me that is a massive save, but I definitely want to assess my other outgoings and see if I can save more where possible.
One thing that I haven’t explored much, but is a great way to gain a few extra pennies here and there is cash back rewards. Essentially earning money back on your recent purchases. There are many websites, apps etc that allow you to earn commission on your purchases, and although they don’t usually amount to much, every little helps right. My bank Halifax offer cash back extras, of which you essentially activate and if you make a purchase they’ll give you a percentage back. Another app that i’ve recently downloaded is Air Time Rewards, which works in a similar way but you can use it towards paying for your phone bill. Feel free to sign up and use my referral BU8J9PY7, and we’ll both earn a reward! Amazing right?! I’m definitely going to be looking into more cash back rewards this year, just to see what is out there.
So are those are a few savings plans for 2020. I am hoping to make updates throughout the year at where I am , if my savings plans are on track and any other tips i’ve learnt along the way.
What are your savings plans for 2020?