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Tips for first time buyers: saving for a deposit and avoiding common mistakes

In November’s budget statement, the government scrapped stamp duty for first time buyers on properties costing less than £300,000.

With the average first time buyer paying around £1.5k in stamp duty, this could make home ownership more affordable for thousands of people.

But there’s still a hefty amount to pay when you buy a home, of course, and the challenge of saving for it is still daunting for most first time buyers.

Fortunately, serious saving doesn’t have to mean staying in every night. And it doesn’t have to mean shivering through winter evenings with the heating off to save a few extra pennies.

Once you get into the habit of saving regularly, it’ll stop being a chore. You won’t even notice you’re doing it.

Leeds Building Society shares some top tips to help you become a savvy saver. 

  1. Figure out how much you can save 

The first thing to do is figure out how much you’re able to save.

Start by listing your monthly income and outgoings. This includes:

  • Salary
  • Fixed outgoings, like rent, commuting to work or subscriptions
  • Variable outgoings, like food and leisure

Once you’ve worked this out, you know roughly how much you can save each month.

  1. Make saving a habit 

Saving money is easier when it becomes a habit.

If you only save money when you’ve got some spare, you’re constantly forcing yourself to make sensible decisions. But if you save the same amount at the beginning of every month, the process becomes automatic, and saving can become effortless. 

  1. Automate your finances 

Getting into the savings habit is easier if you can automate your finances.

Try setting up a standing order to your savings account (it’s best to make the deposits on payday, if you earn a regular salary).

By making automatic payments, you’ll get used to the money leaving your account. Before long, you’ll forget about these transactions altogether (it’ll just be part of your monthly expenses, like rent or commuting costs), and your savings will build up quicker than you’d think.

For more useful tips on buying your first home and how to avoid common mistakes, visit: http://www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk/knowledge-base/home-buyers/10-mistakes-to-avoid-when-buying-your-first-home/

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