For as long as I can remember, one of my biggest goals in life has been to own my own home. I’ve always dreamt of having my own walls to paint, my own couch to smother in pillows, and my own front door to walk through at the end of the day.
Despite it being one of my biggest life goals, I’ve never actually made the move to start saving for it. More comfortable continuing to keep it as a pipe dream than actually make moves to make it a reality, I settle for imagining all the wonderful things I would do instead.
This is basically my life M.O., is it not? Big dreams, but such analysis paralysis that I just don’t make the effort or take the steps to just get on with it. I mean, nobody my age can afford to own a home anyway, so why should I even bother trying to make it a reality?
The major flaw with this logic is that, in not making any attempt to make it happen, I’m stopping it from happening. The 5% deposit that is the absolute MINIMUM required to take out a mortgage isn’t going to appear in a savings account that doesn’t even exist, is it?
Doing the sums, if I’d actually bothered to squirrel away the measly sum of £100 a month when I started university nearly four years ago, I would have £4200 saved up, excluding interest. That’s nearly half the average £10,000 deposit required of first-time buyers. (I say £100 is a measly amount, but what I really should say is affordable. I am in the very fortunate position of still living at home with my parents, and luckier still that they don’t charge me digs.)
Doing those sums is actually quite a reality check. I’m currently sat looking down the barrel of a gun with utterly no savings behind me, yet I could have been over 40% of the way there if I’d just gotten over the anxiety and discomfort of being an adult and just done it.
Nevertheless, better late than never, right?
Home ownership is now one of my main priorities in life, and, after having done a little bit of research, I’ve realised that it is more than possible. It is just going to require some hard graft, dedication, and actually getting started.
Opening that Dammed Savings Account
I’ve been looking into the different Help to Buy Schemes out there, trying to figure out which would be the most appropriate for me. The Scottish Government Help to Buy (Scotland) Affordable New Build scheme requires a deposit of just 5%, but the homes it helps you buy cost in the region of £150,000 – £200,000, meaning that your 5% deposit is still a hefty chunk of money.
Buying an older home obviously leads to cheaper upfront costs, but may be more expensive in the long run, what with higher utilities bills and things starting to wear down within the home.
Either way, you still need a deposit. I’ve asked my Dad to do a little research of his own (he’s my life guru, even if he is a bit grumpy) and then, armed with all this knowledge, I have every intention of opening the right savings account for me by the end of this month. Watch this space guys.
Setting up a Direct Debit
I currently have a Direct Debit funnelling money directly into my emergency fund every month, and it has been the best decision I have ever made. When I was having to make the deposits myself, I was lucky if my ’emergency fund’ made it about £300 on a good month. Now that the bank does it for me automatically, the number I see when I open my banking app makes me quite cheery.
Once I’ve opened my deposit savings account, I intend to set up a Direct Debit to come out of my account as soon as I get paid. If it’s gone before I realise it’s there, I will never be tempted to spend it.
Cutting Down My Excess Spending
I’m not going to lie; I am terrible with money. Just when I think I’m getting a handle on it, poof! There goes that money I thought I had
Keeping my spending down will allow me not only to stress about my limited finances as I aggressively save all I can, but also let me pop a little extra aside to afford things like furniture and decor. Y’know, the things that make a house a functioning home.
Lust Over Interiors
I already love reading interiors blogs and browsing interiors porn on Pinterest, but having a reason to while away the hours defining my tastes makes it so much more enjoyable.
Pouring over blogs and Pinterest, while very enjoyable, also has a more useful function. Keeping the ideas ticking over will also keep me motivated and focused. Hopefully, jealousy will also keep me from giving up.
On a side note, please let me know your favourite interior blogs, websites and magazines. I’m looking for any and all inspiration you can throw my way.
I definitely plan on bringing you guys along on this exciting and terrifying journey. There will be tears. There will be hesitation. Believe me, there will be all of the interior and home chat. I am so excited!
Here we go!