Woman who bought first home at 27 with no parental help shares saving tips

Woman who bought first home at 27 with no parental help shares saving tips

Millions of Brits live in single person households and with the cost of property sky high many believe it’s impossible to buy a home without help from family.

But, one woman has revealed how she managed to buy her own house at age 27 with no sign of a payment from the bank of mum and dad.

Budgeting experts at Thinkmoney spoke to Jennifer Jordan, 29, from Middlesbrough, to rind out her tip tips for saving cash.

Jennifer said: “I’ve lived on my own since late 2015. After I moved back from university and lived at home for a few months, I decided to rent a one-bedroom flat before moving to a two-bedroom flat after the previous landlord decided to sell up.

“I then bought my house in July 2019 and the difference between renting and owning a property has been both good and bad! Being a homeowner means that I’m responsible for any repairs and general maintenance, which, unfortunately, due to owning a house over 100 years old, there have been a few costly issues to deal with since I moved in.”

It wasn’t all smooth sailing, but Jennifer thinks the hard work was worth the effort.

Here are some of her top tips for saving money over time both before and after buying your first home.

Furnish your house for free

You can snap up lots of furnishings cheap or free if you look for second hand pieces on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree.

Jennifer added: “I moved from a small flat into a three-bedroom house so I didn’t have much furniture when I first moved in, but I was given a sofa, desk and dining room chairs by family members which worked well until I could afford to furnish everything to my personal taste.

“The previous owners agreed to leave a beautiful dark wood wardrobe in the main bedroom and offered to leave further bits of furniture which was helpful.

“I once got a bargain on Facebook Marketplace – two IKEA Hemnes bedside tables for free which would have been £100 in total at £50 each! I decided to upcycle them to fit in with the theme in my bedroom, so I sanded them down, spray painted them black and added some new handles from TKMaxx.

“I also got a free zebra print tub chair from Facebook Marketplace that I adore.”

Switch your broadband provider

Jennifer said: “Always make a note of renewal dates for insurance policies to avoid premium hikes, and definitely shop around to get the best deals – loyalty often doesn’t pay when it comes to bills!“

Thinkmoney discovered that switching internet providers can take as little as 12 minutes and save up to £69 per year.

Get a water meter fitted

For those that don’t have a water meter, you will be charged a fixed amount. This is known as an ‘unmetered charge’ and is based on your home’s location and the rateable value of your property.

However, installing a meter will ensure that you only pay for what you use. As a general rule of thumb, this will help those with more bedrooms than people in the property.

So, a single person living in a two-bedroom flat can get savings of up to £100!

As stated in the Water Industry Act 1991, if you are in a fixed-term tenancy agreement of six months, you can get one installed without your landlord’s permission. But it’s best to inform them where you can.

Use supermarket loyalty cards

If you were to use loyalty cards for Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and even M&S, you could save up to £400 annually on your groceries through discounts and rewards.

Jennifer said: “Make the most of membership benefits available at various stores, such as Tesco Clubcard and Lidl Plus, to save some money on your weekly shop.

“Bulk buying items can also be way more cost-effective even when you live alone, whether it's food that you can freeze or multi-pack toiletries that will keep you going for a while.”

Consider a car sharing scheme

If you need to travel to and from work each day, a good option to save money could be signing up to a car-sharing scheme, which could see you split the bill on petrol and take turns driving.

In some cases, members of schemes have saved up to £1,000 each year. However, it’s important to only do this if you feel comfortable and safe to do so and have read up on the latest COVID safety guidelines.

Wash clothes at a lower setting

Washing clothes at 30 degrees will save around 40% of the energy you use each year, meaning more savings on your energy bills. Not only that but washing your clothes outside of 4pm – 7pm can even save you money, as that is considered peak time for laundry loads as more people are using their washing machine at this time.

Jennifer added: “I’m also strict with things like putting my washing machine on at off-peak times and making sure I switch off lights and electrics to try to save money on energy bills. It may be pennies but it all adds up!”

Boost your credit score by paying your rent

If you always pay your rent on time, you can use this to your advantage and help to boost your credit score. You will need to be signed up for an average of six weeks to see these appear on your file, but people using the schemes have stated they have seen improvements.

The Rental Exchange Initiative is perhaps the most well-known and adds your payments to your Experian credit file. However, it’s important to note that if you miss a payment, it will show up on your report.

Check your rental deposit is protected

Your landlord must protect your deposit. If they don’t, you can take them to small claims court. The landlord will either have to pay the deposit to you or put it into a deposit protection scheme (DPS) within 14 days if you are still in tenancy. However, they may also be required to pay you a penalty of up to three times the value of your deposit within 14 days.

To check your deposit is protected, speak to your landlord or letting agent and ask them to put the scheme in writing if it is not named in your contract.

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