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How to Save for Your Mortgage Deposit Without Losing the Lifestyle You Love

When you decide to buy your first home, usually with a partner, suddenly life becomes serious. Up until this point you will have been a free agent, able to travel the world, go where you like and spend all your money without worry. If you run out of cash and get thrown out of your apartment so what? You can always just move back in with your parents!

But now things are different: now you're saving towards a piece of real estate which is serious business. In all likelihood there is probably also someone else now depending on you to live sensibly and save your cash and you won't be able to just drop everything and go travelling at a moment's notice.

This can actually be quite a difficult thing to adapt to at first and you might feel a little as though your wings have been clipped when you do make this decision. Suddenly you'll be living like a student again and making all your decisions based around your finances. 

But don't worry, saving towards a home doesn't have to mean giving up your favourite things or living a life less exciting. Read on and we'll look at some of the ways you can save money without making it a painful experience.

Set a Budget

The first thing you need to do might sound a little unpleasant and boring, but actually it's what will allow you to continue living the lifestyle you choose.

Setting a budget means looking at how much you need for your mortgage deposit (roughly) and then working out how much that equates too per month. Now you know precisely how much you need to save and in what amount of time. Remember this is going to be split between two people, so you'll at least not be paying the whole thing yourself.

Look At Your Expenses

Now let's say you wanted to save $500 per month each ($1,000) in order to have $24,000 in two years' time. That sounds daunting, but if you break it down you'll find you can actually reach this number surprisingly easily.

First take a look at your bills and think about which of those can go. You'll probably find that you have a things like an expensive mobile phone contract, expensive television package and overpriced health club membership which you can cut from the budget to instantly save around $150 per month. You can join a cheap gym meanwhile for $10 or less, and you can get all your TV on YouTube and freeview channels.

Likewise examine the places you're spending small amounts of cash. Many people drink coffee out once or twice every day which quickly adds up. If you eat lunch out you could easily be spending $10 a day, which is $50 a week or $200 per month. Bring in a packed lunch and your problems are solved. The same goes for getting the bus into work: if you can start cycling instead you could save a huge amount of money.

Now you've already saved yourself $350-$400 and really the only things you've cut out are the 'boring' bits that don't make much difference to your lifestyle. Switch to some own-brand foods, start cutting your own hair and opt not to buy new clothes for a while and you'll get that up to $500 a month quite easily and be on track for your mortgage down-payment. You can also ask for money for Christmas and Birthdays, and maybe go on holiday in the country this year.

And all this while you'll still be able to carry on living your life just the way you always have: you've no need to buy fewer nice things for yourself, no need to stop going on holiday, and no need to stop going on nights out. Nothing has changed – just your cash!