Saving for a home is a big deal and a highly exciting time. Getting your own place is a huge step that will give you more financial security and freedom, while at the same time helping you to live life the way you want to and decorate the space around you as you see fit.
So this should be an exciting and happy time in your life, right?
Well yes… but also no. Unfortunately, saving for your first property is exciting indeed, but also a highly stressful and difficult process. Let’s take a look at what makes it so strenuous and what you can do to make it a little less of an ordeal.
The Financial Strain
Saving for a mortgage can be a surprisingly stressful experience that forces you to give up many of the things you might previously have enjoyed. If you really are focussed on saving yourself money, then you’re probably going to want to cut out unnecessary expenses and that means things like cups of coffee on the way in to work, nights out with friends who you’ve seen recently, new clothes and the rest. Suddenly you end up living like you’re much less well-off than you actually are.
And the Emotional Strain
At the same time, this then puts a lot more stress on you to save that money quickly and to avoid expenses. Every time you buy anything for yourself you’ll find you end up feeling guilty, and when something goes wrong and you end up losing money you’ll find that it comes as much more of a blow that leaves you feeling much more affected. When you have nothing to save for, life is easy and even if you don’t have much money to your name it doesn’t matter. When your future home depends on your ability to save though, suddenly even a lot of money isn’t enough to get rid of the stress.
This can also end up placing a strain on your relationship. Most of us won’t buy a home on our own, rather we’ll team up with a partner to afford a mortgage and the repayments from there. This though can put a lot of strain on you and your loved one as you both end up feeling stressed and having to save towards something that you both care about. Because you’re both more stressed, you’ll find you’re more likely to get upset with one another. And when one of you ‘slips’ and buys yourself something nice – you may just find that it results in the other one getting angry and shouting when they wouldn’t normally.
Managing the Stress
So what do you do? How do you buy your home without making life miserable in the meantime? Here are some tips to help you out…
The first piece of advice I’m going to give you is to be realistic. That means being realistic in terms of what you can afford, and in terms of when you can afford it by. Don’t beat yourself up over getting a house in the next year that’s way out of your price range – you’ll end up burning out completely. Rather, look at what you can realistically afford in a year, then give yourself an extra six months. This is important yes, but it’s not worth an aneurism.
Another tip is to save money more by not doing things than by doing them. In other words, look for the little things you can cut out of your life easily. Ideally these will be small recurring expenses that you can easily stop by just cancelling a direct debit – cancelling a Netflix subscription, moving to a cheaper mobile contract etc. can all add up to big savings in the long run!