One thing almost all first-time property buyers struggle with is saving enough money for their deposit.
It’s estimated the average deposit required by a first-time buyer in the UK reached an eye-watering £46,000 in 2019, according to data from Halifax.
In London, meanwhile, the average deposit required by a first-timer reached six figures at £109,000.
With those huge figures in mind, first-time buyers are often left wondering how they can save such a large amount of money when things like rent, car expenses and food all take priority.
But if you’re living at home with parents, the savings you can make could help your reach your deposit goal quicker…
Living with parents: How to cut costs and save money at home
When living at home and saving for a house deposit, one thing you’re guaranteed to save money on is rent.
Even if your parents decide to charge you to live at the family home, it’s unlikely to match the amount you would have been paying in rent on a flat or house.
Again, your parents might request that you pay your way for food and drink while you’re living at home. And you really should.
But you’re still certain to save on what you would spend if living on your own, even if you are paying your way and helping out with the shopping.
WiFi, phone, Netflix, gas, electric, water… the bills really do mount up when you live on your own.
By living at home, you should be able to save on the majority of these, meaning plenty of additional cash going into your deposit savings account.
Council tax when living at home
Council tax is another big saving you can potentially make when living with your parents.
But that doesn’t mean your parents will be making the same saving.
If you live with both parents, they will already be paying the full rate of council tax, so you moving back in shouldn’t make any difference.
But if you move in with only one parent, who had previously been living alone, they were probably taking advantage of the 25% council discount for single occupiers.
If you move back in, they’ll lose that discount – unless you are in full-time education, completing an apprenticeship or you’re caring for them, when you might be entitled to another discount.
How to save cash at home: Other steps you can take
So, we’ve already outlined some of the major areas where you can save money when living at home.
But it’s important you do your bit, too.
By that, we mean ensuring you don’t spend all that additional money you’re saving on the wrong things.
Reaching your end savings goal as quickly as possible is the best approach – and that means playing your part by:
• Not going out and spending too much money
• Not wasting your spare cash on things you don’t need
• Setting yourself a monthly budget for spending and not breaching it
Other advantages of living at home
As well as the clear financial incentive of living at home, there are other areas where you might benefit, too.
• Eat better food, improving your health and wellbeing
• Be living closer to work, meaning a shorter commute
• Be living nearer other members of your family
Tips when living at home
Living at home and saving for a house deposit could help you get on the property ladder quicker, but it could also see you yearn for freedom even more – even though you are saving so you can taste that freedom in the future.
Here are a host of ways you can make your time back at home run smoothly:
• Help around the house: Being back at home doesn’t mean your parents are on call to do everything for you. Show some gratitude by helping around the house and offering to cover some of the additional costs that come with having you back in the house
• Set a date to move back out: Having goals is always good and setting a date for when you’ll move out will help you keep your saving on track so you can achieve it
• Spend time with your parents: Although having you back at home will be testing for your parents, they’ll also be pleased about it, too. So, spend some quality time with them and make the most of seeing them every day
• Stick to your routine: Being back at home doesn’t mean you can’t do the things you love (as long as they’re within budget, of course). So, if you go to the gym every Wednesday after work, keep doing it
• Keep communicating: If problems occur, talk about them with your parents. There’s nothing worse than tension between parents and grown-up children who are back at home, but keeping the lines of communication open can help nip any issues in the bud
Now you’re saving while living at home, you’ll probably be able to visualise a time when you can buy your own property.
That means you’re one step closer to becoming a homeowner, so take a look at our guide outlining the key things you’ll need to do as a first-time buyer.
When your deposit is nicely tucked away, you’ll be ready to move. But when are the best and worst times to buy a house? Our guide explains everything…