There are very few things in life that come with no price tag – and often, how we view that price tag relates to what we have to sacrifice to get it.
That new phone, bag, gadget or piece of furniture might be quite costly – but with a bit of cutting back here and there, you might be able to justify the spend.
But what about a house?
With average house prices somewhere around £250,000 – it’s likely that you’ll need to do more than give up your Friday night takeaway to work a mortgage payment into your monthly outgoings… but the question is, what should and shouldn’t you give up in an effort to get the home you really want?
We’ll take you through some life expenses that fall into each category…
- The ideal house
We’re starting with a sacrifice you won’t even notice at this stage – and it comes in the form of not buying the biggest and best house you can afford.
It’s easy to think about moving house in terms of finding a place that’s absolutely perfect – but does it really have to be? Would some sacrifices on space or location free you up to keep life comfortable financially?
There are always options for moving again in the future – or even looking at remortgage options to make some home improvements when money allows. Just because a mortgage amount is available to you now, it doesn’t mean to have to maximise it and reduce your spending elsewhere…
If you’re a fan of nights out, eating out or luxury pass-times then this might be the item on the list you were dreading seeing.
People’s lifestyle often has to take a hit when they buy a new home – but that doesn’t mean that you have to give things up completely. Having a home offers a huge amount of security and good feeling on its own – and that’s sometimes enough to balance out the feeling that you might be missing out on doing quite as much of the things you love.
Enjoy nights out? Get a couple of bottles or multi-packs and invite people around to your new place instead. Are you a fan of good eating? Grab a great cookbook or arrange a ‘Come Dine with Me’ style of social eating with friends.
There are often great alternatives to expensive hobbies that free up huge amounts of cash for big life commitments.
Holidays can represent £1,000s spent each year – and while we’re not going to suggest you’ll have as much fun camping in your new back garden as you would next to the pool at a luxury resort – it’s well worth asking yourself if you could cut back while still getting an important rest from work.
For many people, a holiday represents a decompression from the stresses of work – but could that be done with a week or two getting little jobs done around your new house? Or would getting away in the UK still represent some relaxation without big costs?
Again, it’s your choice – but if missing out on a suntan each year means you’ve got an ideal home every day, it’s might be a sacrifice worth making.
Now, what to do with your savings is likely to be a tough question – as they will have almost certainly already taken a hit if you’ve had to find a deposit for your new home.
It can be easy to think that your savings have done their job when you buy a house – but in a reality, emergency cash is needed for a lot more than just big purchases. In fact, around 75% of people will be met with an unexpected large bill at some stage during every year – whether that’s a home emergency like a plumbing or electrical repair, a car breakdown, a large utility bill – or similar.
The message is this:
Don’t give up on saving just because you’re buying a house. Keep some of your savings for the essentials that will crop up – and when you’ve moved into your new place, make sure you’ve got enough income left over to start that saving pot again – buying a house is great, but it can add to the list of unexpected costs you might happen upon each year…
There’s a chance you’ll look at this and think there’s no way you could live without your car – and that’s fine, for many of us, having independent means of transport is the key to keeping a job, getting kids to school – and so on.
However, while many people are used to the convenience of having a car, life wouldn’t be impossible without one – and cutting a car out of the equation can free up £1,000s annually when you consider fuel, insurances, financing, taxing, services and other costs.
What would life look like without a car? How much would you save? And would the reduced convenience be worth it for your ideal home?
- Spare time
Have you ever considered how much your spare time could be worth? Or who’d want to buy it?!
For many people, having a ‘side hustle’ is a very real way of adding some additional income to your monthly payslip – and the great thing is, you often only need time to get something moving.
Could you become an eBay or Amazon seller? Could you blog or vlog? Could you buy and sell items you know about? Could you sell your professional services on a freelance basis? There are ways of monetising virtually anything you can do – so why not forget about sacrificing things that cost you money – and instead find ways to earn more of it.
- The spare room
How would you feel about waving goodbye to the spare room and having a lodger?
Okay, so it might not be the picture you had in mind when you thought about your next home – but with house prices increasing it’s becoming a more and more popular route for people to either buy the home they want – or for people who can’t afford their own home to find somewhere affordable to live.
By sacrificing your spare room to a lodger you stand the chance of making a large chunk of money that’ll help toward an overall mortgage payment. You’ll need to let your lender know what you’re planning as it will represent some of your income – but you may even be able to find something who’ll commit in advance, especially if you’re keen on renting to someone you know.
Having an additional person around the house can offer more than just extra funds too – there’s always someone on hand to help with jobs and keep the place running smoothly…