Tips for Budgeting For Your First Home
by Carlisle Homes
It takes more than 'sticking to a budget' to save for your first home.
But how do you even get started with budgeting for a new house? More than just restricting your discretionary spending, the best way to budget considers your current liabilities, caters for your individual lifestyle and includes some savings goals. Read more for budget tips that are achievable, will empower you with confidence, and also allow you to splash out every now and again.
Here’s a few tips to get you budgeting for a house:
1. Budget tip 1: Spending diary
It is quite easy to forget the regular mid-morning café stop, which can add up to a significant spend by the end of the working week. This spend-tracking method includes keeping a diary (a notepad!) for a fortnight or month, with items listed in meaningful categories. You could then transfer this information to an online planner or budget tool. Alternatively, download a smart phone app that allows you to easily track as you go, with some apps having the ability to loop into your bank account to track spending trends.
2. Budget tip 2: Set some savings goals
It’s always good to have some clearly defined goals to keep you on track towards saving for your first home, especially when confronted with those spur-of-the-moment ‘must-have’ purchases. Savings goals should be a combination of long-term projects, such as saving for a house deposit, as well as including some shorter-term plans such as holidays or large household needs.
3. Budget tip 3: Include room for a treat
Allowing some room to include a treat every now and again will more than likely keep you focused on the goals ahead. Prioritising the treats, and looking for compromise options, much like a food diet, can be a good way to ensure your spending doesn’t leave you feeling guilty, undoing all the good intentions of the treat!
4. Budget tip 4: Be realistic
A budget plan that is too rigid without room for a little ‘life-flex’ is set for failure, and in fact you will probably abandon it within the first month! Spending and saving goals need to be realistic and achievable without meaning you will miss out on necessities such as car fuel or household utilities.
5. Budget tip 5: Wants vs Needs vs Savings
In our cashless, credit focused society, it is easy for the lines to become blurred between needs and wants. Going back to basics with honest budget planning, categorising spending via ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ is not only good practice but also a valuable lesson to pass on when educating our kids on the meaning of money. Add ‘savings’ to the mix and you could set some easy-to-follow ratios to keep on track, such as 50:30:20 – 50% spend on Needs : 30% spend on Wants : 20% put into Savings.
Above all, your budget plan should be individual to you, reflecting your own needs, wants and goals especially if saving for your first home. The best way to budget is to take ideas and inspiration from information sources and use available tools to shape the right plan for you. If you need further advice on budget planning, our in-house construction finance specialists have a variety of products available to manage, preserve and create wealth to suit your individual needs.