If you have noticed yourself taking a few sharp intakes of breath due to the cost of bills and other outgoings recently, suffice it to say you are not alone.

The cost of living crisis is the term being given to the current economic situation, and it will have been hard to miss the increase in costs for certain products and services.

If your finances were tight previously, then they are likely to be even tighter now. Equally, if you are looking to save up towards a specific goal, then being able to continuously squirrel away the amount of cash you desire can quickly get tough.

One reason for doing the latter is saving for a home. But finding the right balance between living in the present and saving for your future home can be a difficulty.

In the latest Roots Mortgages blog, we have put together a few ideas to help you stay on track with your savings, while not having to suffer too badly in the present. Take a look.

1 – Shift your cash around straight after payday

Payday is something we all look forward to, and it’s nice to see your accounts fill back up after a few weeks of spending.

If you are planning on putting money aside in order to save for a home, we recommend getting a fixed amount in mind and doing this as soon as your pay cheque comes in. 

This way, your saving is less likely to be based on what’s left at the end of the month, and you get a consistent stream into your saving pot by being proactive.

You also have the option of taking money back out of your savings pot if absolutely needs be, but hopefully that won’t be the case!

2 – Look at your monthly spending and make some decisions

If you are serious about saving up, we recommend going through your monthly spending with a fine comb and finding the areas where you can avoid some expenditure.

Things like the places you shop and finding cheaper alternatives, and cutting back on your household energy use, are a good place to start.

Another popular option many people are choosing to do is cut back on their streaming service subscriptions. There may be other things you are paying for each month, but rarely or simply never use anymore. The only reason they’re still on your outgoings is that you’ve just not got around to ending them or cannot be bothered!

That kind of approach will only elongate the amount of time it takes for you to get your dream home sorted. So make some positive changes now and start saving.

3 – Cut back on treats, or find different ones

Saving for a home comes with an element of sacrifice, as you could be spending your money on other things. But you have a choice about what and how many things you give up in the name of saving.

If there are a few personal treats that you like – be it a fancy dinner with your partner or a mini break for example – then this chunk of money could be spent elsewhere if you were willing to give such luxuries up for a few months.

And that’s not to say you can’t do nice things. Used to fancy hotels? Camping’s a good alternative and will give you all the more motivation to save and get a proper roof over your head sooner rather than later!

4 – Consider getting fit on your commute

Petrol prices have been one of the biggest risers during the cost of living crisis. And while post-pandemic, many of us are working at home more frequently, plenty of us are still guzzling up the miles, potentially on the commute.

Public transport can also be a big drain on your finances over the course of time while commuting. So finding ways to keep this as cheap as possible is a great idea.

Asking for more time working from home is a good idea, while cycling to work is a great option if you are not too far from your office. In fact, many places of work these days have initiatives in place to support cycling to work, with some having shower facilities to ensure you don’t stink out that morning meeting. And what’s more, cycling is a great way to lose some excess pounds.

Walking or running to the office, if feasible, are equally excellent ways to save some cash, move closer to your goals, feel better within yourself and lose some weight. What’s not to like!

5 – Get a clear idea of what you need to save

One really good way of arranging your savings is for you to take the time to set a clear goal to work towards. That way, you can more easily plan out your monthly savings goal, and get a clearer idea of when you will be able to start looking seriously for a mortgage.

Planning and being conscientious is a really positive trait when it comes to getting your mortgage sorted. The more information you have and good advice you get, the better stead you stand yourself in.

We at Root Mortgages are specialists in contractor mortgages and freelancer mortgages, as well as having plenty of experience of dealing with residential mortgages. We are therefore in a great position to provide you with free mortgage advice and give you a clear idea of the path you want to be taking in order to get the home you need.

Saving for a home is not always easy but it is hugely worthwhile once you get hold of the keys to a place you can call your own. Getting in good habits despite the adversity of the cost of living crisis can turn your vision into a reality sooner rather than later.