How to save for a deposit for your first home

For many of those not currently on the property ladder, the topic of deposits creates an instant sinking feeling. The average deposit in the UK is currently £32,899. If you’re looking to buy in London then that triples to £106,577. Government Help to Buy has enabled first time buyers to get on the housing ladder with just a 5% deposit. Although this has brought home ownership within reach for many it doesn’t reduce the associated cost. To get a good deal on a mortgage, most experts agree that you need to have a deposit of at least 10% of the purchase price, ideally 20%. So, how do you do it? The argument for cutting back The average salary in the UK is £27,000 and the current average rent is £921 a month (£1,246 in London). As Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis says, “There are those young people who are managing their money so badly that they can’t afford property, then those who would never be able to buy without help from the bank of Mum and Dad.” So, for many people w
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How to save money as a local community

There is a lot to be said for the old idea that we’re stronger together. Particularly now when times are tough for many, the idea that clubbing together to save money as a community could help with costs and budgets is very appealing indeed. People power could not only give you the means to cut the costs of your essentials but also help bypass the more expensive commercial options that don’t necessarily deliver better results. So, where could you save money as a community? Energy and fuel savings clubs With the cost of energy always increasing and some providers putting prices up by 10% this year it sometimes feels like it’s difficult to see a way out of those huge quarterly bills. However, joining an energy and fuel savings club could give you other options than just to accept the prices you’re quoted or go elsewhere. Using the process of ‘collective switching’ it’s possible to negotiate a better tariff on behalf of a group of consumers than you’d ever be able to get
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Saving rates are low but we still need to save more

As incentives go, current interest rates don’t exactly have much in the way of motivation to offer. Even after years of putting cash aside you’re not likely to be able to grow your savings pot with a current Bank of England base rate of just 0.25%. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently revealed the savings ratio in the UK had fallen to a record low. The savings ratio is the proportion of disposable income in the UK that is channelled into savings. In May this year the ratio was down to 1.7%, from 3.3% in the previous quarter so for each £100 of disposable income we are saving on average just £1.70. Millions of people have virtually no savings at all. Why is the savings ratio so low? A number of reasons have been put forward to explain why Brits are no longer channelling money into their savings accounts. The first of these is that there is very little incentive to do so with savings rates so very low. The second is more unnerving – that
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How Meat Free Monday could save your finances – and your health

#meatfreemonday – it’s a great hashtag. But is that all it is? If you’re not using it to win more followers on Instagram with photos of vege dishes then isn’t it just another social media trend? Actually, no.  Meat-free Monday was launched in 2009 by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney and it’s not just about jumping on the trend for clean eating or vegan lifestyles. It’s a perfect example of the way that making lifestyle adjustments – such as one day a week without meat – can have a broader impact on your world, from cutting your monthly costs, to making you healthier and reducing the impact you have on the planet. How can you have a Meat-free Monday? Simple, just plan for one day a week when you don’t have bacon for breakfast, ham in your sandwiches at lunch or chicken, beef or pork for dinner. Many people have found that the challenge of a Meat-free Monday has made them more creative in the kitchen and inspired a new love of food. Meat free recipes are not what they
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Why do Britons find it so hard to save?

Saving money isn’t exactly the most glamorous thing to do with your hard earned cash. A recent survey by Aviva found that 21% of us in the UK have no savings whatsoever. That’s almost a quarter of people who haven’t managed to put cash aside for a rainy day. And even those of us who have managed to put money aside may not be saving enough. The same Aviva research found that even those with retirement savings are around £9,900 short of the annual amount they need to live comfortably. Why can’t we Save? Research from the US identified that people are not naturally inclined to save money. This mostly comes down to a ‘Carpe Diem’ attitude i.e. we’re more motivated to live in the present and ‘seize the day’ than wait. So, rather than spending a bank holiday quietly doing nothing and saving the money instead, we’re more likely to book a crazy trip or a mini break or long lunches with friends. In fact, it’s occasion spending that often scuppers us. While many people ar
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