Eight easy, lifelong habits to kick-start your mortgage savings
Brought to you by permanent tsb
With a few easy steps, you'll be well on your way to sorting out your mortgage savings.
Too much month left at the end of the money? Seem to have a permanent hole in your pocket? We hear you! If you’re more of a spender than a saver, getting a deposit together can feel a bit like climbing Everest (without any climbing gear).
Never fear, here are our top tips to kick-start your mortgage savings:
1. Blitz your bills
No one likes paying bills but wouldn’t it be great if you could pay less? So many of us just stick with the same electricity, TV and broadband and insurance providers out of pure laziness but switching could save you hundreds of euros on your annual bills.
Now’s the perfect time to analyse your bills to see if you can switch or negotiate to get a better deal. Do you spread your payments over the year or pay up front? Paying up front for the year is usually cheaper, if you can afford it.
Are there any discounts for paying online or paperless billing? Does your employer offer a discounted group health insurance scheme? Can you get a multi-policy discount if you take out home and car insurance with the same company? If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
2. Marie Kondo your spending
Be ruthless and cut any outgoings you can. You know that TV subscription you added for the Game of Thrones finale, and that gym trainer whose calls you’ve been avoiding? Ditch them and that’s more easy savings.
Here are a few examples of what you could do:
- Cut your current account fees
Reduce ATM withdrawal fees by taking out larger amounts at a time and getting cashback on purchases. Contactless transactions are cheaper so tap when you can. Some banks allow you to avoid transaction fees if you keep a minimum amount in your account at all times (usually between €2,000 and €3,000). Better still, look for one that gives you money back on your transactions.
- Save a fortune, while saving the planet
Turn down the heating, turn off your appliances when you’re not using them, unplug your devices when they’re fully charged, switch to energy efficient light bulbs and wash at low temperatures and off-peak times. Carry a reusable water bottle and coffee cup.
- Slash your commuting costs
Sweet talk your boss into signing up to the Taxsaver scheme and you could save up to a whopping 52% on your rail, bus and Luas costs.
3. Stalk your spending
Keeping a diary of your day-to-day expenses could reveal the shocking truth behind your caffeine habit. That morning cappuccino may only cost €3.50 but that adds up to €24.50 a week or a staggering €1,225 a year. Small changes like walking to work or making your lunch can all add up to big savings over time. You can still enjoy that all-important avocado toast – just make it yourself.
Keep tabs on your spending with apps that track your income and expenses, help you budget for monthly bills and even save your spare change for you.
4. Ditch the piggy bank and open a savings account
If you want to buy a house, saving is key. The bank will want to see that you are financially responsible so a record of regular savings over time, no matter how small the amounts, can really help.
There’s no point in having your savings sitting in your current account, where they won’t earn any interest (and you could be tempted to dip into them). Open a savings account and set up a direct debit for a set amount to go out as soon as you get paid each month. Don’t wait until the end of the month, when you might not have any money left.
5. Tackle those debts
There’s not much point in having savings if your credit cards are all maxed out and costing you a fortune each month. Credit card debt is the most expensive type of borrowing so make sure to tackle this first. Switch to a credit card with a 0% balance transfer offer and then pay off the balance within the interest-free period or take out a loan with a lower interest rate and use this to pay off your credit card.
6. Give yourself some credit
If you pay tax and haven’t used all of your tax credits over the last four years, you might be owed some tax back. They won’t come to you so make sure you go to them. Some companies will check this for you for a small percentage of any money you get back. You could be due a nice little windfall!
7. Get by with a little help from the Government
If you’re a first-time buyer and want to buy or build a new home, check out the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme. This refunds tax paid over the last four years up to a value of €20,000 or 5% of the purchase price. It could be a major boost to your deposit!
But we can’t be good all the time, right? Allow yourself some treats or cheat days but make sure you balance them with savings. Here’s the clever bit - whenever you splash out on a treat, aim to put the same amount into savings. If you can’t afford the savings, you can’t afford the treat.
Check out our ‘Home Buyers HQ’ from saving to sale agreed, everything you need to know. If you're looking to start your own home buying journey you can book an appointment with the permanent tsb team today.
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Brought to you by permanent tsb