Buying rather than renting might save you money in the long run – you’re paying off your mortgage, not someone else’s – but at first it might not seem that way.
Mortgage repayments, utility bills and the costs of furnishing your property can quickly add up.
Luckily, there are quite a few ways to cut these costs down so your new home isn’t burning a hole in your wallet.
Not on the property ladder yet, but want to be? This article is part of a series on buying your first home – everything from saving up to deposits, mortgages, Government assistance and more. Click here to view the full guide
1. Get a cashback bank account for bills
Cashback for bills is perhaps the closest thing to ‘free money’; you’ve got to pay your bills, so why not get paid by the bank to do so?
Santander 123 Lite and standard Current Account and NatWest/RBS’ Reward bank accounts pay up to 3% cashback on various household bills (find out which here).
If you’re spending a lot of money on furniture you should consider a cashback credit card, which can pay up to 5% cashback. Only do this if you’re sure you can pay off the balance every month, however.
2. Switch your broadband, phone and TV package
Switching utility providers has become much easier in recent years: here’s how to do so.
Not only will a cheaper deal save you money on bills, you could actually earn some cash up front.
3. Cut your energy bill
Come winter, it’s hard to ignore the impact of gas and electricity bills on your wallet.
Finding a better energy deal – which you can do on loveMONEY – is the most obvious way to save money.
Also consider getting insulation, a new boiler or plugging the draughts in your new home. We’ve put together a guide full of practical tips to stop wasting energy.
4. Get cheaper home insurance
Not the most fascinating of topics, admittedly, but one where it’s very easy to save money.
Saving money on insurance shouldn’t leave you underinsured, however; here’s how to make sure you’ve got the right level of cover.
5. Cheap furniture
Do you really need that brand-new wardrobe? Perhaps you’d like something a bit nicer, but can’t afford it?
Don’t forget your local charity shop; you never know what you’ll find in there.
We asked our sister site lovePROPERTY for some expert tips on sprucing up your home on a budget and they obliged: click away to learn more about shopping on the cheap at IKEA, excellent upcycling ideas, and budget bathroom tips.
Chances are you’ve stayed in an AirBnB property: now it’s your turn to make some money off it.
If you live near a major tourist destination or are prepared to go away during festivals or holidays, this could be a nice little earner.
7. Rent out your parking space (and car)
There are websites that make it easy to rent out your parking space and even your car.
JustPark allows you to rent out your parking space for specific hours of the day, to suit your schedule.
easyCar club allows you to rent out your car, with comprehensive insurance and breakdown cover included.
8. Get a lodger
We’re guessing you’re not a great fan of landlords – but there are some advantages of being one.
Having a lodger in your spare room can really help with the bills and provide a safety net in case you lose your job or can’t work.
Plus, you don’t have to pay tax on the first £7,500 you make (more on this here).
If you have a fixed-rate mortgage, it’s vital you note down when the initial fixed rate ends.
That’s because, after this point, you’ll be dumped onto the standard variable rate which could mean a big jump in your monthly repayments.
This will be one of your biggest expenses so it’s essential you remortgage at this point.
10. Appeal your Council Tax
The level of Council Tax depends on the band your property falls into.
In England and Scotland, the bands are based on property valuations made in April 1991 while in Wales they’re based on valuations from April 2003.
It’s therefore possible your valuation is wrong and with a little paperwork you could save a lot of money.