Budgeting For Your First Home
As we know, moving out hits your bank account pretty hard. Not only is there the upfront costs before you even move into your place, there is also the cost of running your home every month. We found it hard searching online for help with budgeting for our home before we moved out, so I thought I’d share with you some useful tips that I hope will help you! 🙂
To help you not over stretch yourself, sit down and try budget what your monthly outgoings will be before you go ahead with anything. There is no point moving somewhere that will cost you an arm and a leg to run.
No one’s monthly outgoings of running their home will be the same, as it depends on so many factors. However, hopefully I’m able to help you budget and not end up shocked when you get an unexpected bill through the post! Some will be quite obvious, but it’s nice t have them all in a list so you can work out what is what.
If you are getting a mortgage, shop around for best rates, and also see if there’s any incentives with the bank, Halifax are great for first time buyers, especially if you are going to down the help to buy route.
You may be entitled to certain discounts, for example if you live alone. If you are moving into a new build which hasn’t been banded yet, make sure you try estimate how much your council tax will be by going on DirectGov and looking to see how much houses of a similar size are. Put this money aside every month until you get your banding in the post, if you are unsure, it’s best to put away that little bit extra, the if you have over budgeted, it’s a bonus!
Make sure you shop around for the best deal. We are currently with EON, although this is who Redrow chose for us when we moved, they said we were able to move to whoever we liked but found they were the best deal at the time. I also recommend getting yourself a smart meter installed, at first you will find yourself staring at it, but I was pleasantly surprised how little we use, and we aren’t stingy! We forever have the lights left on, use the washing machine daily and I use the heating a lot as I’m forever cold! We chose a fixed rate just so we knew where we were every month.
Your home may or may not be on a water meter. If you are buying a new build then it will be on a water meter, however you are able to pay a set amount monthly, this will vary depending on your location and your water provider will be able to tell you what they think your usage will be depending on how many of you there is in your home. A water meter works out cheaper, so don’t panic! 🙂
One that many people forget! You need a TV licence. Even if you only watch BBC iPlayer, you need to get one! It’s only £12 something a month! We pay ours quarterly, but you have the options of paying monthly/quarterly/yearly. You set this up online. 🙂
If you are buying, you will need home insurance and also life insurance. We needed home insurance before completion for our mortgage, we chose to pay this annually to cut down on our monthly outgoings, if we chose monthly, it would be about £20 which is buildings and contents. This will vary on your house size and the cover you require.
Life insurance is also very important, not that you want to think of the reason for needing it but it’s always better to have than not have. It’s not very expensive, ours is about £12 each, but you can get couple insurance but watch out for the T&C’s on those, it may be safer to have individual insurance instead. This will also vary person to person depending on health and lifestyle.
Food shops either make or break the bank. You can go in and spend a fortune on rubbish you don’t need, you fancied it at the time when you were wondering around the supermarket, get home and think why did I buy that? Best thing to do is write a list. Stick to the list and you will be fine! Try not to go to the shop on an empty stomach either, that is where the snacks start sneaking into the trolly.
For a weekly shop, we budget for £60 a week but that’s only for 2 of us. We can easily stick to that doing our food shop in Tesco, if we went to Aldi we’d probably get loads more but it’s not as local as Tesco is for us. Try and make your own food rather than get ready meals as these can be more costly, also try make enough so there’s left overs for your lunch the next day or to freeze.
Don’t forget to add-on how much you spend a month on travel, is your car on finance? How much do you spend on fuel each month? Do you pay for your car insurance monthly? What if your car suddenly breaks down? Cars can eat a lot of your money, if you could possibly go without a car and use public transport, could that be an option?
So this includes things like, mobile phone, Netflix, internet, gym membership, dining out/drinking etc. This will be different for everyone. We both had a gym membership, we actually rejoined in January to get back into it but have once again left. We don’t see the point spending £40 a month on 2 gym memberships that we rarely use. We’d much rather do a home workout and save that money.
Once you know how much money you have left after all your outgoings, you will be able to work out how much money you can save and also put some away into an emergency fund. It’s important to have a little bit of money behind you as you can be hit with unexpected house repairs, redundancy, you never know! It’s better to be prepared. Make sure you put the money into your savings/emergency fund as soon as you get paid, that way you won’t be tempted to spend it.
That is all that I have in my budget list. I hope this post has been of some help to you, don’t let it scare you as we over budgeted our monthly outgoings which was a nice surprise once we worked that out after the first couple of months in our home.
Let me know if you have any other home posts you’d like me to share with you!