If you’re in the UK or any other major city around the world, you’ll already understand how difficult it is to get onto the property ladder as a first-time buyer. With stagnated wages and rising home prices, it currently takes the average homeowner 6.6 years to save a deposit which is growing each year.

However, I think this could be done quicker with the right systems in place and focusing on a single goal without distractions while making real changes in other areas in my life to facilitate this, however naive that may sound. Frankly, I’ve had enough of sharing flats with random people without the privacy that a fully grown adult deserves so it’s time to go all-in on this goal.

Getting your first home seems like the holy grail something that every young person aspires to achieve. I’ve run the numbers and £40k seems like the amount needed to finally clamber onto the housing ladder in London for a starter flat in zone 3/4.

I’ve decided to achieve this in 24 months or shorter because house prices are always growing which means any longer and it could be completely out of reach regardless of having a deposit of this size. So come along for the ride and follow my journey and see if we can make it happen.

The Current Market

At the time of writing, House prices continue to grow fast (shock). Partly due to the stamp duty exemption but also the incredible demand that’s still present. The average London house price in Jan 2021 is £501,320  breaking through the £500,000 mark for the first time.

With an average price of £266,532 across the rest of the country this has also been fuelled by the growing work-from-home culture which means people are no longer required to live within the main UK city hubs.

Adding to this, the average first-time buyer deposit is now £57,000 with this rising to £130,000 in London.

Who am I?

I guess this is an important question to provide some background about who I am. In short, I’m a late 20’s single working professional renting in London. Unfortunately, I’m not in the position where I can receive deposit help from parents or get a joint mortgage with a partner to split the cost so I will be doing this alone.

The odds are slightly against me in this regard but there’s plenty in my favour that I can use to help. I’m currently renting with flatmates in London like most ‘young professionals’ which is the biggest expense of the month.

Due to my salary, it isn’t possible to hit the savings goal just by simply cutting expenses and saving. However, over time I’ve found ways to make the best out of my income and found other ways to grow income that can contribute to this goal.

Why?

How many times have you begun to save, then you’re a few months in and decide to spend your savings pot? Don’t worry you’re not the only one.

Want to know the reason why this happens? Lack of accountability. We do this because no one’s watching or knows what we’re doing so it doesn’t matter if we dip into our savings.

By creating this blog challenge is a way to keep me on track and hopefully have a few readers along the way; who can learn from what I’m doing and perhaps do this themselves while staying accountable to the final goal.

Looking around the web, I could see that there’s a lack of actionable content that can help first time buyers get into the market outside of the standard advice which is often a one size fits all solution.

Savings Breakdown

40,000 Great British Pounds is the goal here split over 24 months.

Which is a total of £1,666 per month that needs to be saved which quite frankly is a mammoth target in this timeframe.

There’s not much more to this section. £1,666 per month. That’s the target.

How this will be done?

Cutting Expenses

Cutting expenses is probably the easiest first step to take. I will be moving to a more affordable house share whilst I also have the benefit of working from home which means I can save on travel costs, eating out for lunch costs and those random pub lunches that can stack up throughout the month.

Cooking all meals at home is also a key goal of mine no matter how hard takeaways delivery apps have me in a headlock.

Cutting costs might be the easiest step but this has diminishing returns. There’s only so much you can save within a given month before it starts to negatively affect your life. The plan here isn’t to completely restrict my life enjoyment here as I’m still living in a huge social city that I’d like to continue to explore.

Expense tracking

This is closely linked to cutting expenses. Most of us aren’t tracking expenses so, in reality, we have no idea where our money is going. By tracking my expenses I can see where I’m wasting money and also plan how to attack this huge goal. Tracking expenses don’t need to be complicated and can simply be an Excel sheet.

Increasing Salary

Often I think people focus too much on increasing their income outside of their work hours when the best way is to increase your current salaried role. After all, you spend most of your life there and it’s probably where you have the most expertise so makes sense to use your existing skills and time to make more money.

This is where the bulk of my focus will be whether it be upskilling, pay rises or using my expertise in my spare time to generate more income. This makes more sense to me than trying to start a business or income stream in an area that I’m not familiar with.

Investing

With savings account interest rates being so poor, I need a way of beating inflation which also provides a way of generating a decent return and investing fits the bill.

Investing is essentially a way of buying a percentage of a listed company with the hopes that the company rises in value over time thus making your investment return grow. There are several ‘investment vehicles’ however I don’t consider myself a Warren Buffet or I’d be working for an investment bank with a few houses already.

I’m also generally quick risk-averse when it comes to investing so I plan to keep it simple and invest in Index Funds which tend to provide returns that I’d be happy with over the long term.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of internet marketing that allows you to sell other companies products and for each sale, you receive a cut or commission percentage of this sale. The benefit of this is that you don’t need to worry about inventory, returns customer service etc and you can just focus on acquiring the customer.

I will predominately acquire customers by building websites that then attract traffic through SEO to funnel those users through to the vendors’ website where hopefully those users will convert and generate me a commission.

Sell unwanted items

With a challenge like this, every penny counts. While selling items isn’t a long term solution, it provides a quick win and also doubles as a process to declutter my living space. This can be done in a range of ways such as eBay, Gumtree or any other online marketplace.

Next steps

This plan is not set in stone for these 24 months. So, I will be fighting to find other ways to pull this 40k together.

If you’ve made it this far; first of all thank you. Hopefully, you’re here for the full ride and you can use some of the same steps I take along the way towards this target.


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