Thursday 27 October 2016

Smart saving tips for first time buyers

Published 08/10/2015 | 14:15

There is hope for first time buyers
There is hope for first time buyers

Looking for a mortgage in Ireland but haven’t got your savings account looking quite like it should? If you’re a first time buyer, the best method is to start planning and saving early.

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The trick to saving money is to get to a point whereby you don’t even notice that you’re putting money away at all. This comes with a small bit of foresight and early planning. The biggest hardship is that first initial step in saving your money - once you get started, you shouldn’t even notice it going.

Then, before you know it, it won't be such a struggle to save - even emptying your pockets into the change jar at the end of each day will become habit, leaving you with even more cash to pop into your savings account.

A budget is a financial plan for saving and spending money. Now more than ever keeping a budget seems to a necessity and by budgeting properly you could end up saving a small fortune. Drawing up a budget is something that's personal to you and your own circumstances. Making a note of what's coming in and what's going out of your account each month is the basic principle of any budget; it's only when you see where your money goes, that you can make changes to curb any unnecessary expenses. That way, you'll not only be saving money but making decisions that could change your finances for the better.

If you need help with your planning, then why not sign up for a free Money Advice meeting that’s focused specifically on you - find out more info here.

Creating a budget that works for you:

Your first home is within reach
Your first home is within reach
  • Set up a basic budget by taking note of your money that is coming in and going out.
  • Remember, be honest with yourself and try to include everything you spend.
  • Not sure where your money goes? Print or view your bank statements online to help you identify your income and outgoings.
  • Be aware of your mortgage repayments or rent every month and note the day of the month that the money is withdrawn from your account.
  • Remember to include the things you only pay for once a year, such as management company fees or annual car tax and insurance, by estimating and dividing up the average that you'd spend in a year.
  • Identify areas where you are overspending, ask yourself if it is absolutely essential?
  • Could you make reductions such as switching utility services to a cheaper provider or change your grocery retailer to a more competitive one?
  • Check your bank balance frequently online, on the phone or at an ATM.

To budget effectively, remember to review your budget regularly, especially if there are any changes to your circumstances to make sure that you're living within your means. Try a few of these helpful pointers.

  • Try to save part of any pay rises or bonuses.
  • Be realistic. Know your weak spots and allow for a little unplanned spending now and again. Why not set up a standing order direct to your savings account?
  • If you don't have a savings account, open one up today and transfer any spare money you have at the end of the month into it and try to set up a regular standing order.
  • Avoid impulse buying! Plan your expenditure in advance and try not to over-purchase.
  • Set up Direct Debit payments, so you can pay your bills on time and when you know you have money to pay them with. Try to move standing orders and Direct Debits until just after payday to avoid surprises at the end of the month.
  • See if spreading your larger payments over the year rather than paying a lump sum by Direct Debit might suit you better.
  • Apply for an overdraft in advance if you think you might go overdrawn, but try not to get used to having an overdraft, use it only as a temporary arrangement.

Now that you've got the initial groundwork done for your budgeting plan, you can now start thinking about the 'M' word and look into how much money you'll need to borrow to finance your mortgage. Check out EBS's easy to use mortgage affordability calculator here - it only takes 3 minutes.

The key to managing the day to day spending is to focus on your budget and make reductions were necessary.

Now that your budget is in check there may be some quick and simple things you can do to save money in the short-term:

A new home in your future?
A new home in your future?
  • Switch to cheaper utilities. To see if you could save on your gas and electricity bills, by changing to a more competitive supplier.
  • See if companies offer discounted rates when you pay by Direct Debit.
  • Lots of companies offer short-term bonuses or incentives - make sure you know when these run out so you can check you're getting the best deal.
  • Make sure you know what statutory benefits you are entitled by logging onto
  • Compare quotes for car or home to make sure you're not paying too much.
  • Are you paying too much tax? Could you get a tax refund? Check to see at
  • At EBS we offer a free Financial Review to customers, to help you identify your financial needs. Why not arrange an appointment to see an advisor at your local branch today.

Now after a sustained period of saving, you can start taking this mortgage business seriously as you're finances and savings account will be looking all the more healthy. Why not book in for a 30 minute mortgage meeting with one of EBS's experts - find out more here.

Thinking of buying your first home in Ireland?

Don't forget to check out the EBS First Time Buyers Guide.

You can also use our mortgage calculator to find out how much you may be able to borrow.

And to chat through your mortgage options book a 30 Minute Mortgage today!

The content of this article is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS Ltd.

EBS Ltd neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.

EBS Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Sponsored by: EBS

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