So I’m really not a big believer in saying you have to do one or the other. That’s why I don’t think you should chose between buying a house or going travelling, instead you should come up with a plan that allows you to do both.
In this article I’m going to tell you how to do both (based on my own experience) and how to use your home as an asset to help you travel more. I’m not going to lie it isn’t easy to do and it will mean limiting your travel plans (but still getting in some travels) for a couple of years. But when you get the keys to your own home it is completely worth it.
Start by looking at your out goings and if there are any quick wins. I cut out spending on things like magazines and reduce the amount I spent on take away coffee.
I was also in the position where I could move home (thanks mum and dad) which saved me a fortune. Now for lots of reasons you may not be able to do this but you may be able to reduce you’re rental costs. Could you do without the spare bedroom or could you move into a shared flat to reduce your bills. Although it may not be your ideal living situation (trust me living at home with the parents when I turned 30 wasn’t mine or theirs!) but it is worth it in the long run.
Set yourself a monthly budget and stick to it, not only will it help you work out how much you can save it will be great practice for when you’ve got a mortgage to pay.
I spent about two years saving for my deposit. This was longer than I planned as I bought a new build off plan, which meant I had to wait for it to be built.
Saving up the up to 20% for a deposit is a huge task, so it’s time to look for some help. There are a few help to buy options out there which are worth looking into as it could mean you only need to save up a 5% deposit.
Or it may be that you can borrow or be gifted some money from you’re family, it is worth having the discussion to know what your options are, even if you don’t end up needing it.
If you’re a first time buyer you should have a look at first time buyer ISAs*. It might not be right for you but it is tax free and the Government adds an extra 25% cash. I didn’t have one as it wasn’t available when I was saving.
Sell stuff you don’t need. I try to declutter every now and then and I’m always amazed how much stuff I find that I don’t need. I always sell it through websites like music magpie, ebay and gumtree. I then just put the cash in my savings account.
Use cashback sites when shopping online, for example topcashback or quidco. I only buy things I’d planned on buying anyway but I normally get a couple of hundred pounds cashback a year.
Take on a part time job. This one isn’t possible for everyone but you may be able to get a weekend job working in a bar or restaurant or casual event work.
I knew there was no way I was going to be able to go two years without leaving the country! So I decided to look at cheaper places to travel, there were whole parts of Europe I hadn’t been to so there were lots of places to see.
I travelled during off peak for a lot of it to keep costs down and used things like the Ryanair Farefinder and Kayak to find cheap flights. While saving for a deposit I went to Montenegro, Croatia, Italy and Iceland (not a cheap one but I really wanted to go).
Since buying just over a year ago I’ve been to Krakow and Porto.
Don’t max out your mortgage*
When starting to look for a mortgage don’t automatically go to your own bank, as they’ll only recommend their own products. An independent mortgage advisor isn’t as expensive as you’d think, mine only cost £100 and was money well spent.
You’ll be told the maximum amount you can borrow but I’d advise spending less than this if you can. I picked my mortgage based on the maximum amount I wanted to pay monthly, which meant my total mortgage amount was less. I know if I went above this it would make being able to afford travelling a lot harder.
Furnishing your new place
It is really easy to run into IKEA and buy everything in sight but you’re credit card bill will be huge. Start by asking friends and family if they’ve got any furniture they don’t need anymore, you’ll be amazed what people have lying around.
My coffee table is an old suitcase I found in my grans attic.
If you do need to buy anything new work out an essentials list and start there, after all you can pick up cool things from your travels to make your house feel like a home.
I got lots of amazing things from around the world, my favourite is this kava bowl from Fiji, which was my first big trip abroad.
Your home is an asset
Great you’ve got your new place now it is time to make some money from it. I bought a two bed flat as I knew I wanted to be able to rent out the spare room to make some extra cash. If you want to have a guaranteed amount a month the best thing to do is to get in a lodger. There are lots of websites you can advertise rooms on including spareroom which I’ve used before.
Another option is to use Airbnb, renting out your spare room during peak periods to make the most money possible. This still gives you the flexibility to be able to not book the room when you’ve got friends and family coming to stay.
If you want to go travelling for a longer period you can rent out your whole property, just remember you’ll need to check with your mortgage company and get landlords insurance.
Although it took me a couple of years to get my place my mortgage is a lot less than I’d pay in rent so I now have more spare cash.
* Please note I’m not a financial expert and all of the opinions in this article are my own and based on my own personal experience. If you’re looking to buy a house make sure you get proper financial advice, as it is a big commitment.
Like it, pin it