Often when we’re saving for something big like a mortgage, we find ourselves forced to stop doing some of the other things that we love and to put life on ‘hold’. It’s too expensive to join a dance class, to buy the latest computer, to go on holiday and to save towards that deposit so the simplest solution is just to give up the former and focus on the latter.
After all, you’ll be able to live life again once you have your house right?
The problem with this philosophy is firstly that it isn’t particularly true. Unfortunately what you may not have realised, is that you don’t have money right now while you’re saving for your mortgage, but you’re also going to be short of cash most likely when you move into your home. Even if you are now ‘paying less than rent’ you’re still going to have to replace those boilers and that furniture on top of that. Thus if you don’t find a way to both save and live right now, it could be years until you have any spare cash to have fun with again… and that’s when you start having kids!
And anyway, saving money does not necessarily have to mean that you stop doing anything nice. There are plenty of ways that you can still have fun even when you don’t have much that disposable income, it’s just a matter of finding the right opportunities. Read on and we’ll take a look at some of the ways you can have your cake and eat it too…
Decide What’s Important to You
Of course if you’re trying to save more money than you normally would then you will have to make some cutbacks, so the key is to find out which things you can do without and which things you’ll miss. For instance you might find that if you stop eating out so often at restaurants and if you stop buying that cappuccino on the way to work, you can save that money and still afford your holiday. Or alternatively maybe you could just buy fewer clothes and still get that nice new laptop. Decide what it is that makes you happy and work that into your plan.
Also important is to be realistic with your timescale when saving. If you push yourself too hard to raise too much money and buy your home too soon, then you will find that the stress can end up taking its toll on your health and even your relationships. That’s when life stops being fun, so be realistic and give yourself plenty of time. Because you know in general, you have more time than you realise…
Find Cheap Things to Do
There is so much fun and exciting to do and to look forward to right now that is completely free. For instance, rather than buying a new computer game, why not look up all the free indie games you can download for nothing? Rather than buy a new book, why not go through your bookshelf and find all the books you never got round to reading? Instead of going to an expensive film tonight, why not go to a student art production? Or a museum? Then you won’t be living life any less, you’ll probably be living it more…