Five ways you can save for a mortgage as a single woman
Want to buy your own home, but don’t have a partner to share the financial burden with? Find out how you can save for a mortgage as a single woman.
As a single woman, you face some unique financial challenges. Whether you are single by choice or not, financial planning can be difficult. And if you dream of owning your own home one day, setting aside enough money to save for a house can feel like a daunting task – even more so if you are a single parent.
Thankfully, saving for a mortgage as a single woman is not impossible. In this article we share five saving strategies so that you can make the most of your money and reach your financial goals.
1) Keep a record of your expenses
The first, and most important step, towards saving for a mortgage is to keep a record of your expenses. We recommend that you sit down and list your monthly expenses so you can see exactly where your money is going each month.
Knowing where your money is being spent is a great starting point as it allows you to see just how many outgoings you have per month and lets you cull any you no longer need.
Keeping track of your expenses and regularly revisiting these every few months is a great way to stay on top of your finances, spot areas where savings could be made, and feel more in control of your money.
2) Pay off your debts
If you want to boost your chances of being accepted for a mortgage, it is essential that you pay off your debts. While credit cards offer a convenient way to buy the things you want, if they are not managed responsibly you could find yourself in significant debt very quickly.
Racking up debt on your credit cards can have a negative affect on your credit score which can impact your chances of being accepted for a mortgage. So, it’s important to pay off your debts as soon as you can.
If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend setting yourself a budget. Avoid making the minimum repayments each month as you’re more likely to spend thousands of pounds extra in interest over the long term. Set yourself a budget, look at how much you can pay off each month and set up a direct debit to do this automatically.
3) Improve your credit score
Having a good credit score can go a long way towards securing you a mortgage. If your credit score isn’t as healthy as it could be, there are changes you can make. Below are some of the ways you can improve your credit score quickly and easily:
- Make your repayments on time
- Build up your credit history
- Register for the electoral roll
- Report any errors
If you have done all the above and your credit score is still looking pretty bad, don’t worry. Having a healthy credit score is not the be-all-and-end-all and it will not stop you from securing yourself a mortgage.
As Pete Mugleston, Managing Director and Mortgage Advisor at Online Mortgage Advisor explains:
“Many people believe that they can’t get a mortgage because they have a history of bad credit. While it’s true that some mortgage lenders prefer customers with a pristine credit report, the idea that having bad credit automatically disqualifies you from mortgage approval is a huge misconception […]
“The key is finding the right mortgage lender, one who specialises in customers with your type of credit problem, fully understands it and is best positioned to lend under those circumstances.”
4) Reduce unnecessary expenses
While life is for living, when you’re saving for a mortgage as a single woman there are a few sacrifices you need to make if you want to get on the property ladder sooner. And one of these is to reduce unnecessary expenses.
Unnecessary expenses are different for everyone. Yours might be; paying for that gym membership you never use, Friday night drinks with the girls, takeaway dinners, and beauty products (to name a few).
While the list above is full of things we all love (perhaps minus the gym membership?), these expenses can certainly rack up your monthly outgoings.
If you can live comfortably without these things, even for a short period of time, you could make significant savings. As The Balance confirms, “It may take a little work in the beginning but you’ll find your financial stress starts to decrease once you’re able to save and pay off more of your debt.”
5) Negotiate better contract rates
As a single woman, living on your own can incur a lot of costs that you have to carry alone and it can be challenging to meet all the payments, let alone have money to spare. If you want to start saving for a mortgage but you don’t know where to find the extra cash, consider negotiating better rates on your contracts.
Providers ranging from car insurance and life insurance through to electricity, water, and phone bills, rarely advertise their lowest price. So, when they charge you their rate, don’t think of it as non-negotiable. It’s always worth giving them a call and seeing if you can negotiate a cheaper deal. This is a great way to cut costs, reduce your expenses, and have a little extra cash to put into savings.
Use these strategies to secure a mortgage
Taking control of your finances is extremely empowering and will help you reach your financial goals faster. We hope you found the tips in this article helpful.
We feel confident that if you can use the strategies above to start saving, you will be well on your way to signing those mortgage documents and becoming a first-time buyer.
Photo by Ave Calvar