|>>|| No. 15651
How I Live On a £69,500 salary while saving to buy a two-bedroom flat
When I started saving, I spoke to a mortgage broker who said I would be able to borrow £320,000, based on my salary. I knew I wanted to buy something for around £380,000, so based on that I worked out that I needed at least £60,000 for a deposit. With what I already had saved, it meant I needed to be saving £1,500 a month in order to buy at the beginning of next year. This felt like a stretch, but doable.
The first thing I did was move out of my old house share into a cheaper one, saving around £50 per month. Then I cancelled my gym membership, which was very expensive at £150 per month as it was in Central London near work, and started going running instead. I still play touch rugby on Saturdays, which is £10 per game.
I’ve also reduced how often I take taxis. Now, when I do take one, I link it to a specific credit card so I can track how much I spend per month. It really showed me how much I was spending on taxis.
I also made sure I have a good credit card for overseas spending so I don’t get stung for fees, as the one thing I do spend money on is weekend trips abroad. I always buy the cheapest flights, though, and I watch what I’m spending – if it’s an expensive place, I won’t drink alcohol. I bought my travelcard for the year up-front, but it works out to be £110 per month. Now I save the £110 I would usually spend on travel, transferring it into my savings account when I get paid. Buying an annual pass meant I also saved an extra £20 per month. I spend around £80 per week on food shopping. I cook vegetarian and do lots of meal preparation, including making all my lunches for work. I found it was a lot cheaper to fill out my meals with chickpeas and lentils and then occasionally eat meat on weekends. I spend around £100 per week on eating out and socialising, which I’ve cut down. I order less when I’m out now: in the pub I’ll have two drinks and then drink water, and on a day out I’ll get food from a street market rather than pay for a pub lunch, which means I pay £7 rather than £16.
For me it’s been about cutting out random stuff. I avidly read the book Barefoot Investor and watched a Netflix documentary called “Minimalism”. Both really changed my thinking when it comes to buying things that I don’t need. Recently I was going to buy a red jacket, but then I thought: “I don’t need a red jacket, I’ve got a navy one and it’s fine.” So I’ve changed my train of thought about what I really need to spend money on. By doing that I’ve been able to save even more than my target. The past two months I’ve saved an extra £200, by transferring out what I have left in my current account to my savings account at the end of each month.
I’m really close to my target now and excited about getting my own place. I live in Bethnal Green in East London and I’m hoping to buy a two-bedroom place near here, but I think I might have to settle for a one bedroom – it depends on the market.