We saved £20k in a year so we could buy a house, here are our easy tips so YOU can too

A COUPLE who managed to save £20,000 in a year for a deposit have shared their six simple tips to help people get on the property ladder. 

Callie O'Grady, 23, and Karl, 28, set their sights on getting a mortgage this year, so they each set themselves a £10,000 savings goal in 2020. 

Callie, a marketing manager, says she was ‘fortunate’ enough to work during the pandemic, and used the time to squirrel away money.

The pair, from Staffordshire, said food was one of their biggest areas of saving, with Callie and Karl, an engineer, managing to save more than £1,000 each month in this area alone.

Callie said: “I'm fortunate to have continued working throughout the pandemic, so I have been able to put over £600 in savings each month.

“I would budget at the start of every month how much I could save from my salary and then put this into a locked savings account each month, so I could not touch it, unless absolutely necessary.

“Thanks to my money-saving swaps, I've saved £10,000 in just 12 months, and so has my partner.”

Callie confessed the pair both loved takeaways and eating out, and while the pandemic reduced their eating out bill, they also had to cut down on ordering food. 

She said the pair cooked together a lot instead, adding: “We’ve enjoyed cooking our own meals and with carefully planned out meals, we are able to utilise leftovers instead of throwing them away.”

And they also looked at their grocery bill, admitting the spent £70 a week at the supermarket, which they’ve managed to slash to just £55. 

Swapping out branded products for cheaper alternatives was one way they saved a pile of cash. 

Callie claimed: “The own-brand products taste just as good as the branded ones.

“I also always take a shopping list with me when I go food shopping and pre-plan my meals beforehand so I know exactly what to get.

Tips to save money

  • Ditch takeaways 
  • Swap branded for cheap alternatives 
  • Make your own coffee
  • Work out at home
  • Invest your money
  • Keep track of your spending 

“This allows me to buy only what I need and save any food waste on impulse buys.”

As well as eating out, the pair confessed they also bought a lot of coffees from cafes – which all added up. 

Callie would head to the shops three times a week and buy a pricey coffee, but after ditching her habit and making it at home she’s saved hundreds. 

She shared her tips for coffee-lovers out there, saying: “I bought my favourite coffee syrup from Amazon and began making my iced lattes from home.

“This saved me £10.50 per week, totalling £550 over 12 months.”

The pair also saved money on gym memberships, with home workouts soaring in lockdown. 

Callie realised she could work up a sweat in her living room instead, saving herself £400 a year.

They also advised anyone serious about saving to keep track of their money, and it helps to have a spreadsheet. 

Callie said: “You can't manage what you don't measure.

“I calculated my outgoings per month, including food and fuel, and added these budgets to my Monzo bank account so I can keep on top of how much I'm spending throughout the month.” 

And she also claimed that people should never wait until the end of the month to put their money into savings – as you’ll be tempted to spend it. 

Callie advised: “Never wait until the end of the month to put your money in savings.

“By knowing how much I'd need per month, I knew how much I could put into my savings account at the start of every month, so I would do this as soon as I was paid.

“I knew that if I didn't do this, I'd be more inclined to spend it on things I didn't need throughout the month and save less.” 

Lastly, using clever ways to save money – such as apps and the 1p challenge – are great ways to put away cash without realising it.

Callie added: “I use IFTTT's 1p Savings Challenge which has saved me over £650 over the past 12 months.

“The app, which stands for 'If This, Then That', automates moving money on conditional triggers.

“For example, when I purchase something using my bank card, IFTTT's app rounds up the amount to the nearest £1 and puts this money into another pot.

“Over 12 months, my roundups have totalled over £150, and I hadn't even noticed the extra pennies moving out of the account – every little helps.”

And this savvy couple build daughters a giant Wendy House wardrobe and now the kids don’t want to leave their room.

Plus these are the six DIY and home renovation YouTube channels YOU should follow to transform your pad and boost its value.

While this bloke revealed how he bought five houses in the UK by age 28.

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