A mother-of-one revealed how she was able to save up enough money to buy her first home in just two years.
Ria Alice, 25, and boyfriend Reivan Griffin, 26, bought a £145,000, three-bedroom Victorian terraced house in Nottingham last year after putting away £14,500 for a 10 per cent deposit, despite having no money from the ‘bank of mum and dad’.
The couple, who have a son Markus, four, were able to save roughly £700 a month, largely thanks to the family’s decision to move into Ria’s mother’s house, where they did not pay rent or bills.
Healthcare assistant Ria and Reivan, a delivery driver, also made small but vital changes in their lifestyle, such as scrapping takeaway coffees, swapping phone contracts, and cancelling monthly subscriptions to the likes of Beauty Box, Tidal and Hayu, which saved £30 a month – or £720 over the course of two years.
Even seemingly small savings soon added up. By switching car insurance providers, for example, Ria and Reivan were left with an extra £340 over 24 months.
The savvy savers also adapted the way they socialised with friends and spent time as a family, swapping expensive restaurant meals and days out for nights in on the sofa and free outdoor activities for Markus.
Ria Alice, 25, (pictured with her son Markus, four and boyfriend), from Nottingham, told how she was able to buy her first house with her boyfriend Reivan Griffin, 26, after saving for a 10 per cent deposit in just two years
The mother-of-one who always knew she wanted to own a house, achieved her dream at the age of 24 when the couple and her son Markus moved into a three-bedroom Victorian terraced house in Nottingham (pictured)
The average first-time buyer in the UK faces an average wait of ten years to save enough to get on the property ladder (pictured: Ria’s kitchen insider her renovated home)
Ria said: ‘I won’t lie, saving a deposit for our house was a hard process. We moved back in with my mum and cut out all non-essential outgoings.
‘My motto was “Live like you’re broke!” so I got rid of all my online subscriptions and stopped getting takeaway coffees for example.
‘It was definitely a killer. But you have to remember that these little sacrifices won’t last forever. They’re temporary and mean you can make a better life for you and your family.’
The mother-of-one lived with her grandmother before making the move back to her mother’s house, meaning she had been making savings for a number of months in the lead-up to the two-year crunch for the deposit.
Ria, who works as a Health Care Assistant and her boyfriend Reivan, who works as a customer delivery driver, moved back into Ria’s mother’s house to help cut costs (pictured: Markus’s bedroom)
The mother-of-one (pictured with her son Markus) said she was willing to make sacrifices -including finding new ways to spend time with her son to reduce her outgoing
‘Moving back in with my mum gave me a massive opportunity to be able to save up for a mortgage deposit,’ Ria continued.
Where did Ria save money?
– Moving in with her mother – saved £700 per month
– Cheap family days out – £1 admission or free
– Shopped around for cheaper car insurance deal – saved £14-a-month
– Kept old handset and switched to SIM-only deal
– Extra nighttime shifts for extra income
– Cancelled monthly subscriptions – saved £30 per-month
‘I was very lucky to be able to do this as it meant not having to pay rent or other household bills elsewhere.’
Ria also reviewed her direct debits to see if there were any ways she could reduce her expenditure.
‘For example, I shopped around for a cheaper car insurance deal and it went down from £72 to £58 per month,’ she said.
‘And when my phone contract ended, I just kept my old handset and switched to a SIM-only deal which reduced my costs considerably.
‘Unless you need it, don’t spend it. And I didn’t need a shiny new phone.
‘The way I thought about it was, “Will I miss out by not getting that takeaway coffee every day, or would I rather save all that money and be able to buy my house sooner?”‘
Ria said it’s possible for all young people to get on the property ladder with dedication and research. She cancelled a number of non-essential subscriptions such as Tidal and Beauty Box
The mother-of-one said cancelling subscription services immediately gave her an extra £30 per month
Ria also searched for cheaper car insurance deals and switched to a sim-only phone contract to reduce her direct debit expenses. Pictured, her son’s bedroom inside her home which the millennial saved up for and bought in just two years
The homeowner made a decision not to spend on anything that wasn’t essential, including buying a shiny new phone. Pictured, her son’s bedroom
Like many parents, Ria was concerned with keeping Markus entertained, but found clever ways of doing it without splashing the cash.
She added: ‘And I never missed out on days out with Markus. We found local activities like Easter Egg hunts and Halloween trails that were just £1 for admission or sometimes even free.’
She continued: ‘For mums who want to carry on treating their kids alongside saving, there are so many family-friendly, local activities to do for free or for as little as a quid. You just need to do your research and look around.’
Ria took the same approach when it came to spending time with her own friends, explaining she forgo meals out in favour of a ‘cuppa on the sofa’.
Ria (pictured with Markus) said making sacrifices not to buy coffee daily or rely on subscriptions was worth it as it allowed her to buy her house sooner
The mother-of-one revealed she would ‘live as if she was broke’ – not buying holidays or splurging on impulse meals (pictured: living room during refurbishment)
Ria, who is in the process of renovating her new home, visited friends or they’d come to her – instead of going to bars
Ria found family-friendly activities for free or as little as one pound so she could still spend time with her son and boyfriend whilst saving. Pictured, Ria’s living room as she’s refurbishing
She urges others to be resourceful and try to find multiple streams of income to save for the property they really want.
‘When you’re saving for a deposit, work extra,’ she explained. ‘Get a second job, join a temp agency – anything to make that little bit of extra money whilst you save.’
‘As well as working in my regular job, I did nighttime shifts in the evening so I could earn an extra income.
She added: ‘Sometimes the day after. I would have no childcare arranged for Markus so I would look after him having had very little sleep.’
‘It was really hard but it pays off when you have more money to save. If you really want that property then you will do what it takes.’
Ria (pictured with Markus) who worked extra hours in order to increase her income has urged others to try and get a second job or do temp work
Ria revealed there was times when she would have to look after her son despite not having much sleep from working overtime. Pictured, Markus, four
The mother-of-one believes if you really want a property, you will be willing to do what it takes
Ria, (her bedroom pictured during renovation), who now shares her life on YouTube, revealed she has started documenting the renovation of the house and sharing advice on saving
The mother-of-one revealed she hopes to stay in her current house for around seven years before she looks for somewhere new
Ria, (pictured with Markus), has been inspired to keep renovating properties and moving up the housing ladder
While Ria’s house is in need of a lot of modernisation, she was still over the moon when they bought it.
‘Buying a home has also helped me so much in terms of building my social media platform,’ she explained. ‘I now post videos about home renovation on YouTube which has brought in a whole new audience to my channel.’
She continued: ‘As much as I adore our home, I won’t be staying here forever. We want to stay here for another seven years or so. I’m inspired to keep renovating properties now and moving up the housing ladder.
‘I get a lot of requests from my YouTube subscribers for video about buying your first home. I love helping them with advice and documenting our renovation journey on social media’
‘I plan on making more content for first-time buyers and I’m currently making a video on what to look for when viewing a property.’
What advice does Ria have for those looking to get on the property ladder?
MOVE BACK IN WITH YOUR PARENTS: If you can, move back into your parents’ house or your grandparents – anyone who can accommodate you to cut out rent payments whilst saving. It makes a huge difference.
WORK EXTRA: Whether it’s getting a second job, doing extra shifts or joining an agency, find a way to increase your income and save more money. Once you get that extra salary in your bank account, put it straight into your savings.
MANAGE YOUR OUTGOINGS AND SEE WHAT YOU CAN SACRIFICE: Make a list of your expenditure and divide into a list of what is important and what isn’t. Do you need that Hayu subscription? Can you reduce your car insurance? It’s amazing what you can save by re-evaluating your outgoings and getting rid of any non-essential costs!
LIVE LIKE YOU’RE BROKE: This is my favourite tip for anyone wanting to get on the property ladder! Live like you have no money to go on that random meal out or on holiday. Only go out on special occasions and only buy what you need not what you want.