Molly Beard managed to buy a home by herself long before she turned 30 – without being gifted a chunk of cash either.
Instead, the 27-year-old cut back where she could on spending, and found clever solutions to make more of her savings, seeing her amass an incredible £30,000 in four years.
And the first bill she cut back on was rent.
“It is not worth £400 a month to rent a rubbish studio flat somewhere,” Molly said.
So when she finished her degree, she moved back in with her parents – paying them £100 a month at first, rising to £150 after she got a pay rise.
One bill down, she started attacking others.
“I switched to a SIM only phone,” Molly told The Sun .
“I used money from my savings – £200 – to buy a phone outright – and then paid £15 a month.
“This saved me over a £1,000 because I wasn’t paying out the £50 a month that I was on my previous contract, and the phone lasted for three years. “
Then it was time to save cash on the car.
“I also started car sharing and at one point there were four of us in the pool saving me £10 to £15 a week. I still car share now,” she said.
The next cost to cut was clothes.
“Before saving for a house I used to spend £100 a month on clothes because if I went out I would wear something new,” Molly said.
“I switched to getting my clothes from car boot sales and now I never buy anything new and spend about £40 a month.
“I used to get three new things for £100 but with car boots I get about 20 things for my budget.”
Cosmetics came next.
“After a bit of research, I also downshifted my cosmetics to save cash,” she said.
“For example, I use a hot cloth cleanser from Aldi that costs £3.99 when the Liz Earle equivalent is £24.”
By the end of all the cost-cutting, it was time to work out how to boost her savings.
“As soon as I moved home I started putting £500 a month into an instant savings account,” Molly said.
“Also whatever I had left at the end of the month I transferred across to my savings account which was usually another £200.”
But as impressive as that was, she found better ways to save.
“After about a year I joined the Sharesave scheme at work and put the maximum in which was £250 a month and I reduced my savings to £250,” she said.
And that work scheme gave her her first savings boost.
“I managed to save £7,000 over three years in the Sharesave scheme.”
That wasn’t the only thing she did to up her returns though.
“I also opened a help-to-buy ISA after I had been at Next for a year and moved £1,000 from my savings into it to get the maximum bonus,” Molly said.
The help-to-buy ISA is a Government scheme that adds 25% to your savings if you use them to buy your first home.
The biggest bonus you can get is £3,000, but that takes 4 years of regular saving. Molly didn’t quite manage that, but she did get a boost.
“By the end I had £1,800 in the ISA and then got my 25% bonus from the Government. It worked out as an extra £450,” she explained.
And it all added up.
“In four years I saved £30,000. I used £25,000 for the deposit, £1,345 for fees and the rest was left to buy appliances and other things for the house,” she said.
And that was enough, combined with a mortgage, to buy her first home – a £195,000 two-bed period terrace opposite a pub.
It’s fair to say the feeling of getting the keys in her hand was worth the sacrifice.
“It was amazing. I got them after work on a Friday and just went straight into the house,” Molly said.
“I couldn’t believe it was mine.”
He mortgage costs her £697 a month, but bills are brought down by her boyfriend James Cooke, 28. As they live together, he pays her £450 a month for his share of the bills.
How We Bought Our First Homes
And her advice to anyone trying to follow in in her footsteps?
“Live at home for as long as you can. If it is possible to live there then just put up with your mum,” Molly said.
“It is hard and you don’t have freedom living under their roof, not paying much but it is worth it in the end.”