How to Afford Life’s Biggest Expenses – Mortgage, Marriage and Children

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There are three most important, and largest, financial decisions that we will ever make in our lifetime; buying a house, getting married and having children. All three of these decisions can seem like a completely daunting prospect at first, especially when it comes to saving, but this guide should help put your mind at ease.

Mortgage

Moving house is one of the most stressful things we’ll ever do in our lifetime, and buying it doesn’t help with that stress. A lot of people worry that they will never be able to afford a mortgage and, therefore, have to live in rented accommodation forever. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some of our top tips for those looking at buying a new home:

  • Pick a place – We don’t mean you have to pick your perfect home right away, but you do need something to work towards. Pick the area you want to live in and then look around for houses in this area. This way you’ll get a better idea of exactly how much your new home may cost, and how much you need to save for it. Don’t forget that house prices can rise and fall drastically, so add an extra 10% to your savings budget – just in case.

  • Save 1% at a time – A deposit on a new home can be extremely expensive, we’re talking tens of thousands of pounds, and this thought alone can make it seem impossible. Instead of trying to tackle the whole load at once, break it down into 1% lumps. Say your deposit is £20,000, each 1% would be £200; much more manageable. Every time you save up £200 you’ve conquered a whole percent of your deposit!

Marriage

Next on the list is marriage, which is supposed to be stress-free and full of bliss. The rising costs of weddings are causing a lot of people to end up in debt, however, which is not the way you want to start you new life together. If you’ve been looking at three stone engagement rings for weeks, but are now worried that you’re not going to be able to afford the ceremony, then here are our top tricks:

  • Book in advance – Everything seems to go up in price the longer you leave it, so it’s best to book as much as you can in advance. Most venues, caterers and cake makers, will accept a deposit for the time being and let you pay in installments. This means you can secure the price they’re advertising in 2014 and not get married until 2016; when the prices have gone up again!

  • DIY weddings – Do it yourself weddings have grown extremely popular with young couples around the world. We’re not saying you have to do everything yourself, but there are some things you can do to cut costs. How about making your own table decorations? Maybe even your own food? Work out what you, your friends and your family can do to help towards the cost of your big day.

Children

Finally, the biggest expense in our life; children. It is estimated that children cost us nearly a quarter of a million pounds to raise, up until the age of 18. Although being 18 doesn’t necessarily mean that their financial obligation stops there! If you are thinking of having children but are unsure how you’ll afford them, then follow these great tips:

  • Vouchers and coupons – There are plenty of new baby clubs, children clubs and reward schemes that are set up just for parents. These can provide you with plenty of money saving offers, vouchers and coupons against the things you use the most. Make use of these handy freebies!

  • Childminding – One of the biggest expenses in a young child’s life is the cost of childminding, especially if you’re a working parent. The government have various schemes available in order to help you with these costs, so find out what you’re entitled to before forking out.

We hope these tips and tricks have put your mind at ease about life’s biggest expenses, if only a little bit. Remember, these three decisions are supposed to be happy times in our life, so enjoy them!

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