A MUM-of-one managed to buy her first home with her partner aged just 24 by working extra night shifts and cutting back on eating out and takeaway coffees.
Ria Alice, now 25, bought a three-bed house in Nottingham for £145,000 in July last year with her boyfriend Reivan Griffin.
News Dog Media Ria Alice, now 25, and her son Markus who’s four-years-old
It took the health-care assistant two years of saving hard for her half of the £14,500 deposit needed for the family-of-three to get on the property ladder.
It wasn’t easy cutting costs while also caring for her four-year-old son Markus but she didn’t have to give up seeing friends to do it.
Ria, Markus and delivery driver Reivan, 26, moved in with her mum to save on rent to help them get started.
She also worked overtime on night shifts to boost her income, which sometimes meant looking after Markus the next day with hardly any sleep.
News Dog Media Ria bought her home with her partner Reivan in July 2018
News Dog Media The couple have spent the past year doing up the Victorian terrace house
News Dog Media Ria has been documenting the renovation work on her YouTube and Instagram channels
She said: “When you’re saving for a deposit, work extra. 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.
“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’s top tips for getting on the housing ladderRIA’S shares her advice on how you can save enough for a deposit:
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: 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.
Ria couldn’t cut back on childcare costs because she had to work but the savvy mum sought out cheap entertainment for Markus such as local activities like Easter Egg hunts and Halloween trails that charge £1 entry or were free.
She continued to hang out with pals too but it meant a cup of tea on the sofa rather than going out for a meal.
Ria also saved and extra £30 a month by cancelling unnecessary subscription services like Hayu, Tidal and Beauty Box, and ditching her daily takeaway coffee.
News Dog Media Ria and Reivan saved a 10 per cent deposit – £14,500 – in two years
News Dog Media Ria saved on entertaining Markus by hunting down free or cheap local events
Shopping around for new car insurance meant her bills dropped from £72 a month to just £58, and she saved even more cash on her phone contract by switching to a sim-only deal.
But she admits that she couldn’t have done it so fast if she hadn’t been able to live with her mum.
She added: “Moving back in with my mum gave me a massive opportunity to be able to save up for a mortgage deposit.
“I was very lucky to be able to do this as it meant not having to pay rent or other household bills elsewhere.”
News Dog Media The pair have been working hard to put their own stamp on the property
News Dog Media The family-of-three spent their first Christmas together in their new home
Ria was “over the moon” when they finally got the keys to their Victorian terraced house but it was in need of some serious renovation work.
Ria and Reivan have spent the first year doing up their house which they document on on her YouTube channel and on Instagram.
But even though she says they’ve “loved” taking on the project, they don’t plan to stay in the house forever.
She said: “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.”
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The Sun runs a series called My First Home where first-time buyers share their tips on how to get on the property ladder.
This week we spoke to Alex Moulton and her partner Matt Priest who nearly missed out on their dream home due to a mortgage adviser’s error which cost them their £4,000 Help to Buy Isa bonus.
Another first-time buyer, Theo Fashesin, 28, quit her job and moved 200miles away from her family in order to buy a house.
First-time buyer spends £285k on London flat that has LESS floor space than a tube carriage
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