Getting on the property ladder can seem like a mammoth task, and amassing a big enough deposit without hefty donations from loved ones may seem impossible to many. But, keen to purchase her own home without the financial support of family or loans, Jade Vanriel, 26, made the decision to make it her mission to save. And save, she most certainly did.
In seven years, at the age of 23, the law graduate had saved enough money to purchase her first property, buying in Essex.
Despite having opened a Help to Buy ISA, which is now no longer open to new savers but offers a 25 percent government bonus up to £3,000, circumstances meant that she couldn’t make the most of this additional money.
“I actually did open a Help to Buy ISA but I didn’t have it long enough so I couldn’t use it,” she told Express.co.uk during an exclusive interview at the Skipton Building Society event “Keys To Your First Home”, before confirming that she also didn’t have a Lifetime ISA – a different scheme which offers a 25 percent government bonus but which has different rules.
“I didn’t use any scheme,” she explains, before going on to detail her seven-year savings journey for buying the property.
The homeowner explained that the first five years of saving money was “from part-time jobs while at college and uni”.
A law graduate and now a YouTuber and Lifestyle Blogger, Jade added that the final part of her time saving for the property, was “two years of solid saving from my first grad job, and saving everything that I didn’t need after travelling”.
Living with her aunt while she saved, Jade paid a “small amount” of rent to her aunt, and spent money on food. “Everything else was saved,” she said.
Jade has said she managed to save £27,000 for her deposit over the seven year period, and at 23, bought her two-bed flat.
She has previously said that the total amount of her mortgage was around £200,000.
Saving money can be a tough task for a whole host of reasons – how did Jade find it?
“At the beginning it was a lot harder. It got easier with time, just because my savings were growing, and so it felt a bit more realistic, and I actually had a tangible amount there,” she recalled.
“But I would constantly keep reminders around myself just to remind me of what my goal was.”
It wasn’t without sacrifice either – with Jade opting to meal prep rather than dine out, letting herself splurge on just one day each week.
“I would save really hard but then now and again treat myself just to have a little bit of balance,” she explained. “But I was saving everything I didn’t need just to try and get myself there a bit quicker.”
Fast forward three years, and Jade is now on her second two-year fixed mortgage.
What’s the homeowner’s experience been like so far?
She explains she’s made some overpayments on her mortgage, and is looking to buy a property in the near future, before renting her current home out.
The decision behind her potential second purchase? “I’m ready for a house,” she said. “I mean it’s been three and a half years now, so by then it should be four years going onto five years, so I’m just ready for the next property and the next step.”
With the mortgage to pay off, she says saving can seem “never-ending”.
However, the homeowner did take a well-earned break from her strict budget after landing the keys to her abode.
“I gave myself the first year off of not having to do too much financially because it was such a struggle getting to that point,” she said. “But then after a year, I said to myself, ‘Back to business. Back to saving properly and really being smart.’”
She says of saving these days: “I’m not as intense [with saving] because it’s not as urgent, and also the next time I buy a home will be with somebody so hopefully it’s a little bit easier.
Nevertheless, Jade is employing the same savings tactics as she used in the past, using standing orders to ensure spare cash goes into accounts automatically, and having ‘no-spend’ days.”