With rising energy costs and a higher cost of living, it’s difficult to cut costs. However, if you’re going to be applying for a new mortgage in the next six months it’s worth making some temporary changes to your outgoings.
When lenders consider lending to you, they will look at your outgoings and will adjust what they will lend you based on what you spend each month. Cut back on non-essentials such as TV channel subscriptions such as Netflix and Prime, gym membership, luxuries, meals out, take away coffee (which could add up to as much as £60 per month having just one coffee a day!). By making some sacrifices for a few months before you secure a mortgage, you could end up being able to borrow more.
Consider an energy efficient, low maintenance property
If mortgage rates are making it difficult to purchase the property you want, opt for a new build home which will have very low maintenance costs and low energy bills each month. A new efficient home with double glazing, efficient boiler and appliances and good insulation you could save a lot of money on your energy bills especially in the cold winters. In addition, you won’t have any renovation or redecorating costs to allow for.
Increase your deposit
If you want to offset any interest rate rises, consider saving for a larger deposit or asking a family member to help. There are several mortgages that will enable you to purchase a property using a deposit from a parent or grandparent.
Utilise your spare room
If you have a spare room in your home and want to pass mortgage lenders’ affordability tests, consider renting out a room. This could help you make up the shortfall.
How to make your home greener
Last week Ofgem put up the energy price cap, with another rise expected in January. The great thing about a newly built home is that it will be energy efficient – with double glazing, high performing insulation, an efficient boiler and appliances. But by making other changes you can make your home greener and save more on your energy bills. Here are some tips:
Turn off appliances
By leaving your electrical items on standby you will be consuming energy even though the items aren’t being used. Turn them off at the plug to keep your electricity bills down including your television, games consoles, computers, printer, lamps and rarely used items. You could also invest in wireless plugs which you can control from your mobile phone. When you purchase a new appliance such as a fridge, freezer, computer or monitor for example, they will give you the energy rating. Try to opt for items that are energy efficient and rated D or above.
Changing your energy supply to a renewable source could cost money initially but it’s worth checking to see what your council can offer as they have grants for renewable energy sources such as an air or ground source heat pump. If you have an old boiler or live in an older property you can also qualify for a new boiler and cavity wall insulation.
Finally, consider solar panels especially if you have an electric car.
Eat less meat
Be aware that a meat-based diet will increase your carbon footprint so it’s worth cutting down. Not eating red meat and eating more plant-based products will have a significant impact on your carbon footprint.
Be mindful when food shopping
Over 9.5 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK each year. This is a waste of your money and contributes to the amount of CO2 created by landfills. Shop smart and plan meals ahead to avoid any waste. There are also food box deliveries that only give you what you need for each meal. You could also compost your leftovers rather than place them in your food bin.
Make sure you recycle your plastic and cardboard. It’s worth noting that plastic should be cleaned otherwise it will contaminate your entire bin. Also recycle batteries at drop off bins in supermarkets. Try to also reduce your plastic use – when shopping try to buy loose fruit and veg rather than buying pre-packaged items.
Use LED lightbulbs
LED lightbulbs last longer than standard bulbs and are efficient too – helping to keep your energy consumption down. This is especially important in the winter when it’s darker for longer.
Use eco-friendly products
Many of our household cleaning products contain harmful chemicals. Repeated exposure can cause harm to you and your family – and will contaminate the water. Try to use green products which are just as effective and a lot kinder to you and the planet.
Use a microwave and air fryer
An oven uses a lot of electricity and by switching to an air fryer which heats up straight away and a microwave which can heat food quickly, you’ll save money.
Grow your own veg
Growing your own veg will save you money and is also very satisfying! You will be cutting down on costs as well as your carbon footprint. Use windowboxes for herbs and consider a raised box in the garden or your balcony for tomatoes, carrots, cabbage and many other options!