Four Steps Towards Preparing for a Mortgage

I’m currently in the process of saving up some money, hopefully with an end result of getting a mortgage for my first flat. It’s a very tedious journey, and saving money isn’t easy at times but I’m gradually heading in the right direction. I can’t wait to start doing interiors and home posts for you all! Therefore, today I thought I’d share with you four thrifty ways to pinch the pennies and build a credit score – all with the same end goal of being approved for a mortgage. And this time, I’m planning to do it with real money. Unlike when I played Spend or Save at the GiffGaff Game Night!

Take Packed Lunches

In my opinion, this is the most upsetting penny-pincher of all. Instead of opting for that meal deal, take a packed lunch to work with you! Most offices these days have microwaves and kettles so that you can still have hot meals and a cup of tea/coffee, but cutting back on the daily costa (£2+) and meal deal (£3+) could be saving you over £20 per month. That’s £240 over the space of a year!

Saying goodbye to my favourite Spicy Bean wrap from Tesco is not an easy choice and I do really miss it, so for this reason I usually choose to allow myself ‘treat days’, where I’ll go and pick up my favourite lunch if I’m having a really bad day. This stops myself from falling into bad habits, as I know I always have something to look forward to!

It’s easy to think that packed lunches are boring, but there are some great choices on the BBC GoodFood website to create some easy, tasty packed lunches.


Reduce Your Travel Costs

Reducing travel costs is quite a difficult one, but also the easiest when it comes to saving money. I always have a mental hierarchy of transport, and it’s a great idea to look at whether you could be taking a lower option to save some pennies. For example, if you drive to work, could you look at taking the bus or car-sharing with a colleague? These options both save on petrol costs and also reduce our carbon footprint too, so it’s a win win! Additionally, you should question whether you live close enough to walk or cycle to work. Fortunately, I live in Birmingham and they are currently in the process of setting up a cycle route on my route to work – so I know what I’ll be doing soon! A bike is a large payment, but it’s one off and for me, it cost less than a yearly bus pass to work and I won’t have to keep paying it.

If you have no alternative method of getting to work you can also look at other options, for example drivers may wish to seek out a less expensive petrol station, invest in a hybrid/electric car such as the Nissan Leaf (which I love), or find a car that is less expensive to generally run. On the other hand, you could look at saving money by purchasing bus passes for larger periods of time – I recently saved over £20 by buying monthly bus passes instead of weekly ones, and I save further money by purchasing it through their app on my phone instead of buying a paper version. The 16-25 Railcard is a great purchase if you use trains often!


Build Your Credit Score

This point doesn’t directly save you money, but building a good credit score will help you to generally form a healthier relationship with money as you’ll learn about budgeting and repayments. At the moment, I’m hoping to be able to get a 0% Interest Credit Card so that I can build my score over time, though other options include purchasing a new phone on finance, or taking out a short term loan (through companies such as CashLady). If you do choose these options for building your score, it’s really important that you can get the card or loan paid off in order to both build your credit score, and reduce the interest that you need to pay.

Building a credit score is one of the most vital parts of being approved for a mortgage, so make sure that you don’t forget this part!


Declutter Your Home

Finally, my favourite part of money saving. It’s time for a good old declutter! We all have so many items in our homes that I can guarantee, we all have items that we don’t need or use. It’s worth spending a couple of hours scouring your house for these items and putting them into a box. That way, you can list all of the items on eBay/Depop/Facebook Marketplace at a time that suits you and you can get some money back on those items. In the last two months I’ve earned over £200, just buy selling unwanted clothes and games on eBay. As I didn’t use the items that I sold, I hardly even realise that they are missing. It’s great having some extra money in my savings! Always make sure you have a Google of an item before you sell it, so that you can find out how much the item is worth. You don’t want to sell something for £5 when it’s worth £50! You may enjoy my previous post which outlines how and why you should simplify your space.

I’d love to hear your top moneysaving tips in the comments!

*This post is sponsored by CashLady, though all thoughts and opinions are my own.


  1. Kayleigh Zara
    September 30, 2018 / 8:48 am

    I know how tedious saving can be! I’m a big fan of the everyday costa or Starbucks and it does mount up so easily. My credit score is so ridiculously bad too I should probably try the credit card route to improve it a bit x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌿

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 9:10 am

      Really glad you enjoyed the post Kayleigh – I really need to get working on my credit score! And you can’t go wrong with a hot drink, especially at Christmas! xx

  2. September 30, 2018 / 9:20 am

    Taking a packed lunch makes a HUGE difference, I recently worked that out. You could save so much money, it is easy to think a meal deal is ‘only £4’ but 5 days a week, as you said, soon adds up! Great money saving tips, I do not intend on moving out anytime soon but saving for the future is so important. Loved the post xx

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 10:18 am

      Thanks so much Ellie! I’m glad you liked it xx

  3. September 30, 2018 / 9:31 am

    Great tips!

    I’m not currently saving for a mortgage but I am looking to start saving and being a bit better with money in general so this was good to read 😀

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 10:19 am

      Thanks Louise; I’m glad you enjoyed the post! x

  4. September 30, 2018 / 9:33 am

    Loved this post! Even though I’m not looking into a mortgage, I do have to work on saving some money!

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 10:19 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Chloe! xx

  5. Emma
    September 30, 2018 / 9:43 am

    Fab little post 🙂 do you have a timeframe to when you would like to move out by? Little goals to help towards saving.

    Emma |

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 10:20 am

      I like to think that I could be in my own flat in a couple of years time, but I don’t have a set date yet. It’s something I really need to think about so that I can set a monthly savings goal! xx

  6. September 30, 2018 / 9:56 am

    I’m not even saving for a mortgage and I found these tips really helpful! I’ve grown to absolutely love packed lunches over the summer whilst I’ve been working, I often find there’s a lot more things you can make than you’d expect. The graphics in this post are so cute too, love it.

    Megan //

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 10:21 am

      Thanks Megan – really glad you like the graphics haha! <3

  7. September 30, 2018 / 10:05 am

    I did the same than you a few months ago: I switched my daily meal at work with packed lunches and I saved a LOT! It’s totally worth it!
    I’m also trying to declutter regularly and sell what I’m not using but I can’t find a good platform to do it. I tried the app Shpock but it’s not working that well. I didn’t find Ebay very user friendly but I will give it another try, as it seems to work quite well for everyone 😛

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 10:21 am

      Thank you so much, I’m so glad you agree! I’d definitely recommend eBay and Depop – that way you aren’t tied to the local area! I find shpock good for household items (I sold a mattress on there once) but not so much for clothes etc! xx

  8. September 30, 2018 / 10:13 am

    Such great tips! I’ve just graduated university and planning to rent a place for the next few years while I save up for a deposit on my own home 🙂 I have no idea where to start tbh, it seems so intimidating! But these tips really help! 🙂

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 10:25 am

      Thanks so much Nele! It’s really difficult to know where to start isn’t it! xx

  9. September 30, 2018 / 10:13 am

    I really like this post! I bought my first house earlier in the year and some of these tips made such a real difference for me in saving for the deposit. Good luck with your move when it happens, it’s such an exciting process and something to be so proud of!

    Abi x

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 10:26 am

      Thanks so much Abi – congratulations! I really can’t wait to get on the ladder, but i’m expecting it to take a while!

  10. September 30, 2018 / 10:41 am

    Such very helpful tips, it sure isn’t easy saving for a mortgage though but my goodness it saves so much money making own lunches etc

    Melissa 🌙 | Moonlight Mel

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 1:47 pm

      Thanks so much Melissa! The pennies make the pounds 😉

  11. Gemma Bray
    September 30, 2018 / 11:15 am

    I’m currently in the same boat as you saving for a mortgage! It is hard but once you realise how much you’re actually paying for things over the month, it is an eye-opener. For me, I have actually done a couple of these points, I’m no longer buying in my lunch always taking a packed lunch. Also between myself and the partner, we’re saving by car sharing as he works ten minutes down the road. All these little things, help in the end.

    Gemma |

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 1:48 pm

      Hey Gemma, that’s such a fantastic idea. Cars use up so much money!

  12. September 30, 2018 / 11:17 am

    Well done, girl!!! I’m also saving up for a mortgage – I set up a Help to Buy ISA last year and put some savings into it. I now have my ISA and my other savings account that I put money into each month 🙂
    I’m moving house next year with my parents into a bigger house so I’ll hopefully have less pressure / want to move out so I can save up for the next few years!

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 1:48 pm

      Thanks Keeley! Eep, that’s amazing though – two new bedrooms! 😉 I really need to set up a Help to Buy ISA! <3

  13. September 30, 2018 / 11:27 am

    These are all solid tips and I’m in the same position! I’m slowly saving but don’t want it to take over my life and not allow me to travel etc … sure this will help a few people though!

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 1:49 pm

      Thanks Gary – it’s definitely really important to strike a balance! <3

  14. September 30, 2018 / 12:33 pm

    Some great advise on your post. People often under estimate the importance of having a good credit score and the ways there are to help build it x

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 1:49 pm

      Thanks Claire! xx

  15. September 30, 2018 / 12:34 pm

    Loved this! I’m all about taking packed lunches and decluttering. I work around the corner from Starbucks and when I first started it become an expensive habit. Now it’s a treat. Decluttering is just the best. I love it. Makes the house so much fresher too. Great post.

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 1:50 pm

      Thats’ great news Nina! Starbucks around the corner must be painful – you’ve got a lot of self-restraint! xx

  16. September 30, 2018 / 2:45 pm

    I’ve always loved the idea of selling things online, but the first time I tried, I had such a weird interaction with the person wanting to buy that it completely turned me off! Really loved this post!

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 5:30 pm

      Aww bless you Rebecca, that’s not great! Don’t let one bad experience put you off – I’ve had loads of really smooth transactions! <3

  17. September 30, 2018 / 4:13 pm

    Love this type of post and good luck on your journey towards purchasing your first apartment 🤞 so happy for you and I’m looking forward for more money saving tips and adulting hacks. Great post Chloe 😍❤️

    Kaye –

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 5:31 pm

      Thank you so much Kaye! I can’t wait 😀 <3

  18. September 30, 2018 / 5:26 pm

    My boyfriend and I are trying to save up for a down payment for a house – it’s definitely a challenge! Packed lunches save you so much money over time! All of the $10 meal adds up @__@. Building up credit is essential – especially when you want to avoid relying on others. Thanks for these tips!

    Nancy ♥

    • Chloe_Francis
      September 30, 2018 / 5:31 pm

      Glad you agree! Thank you so much Nancy, glad you liked the post! <3

  19. September 30, 2018 / 5:55 pm

    These are all great tips for someone just starting out to save! We’ve just had our first mortgage appointment and it does fry your brain a bit hearing so much in such a short period of time with all the different figures etc. but it’ll be so worth it in the end! Are you in the UK? If you are have you looked into getting a Help To Buy ISA? We have them and they’re fab in my opinion!

    Jess //

    • Chloe_Francis
      October 3, 2018 / 9:38 pm

      Thanks so much Jess! Ah bless you, good luck with it!

      I am in the UK – and I really need to look into the Help to Buy! Thank you! xx

  20. September 30, 2018 / 7:38 pm

    I always need money saving tips. I’m not at the point of looking to get a mortgage but I am saving for a new car. I think I definitely need to start taking food with me to work instead of buying a meal deal.

    • Chloe_Francis
      October 3, 2018 / 9:39 pm

      Good luck with the car saving Sophie! <3

  21. October 1, 2018 / 4:59 am

    YES! These tips are so important. Packing a lunch really helps you save! A few lunches out can really add up. So can coffee, always bring your own thermos! I’m so grateful that my parents made me get a credit card when I first started working. I had to pay it every month and watch my limits. It’s taught me a lot about money management and I now have a great credit score!

    • Chloe_Francis
      October 3, 2018 / 9:40 pm

      Thanks so much Juliet, I’m glad you agree! Ah, congrats on the credit card. I’m glad you were sensible with it! xx

  22. October 1, 2018 / 11:54 am

    Great tips on saving money and I agree, travel is the hardest cost to cut!!

    • Chloe_Francis
      October 3, 2018 / 9:40 pm

      Thanks so much Rheannon! <3

  23. Cathy Ulrickson
    October 2, 2018 / 2:15 pm

    Good points for those who would like to buy a home! With all the blogs I’ve read, this was a new subject!

    • Chloe_Francis
      October 3, 2018 / 9:40 pm

      Thanks so much Cathy – I’m so glad you enjoyed it! <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
27 − 8 =