Buying a home: how to save money without missing out

If you’re saving up to buy a home, finances can be tight. But there’s no need to lock yourself away – there are still lots of ways to have fun and enjoy a little luxury without breaking the bank.

Our top tips

Save money on going out

If you’re a culture vulture, then you’ll be delighted to know that a huge number of galleries and museums across the UK are free to enter - has a comprehensive list. Take a packed lunch and you can have a cultured weekend on a budget.

But if you’re more of a foodie, there are also ways to get a restaurant meal for free. If you become a mystery shopper with a firm like Marketforce, you’ll get paid to eat out in restaurants. If you want to keep things more intimate, you could always organise a ‘come dine with me’ experience with a group of friends, taking it in turns to cook three-course meals for one another.

Look good for next to nothing

Haircuts can be expensive, but becoming a model for a trainee hairdresser can slash the cost to as little as £5. And if you want to refresh your wardrobe for free, there are various clothes swap events across the UK. encourages visitors to host ‘Swishing parties’ where each attendee brings – and receives in turn – at least one item of clothing for free.

But if you’re after something a bit special that your budget can’t stretch to, lists high-end, secondhand designer clothes for a fraction of their original price.

You can earn money hiring your space or belongings

If you have a driveway, parking space or garage on your property, YourParkingSpace or JustPark can rent it out for you. And Storemates can turn your garage into a paid storage facility.

It's not just your space you can rent out – Spinlister lets you hire out your bike, snowboard or surfboard when they would otherwise be sitting idle.

Take a break on a budget

Holidays tend to be the first to go when budgets are tight. But you can find bargains out there. Flight-comparison sites like Skyscanner and Kayak can help you find the cheapest possible air travel. While house-swapping sites, such as Love Home Swap, let you trade homes with people across the globe, slashing accommodation costs to zero.

Volunteering is a great way to see the world for very little money. VSO will pay for all travel, vaccinations and accommodation in return for your time and expertise as you help out communities in Africa and Asia.

VisitBritain lists some of the best things to do in the UK for absolutely nothing.

Save money without missing out

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