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I saved a £30k house deposit in four years - here's how I did it

Anya GairAnya Gair
Last Updated 13 June 2024

Hi, I'm Anya! If you've watched any of our videos, you've likely seen me before. But one thing you might not know about me that is I'm a first-time buyer, too. Like many aspiring home buyers, over the last few years I've been saving up to buy my first home. For most, this is a tough milestone to get to - on average, it takes 10 years to save a house deposit. Which is why I'm really proud that I managed to save my £30,000 house deposit in just four years (with no help from the Bank of Mum and Dad).

So, let's lift the lid on how I did it...

Watch the full video here:

Setting the foundation young

I started my saving journey when I moved to London at the fresh age of 22. Crucially, I opened a Lifetime ISA as soon as I could, as this is one of the best way to save for your first home. You can save up to £4,000 each tax year, and the government will give you a free 25% bonus on top of your savings.

Despite not having a financial background (I studied English Literature at uni, and had limited knowledge of investing), I opted for a Stocks and Shares Lifetime ISA. By investing in indexes, I bypassed the need to have an in-depth understanding of how investing and company valuations worked. This also reduced the risk of my investments because I invested in lots of companies instead of putting all my money in one.

Learn more: How to start investing

Remember, investments can go up as well as down. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to the future. 

Embracing frugality and discipline

As well as investing my house savings, the other crucial element that helped me reach my goal quicker was creating and sticking to a budget. I'm very good at being frugal and have quite a disciplined approach to savings. Over the years, I kept my spending relatively the same even after pay rises and job moves.

Ask anyone in the Tembo team, and they'll tell you I'm known for always bringing in homemade food into work. But this was only one part of it. Living in a less trendy, but more affordable part of London and resisting the temptation to upgrade my lifestyle when my earnings went up was crucial to accelerating my savings.

Overcoming FOMO and peer pressure

I'm at that age where everyone in my social circle and online seems to always be doing cool things - whether it's travelling, starting a business or simply going to a new bar or restaurant every week. I certainly had my fair share of FOMO over the years, but what helped me navigate those moments was remembering that a lot of these things are momentary splurges.

It's so easy to fall into comparing yourself to others, but that's an endless rabbit hole. Instead, I tried to focus on what I was aiming for, and remember that what you see on Instagram is just a highlight reel.

My top saving tips

Before my parting words, I thought I'd share my top tips for those looking to start saving up their house deposit. If you haven't already, open a Lifetime ISA to get an extra 25% boost to your savings for free.

1. Remember, your wealth isn't defined by your salary

When you see your friends, siblings or even strangers on Instagram earning double (or even triple) what you do, it's easy to feel like you're behind. But keep in mind that while someone could be earning double what you do, they could also be spending double what you do.


Instead of thinking wealth = how much you bring home each month, think of it as how much you can save each month. Build good savings habits early, and you'll be in a better position than many that earn more.

Learn more: How much should I save each month?

2. Avoid "lifestyle creep"

When you get a pay rise, promotion or bonus, it's really tempting to adjust your lifestyle to make the most of this extra cash. This is called lifestyle creep, and often happens without you noticing. It's natural to want to spend money on things, that up to this point you've not been able to. But before you sign up to that boujee gym or buy the new iPhone, ask yourself whether you actually need to.


While you should treat yourself every now and then, keeping your lifestyle similar even when you're bringing home more each month and saving the extra £££ instead is a great way to boost your savings.

3. Focus on the next step in front of you

Saving up for a house or retirement is a huge financial goal, which makes it even more rewarding when you finally reach it. But on the way, it's normal to feel like the goalpost is light-years away. Something that really helped me stay motivated was to break up my house deposit goal into smaller money milestones.


At the start of each year, I would set how much I wanted to save in the next 12-months, and work out what I would need to save each month to reach it. I would check in with my progress on a regular basis, which helped me stay on track.


I'm quite creative as a person, so I found drawing visualisations of my process really helped (any fellow BuJo lovers out there? 👀). But this could be as simple as seeing your time to buy whittle down in the Tembo app!

Start saving for your first home today

Open a Tembo Lifetime ISA and save up to £4,000 each tax year. You'll get a free 25% boost to your savings, plus benefit from our in-app money-saving tips and monthly cash giveaways!

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