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Case study: Side Hustling to Become a First Time Buyer

Vicky Parry 8th Sep 2022 No Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

“I have saved over £17k Using Apps, Surveys and Other Side Hustles and now I am a first time buyer.”

Buying a house seems totally unattainable to so many. Stuck in the pattern of too-high rent and too-low wages can trap so many of us. Yet people are still doing it. In fact over 350,000 young people and families have been helped into homeownership with Help to Buy since its launch in 2013.

Barclays Bank did a study into an apparent hike in home ownership over the past year and found that, “The number of first time buyers had doubled.” This, however, was suggested to be with the help of family: 58 percent in fact cited “family help” as the reason they were able to buy their homes.

first time buyerTherefore, for those of use who don’t have family money, or even a family, where does that leave us? Well, this young person has given many people hope. Via her Social Media platform, Phillippa Thomson has shown that in just four years she has managed to save for her first deposit and now, her and her partner have found a flat and their dream has become a reality. We sat down with Phillippa to pick her brain and find out all of the incredible ways she has found to make extra income and to focus all of her saving on this incredible goal.


What made you start saving for a home at such a young age?

I wanted to get on the property ladder at a young age as I knew that property prices were going to keep rising. I also wanted to gain more independence and further my relationship with my partner by having the funds to buy a place and move in with him.

Can I ask what your job is and take home wage?

I am a Senior Legal Secretary at a firm of Solicitors. I started off as an apprentice and have worked my way up. I am hoping to do a CILEX law course in the future to further my career.

How much of the wage goes into the Help to Buy Account and what proportion of your usual wages is this ?

About 1/8 of my monthly wage goes into my Help to Buy ISA each month. I have been saving £200 each month for around 3 years.

How much have you saved so far?

I have saved £17,000 so far, I started saving when I was 18, I am now 22.

Have you had any help from friends or family?

I am in the process of buying an apartment with my partner and my parents are buying us a brand new bed, and they are also gifting us their old sofas which we are very thankful for.

Can you break down all the ways you are making extra income?

I have an Instagram account (@savingforahouse2022) on which I share all of my extra income sources.

I generate extra income by using various apps, which include survey, investment and cashback apps. I also share useful referral links for my friends and followers to use which is beneficial for myself and those using the links.

My partner and I also frequently sell at car boot sales to get rid of our unwanted items. It is a fun and easy way to make money.

Which are you finding the most cost effective?

I find survey apps to be the most cost effective, as it is a very consistent form of income. There are always surveys available to complete and for minimal work you are usually paid well. Low effort and good reward.

How much additional income do you average on per month?

I earn around £600 in additional income per month.

Does this leave you any wriggle room for holidays and fun?

Yes, I went on holiday last month to Greece.

“I spend about an hour and a half a day using my side hustle apps and creating Instagram posts. This leaves me with plenty of time to have a good work life balance.”

Finally, how much are you hoping to set aside to finally get that deposit and how long are you thinking this will take?

I have my deposit ready, I am buying an apartment with my partner and we are paying for half of the £15,800 deposit each. My half is £7,900, which has been saved for over three years.

If you could go back to the start of this journey, are there any additional things you would like to tell your past self that you have learnt along the way?

I wish I’d come across the money-saving community on Instagram sooner, as I may have been able to generate and saving for a housesave more money.

On reflection, apart from wishing that I had started sooner, I am actually really proud of what I have achieved and my approach to finances. I have always been focused on saving as much as possible whilst still allowing myself to have fun and have occasional treats. It is very easy to fall into the trap of living payslip to payslip but the best rule to live by is ‘everything in moderation’.

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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