Wednesday, 11 September 2013

How to Save for a Mortgage

Buying your first home is a huge step for anyone to make as it is very likely to be the biggest purchase you will make in your whole life.  Getting a mortgage is a huge commitment, but probably the best way to invest your hard earned pennies.

Getting onto the property ladder and getting your first mortgage can be a daunting prospect and can often feel like it is an impossible task.  However, it needn't be that way as if you really want to be able to buy your first home then it will happen.  It just requires patience and a lot of saving!

The first thing that I would recommend anyone who is saving to buy their first house to do would be if possible to move back home with their parents. Obviously this is not always an option for many people, but if it is then however difficult it may be it will be worth it.  Parents are likely to offer you better rates than a landlord and would you not rather give your rent to them anyway?!  This is an option that many young people have chosen at the moment as it can be really difficult to pay high rent and save for your first mortgage at the same time.  It is usually the best option because it means you will be able to save much more quickly compared to renting.

I would also suggest paying off all overdrafts and other short term debt if you have it (excluding your student loan if you have one) as soon as possible so that you can focus on saving for your mortgage.

If you don't already have one then get a credit card.  A credit card is a great way to improve your credit rating and ultimately your chances of being able to get a mortgage.  You may think that you have been great with your money up until now, with no debt but unfortunately mortgage providers will not see this as a good thing as they will have no previous history to show your ability to repay debt.  Obviously, only use your credit card for purchases that you require and are able to repay that month.

Saving for your first mortgage does not mean that you have to scrimp and scrape for ages, it just means that you have to be sensible with your purchases.  Make sure that you budget each month so that you know how much you have to spend so that you can still go out and have fun.  The best way to do this is to set a minimum savings target each month so that without fail you know that you will be able to save at least 'x' amount every month. 

For large expenses such as car insurance it is definitely worth paying a lump sum each year if you can so that you save money as do not have to pay the interest.  Create an online savings account and put a small amount of money in it each month so that when your next renewal is due you can pay annually. Online savings accounts are a great way of dividing up your paycheck as soon as it arrives in your account.  If you divide the money into different accounts as soon as you are paid then you will know exactly how much you have left to 'play with' and will avoid dipping into your savings.

The most important thing to remember when saving for your first mortgage is that it is going to take time but it will be worth it in the end.  The more money you can save for your deposit the better in the long run as you will get a better mortgage rate and lower monthly repayments so when you do get to buy your first home you will have more money each month to enjoy it!

Have you got any tips on how to save money when you are saving to get your first mortgage?

Love Laurashopaholic xx

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Leopard Print Love

Hello Fellow Shopaholics!  If there is one print I love more than any other it has to be Leopard Print.  I think that there is no better way to style it than with simple black pieces.  I can't wait to style my new Leather Look Skater Skirt with a black blouse and then these killer Leopard Print Heels from Zara. I have also recently purchased a Leopard print mini skirt from the new M&S Autumn collection which I am considering styling with the black blouse and then clashing it with the heels.

Leather Skater Skirt Primark - Get the Look here
Black Long Sleeve Blouse - Get the Look here
Leopard Print Heels - Zara (old)
Leopard Print Skirt £35 - Marks & Spencer

I always think that there is a very fine line when styling leopard print, but as long as you keep it simple and choose the print carefully then you can achieve a chic, sophisticated look that will see you through season after season.

Love Laurashopaholic xx

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Peep Show

Hello Fellow Shopaholics!  This is my first outfit post in what seems like ages. I went out for dinner and drinks for my best friends birthday last night and this is what I wore. In true British style the weather was 30 degrees on Thursday and then typically yesterday it was raining and to be honest it felt like Autumn was on its way, hence I opted for long sleeves.

Long sleeve 'No Peep' Blouse £35 - Autograph at Marks & Spencer
Black Leather Look Skater Skirt - Similar from MissGuided
Necklace - Dorothy Perkins
Tan Sandals - Topshop
I have been banging on about the new Autumn Winter collection in Marks & Spencer for ages now and this week it finally launched.  I was so excited to pick up the Leopard Print coat that I was lusting over here which I will featured in future blog posts.  I have been looking for a quality nude coloured blouse for a while now and when I found this Autograph 'No Peep' Blouse in M&S I just had to snap it up.  The 'No Peep' really does mean that you cannot see through it despite it being such a light colour and you do not have to wear a cami underneath.

The blouse has black leather detailing so it worked perfectly with a leather look skater skirt which also toughened it up for more of an evening look.  I then added a chunky necklace from Dorothy Perkins and my Tan Heels.

Even if you are not usually a fan of M&S I would definitely take a peek at the new collection.  Belinda Earl and her team have done a fantastic job of revitalising Womenswear at M&S.  Their Leading Ladies Campaign launched this week and features Helen Mirren, Katie Piper and Ellie Goulding.

Love Laurashopaholic xx

Sunday, 1 September 2013

What's in My Make Up Bag?

Hello Fellow Shopaholics!  I thought that I would share with you my everyday beauty favourites that are currently in my make up bag.  I love sharing make up tips with other girls and without the advice of friends, my sister and other beauty blogs quite frankly I think I would look like a little girl who had gone through her mums make up bag!  These are the products that I use for an everyday look.

The Mascara
Firstly, my us girls tend to go through pretty much every mascara until we find one that we like.  Maxfactor False Lash Effect Fusion mascara in black has to be my all time favourite.  I think it usually costs around £11.99 but I always buy it in bulk in Boots when it is on offer 3 for 2. It gives a lovely thick dark look to your lashes. I have tried all of the Falsh Lash Effect range by Maxfactor and this has to be the best by far.

The Foundation
I use L'Oreal Infallible Foundation in 200 every day as it gives a great coverage and I find that it is not quite matte yet not shiny.  You can use only a little for everyday and then even if you cake it on for an evening look it does not look too thick.

The Concealer
Rimmel Wake Me Up in 040 is perfect to hide those dark circles or blemishes and the shade blends evenly with my foundation.

Bronzing/ Blushing/ Contouring
I have included my absolute favourite products to use for bronzing, blushing and contouring.  Bella Bamba by Benefit gives a fantastic pink pop of colour to your cheeks. Powderazzi is a gift I received for Christmas that includes three fantastic shades from Benefit - Hoola, Coralista and Dallas which I also have the full size version of aswell.  I love Benefit bronzers as they give really intense, long-lasting colour.  I also use MAC Powder Blush in Buff Matte which is great as an alternative more subtle colour for my cheeks.  My fave bronzing brush is my Autograph one from M&S.  I have to say it is getting a little tired so any suggestions for a new one would be greatly received as they no longer sell this one.

That Gal from Benefit is my go to primer as it is easily applied and smells fantastic.  It offers a great base for your make up and is light enough to wear everyday.

Eyeliner is probably my one item of make up that I could not live without.  I have used the Rimmel Kohl pencil in 061 Jet Black for as long as I can remember.  I have used others but always go back to this one as it is just so easy to apply and blends easily. As you can see this one is starting to become a very small pencil so will need a new one soon!  For an everyday natural look for my brows I use the Rimmel Eyebrow pencil in 001 Dark Brown.

As you can see my make up bag is pretty simple and affordable.  I think it is great to experiment with new products and love finding ones that work for you that you keep going back to time and time again.

What do you think of the items in my make up bag?
Have you ever used any of the items I use on a daily basis?

Love Laurashopaholic xx