PUB manager Terri Dell is stuck paying rent and fears she will never save enough to buy her own home.
Terri, 25, has been working for four years and earns 34,000 a year.
She pays 540 rent a month for a room in a flat she shares with two other people in Farncombe, Surrey. She is also repaying 18,000 in student loan debt.
She says: I worry that unless I move back in with my parents for a while, Ill never save enough to get on the property ladder.
I probably spend too much going on holiday or out for dinner but I work hard and want to enjoy life.
Terri has around 2,000 in a cash ISA paying 0.5 per cent and ideally she would like to slot away 500 each month into this account. But this has not been possible.
She says: My car was written off last year and I had to buy a new one, which put a spanner in saving plans.
Family loaned her the sum for the car and she has only recently finished paying off this debt.
She says: I get short-term bonuses on top of salary but these arent guaranteed income. I also get tips but they arent big.
Terri would like to buy a two-bedroom flat for 325,000 in St Albans, Herts. She says: Ill be moving near this area soon for another pub job, so Ive been looking at prices there. Ideally she would have a spare room to rent out to help pay the mortgage.
She adds: I dont want to get to 50 and still be giving somebody else money in rent.
MARTIN BAMFORD, of financial adviser Informed Choice, says:
Miss Dell finds herself in a situation shared by many her age. She works hard and earns a good salary but is struggling to get on the property ladder.
A good rule of thumb is to allocate 50 per cent of income after tax towards essential spending and 30 per cent towards nights out and holidays.
The balance, at 20 per cent or around 400 a month for Miss Dell is for savings and debt repayments.
Buying a two-bed flat for 325,000 means saving a deposit of at least ten per cent, or 32,500 in cash. This will take Miss Dell more than five years.
Given property prices are likely to keep rising, its important to throw as much as possible at this moving target.
She could use the Help To Buy equity loan scheme, which slashes the deposit needed to five per cent and has an interest-free loan for a further 20 per cent from the Government. The scheme is for buying new-build properties in England worth up to 600,000.
She could also use the Lifetime ISA, available from April. She can save up to 4,000 a year in this and will get 1,000 as a tax-free top-up from the
Government towards the purchase of a first home in the UK worth up to 450,000.
Getting that dream home means a big effort to save as much as possible including tips or bonuses.
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