Woman, 25, reveals she saved £50,000 in two years to buy first home


Woman, 25, reveals how she saved £50,000 in two years to buy three-bed London home – including selling her holiday days at work, living with family and using credit cards for cash-back

  • Hilary Iyoha, 25, from south east London, saved £2,000 per month for two years
  • Banking analyst sold holiday days at work and used credit cards for cash-back
  • She managed to buy her first property, a three-bedroom house, earlier this year
  • The supersaver said: ‘Budgeting is not a one size fits all; do what works for you’

With property prices rising sharply in recent years, many young people have been pushed off the ladder.

Offering hope to first-time buyers everywhere, Hilary Iyoha, 25, from south east London, has revealed how she saved £50,000 in less than two years to buy her first property.

The investment banking analyst bought a three-bedroom house in Bexley earlier this year after putting away £2,000 per month into her savings.

She is now sharing her tips on how she did it, so others can too, explaining: ‘I think there is a very rigid narrative when it comes to budgeting. It’s not a one size fits all; the most important thing is doing what works for you.’

However, it’s worth noting that Hilary was living with her family while saving, meaning she didn’t have rent or other bills to pay. 

Offering hope to first-time buyers everywhere, Hilary Iyoha (pictured), 25, from south east London, has revealed how she saved £50,000 in less than two years to buy her first property

Offering hope to first-time buyers everywhere, Hilary Iyoha (pictured), 25, from south east London, has revealed how she saved £50,000 in less than two years to buy her first property

The investment banking analyst bought a three-bedroom house (pictured) in Bexley earlier this year after putting away £2,000 per month into her savings

The investment banking analyst bought a three-bedroom house (pictured) in Bexley earlier this year after putting away £2,000 per month into her savings

She is now sharing her tips on how she did it, so others can too, explaining: 'I think there is a very rigid narrative when it comes to budgeting. It's not a one size fits all; the most important thing is doing what works for you.'. Pictured, Hilary's home

She is now sharing her tips on how she did it, so others can too, explaining: ‘I think there is a very rigid narrative when it comes to budgeting. It’s not a one size fits all; the most important thing is doing what works for you.’. Pictured, Hilary’s home

'I've always been financially savvy,' Hilary (pictured) said. 'I used to be that kid who would save up my weekly £10 lunch money at school if I wanted to buy something'

‘I’ve always been financially savvy,’ Hilary (pictured) said. ‘I used to be that kid who would save up my weekly £10 lunch money at school if I wanted to buy something’

‘I’ve always been financially savvy,’ Hilary said. ‘I used to be that kid who would save up my weekly £10 lunch money at school if I wanted to buy something.

‘I’ve always recognised the value of money but understanding how to use it and make it work for you is the real tea.’

Hilary’s key tips for saving are fairly straight-forward: cut out any unnecessary spending, use credit cards for cash-back and create a budget that works for your needs.

Hilary’s tips for super saving  

– Cut out any unnecessary spending

– Use credit cards for cash-back and any added benefits (e.g. accumulating points to use on flights) 

– Create a budget that works for your needs 

– Sell holiday days to increase monthly income 

– Reduce pension contribution

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The savvy businesswoman put aside £2,000 per month – representing two-thirds of her salary – for almost two years.

Out of her outgoings, 24 per cent went to general expenses.

She said: ‘Two-thousand pounds was a good part of my monthly income at the time, but during the pandemic where nothing was really open and I was working from home and living with family rent-free, with little to no financial responsibility, it wasn’t too hard.’

Aside from budgeting, Hilary shared a few more specific tips on how others can save money – whether they live at home or not.

She said: ‘I would use my credit card to spend and then pay back the full balance in the following month, thereby avoiding any interest.

‘Spending on my credit card also has benefits such as accumulating Avios points, which can be used to cover or reduce the cost of flights.

‘I sold holiday days at work which increased my monthly income.’

Hilary also reduced her pension contribution by around 20 per cent. 

The super saver believes in giving back too, having donated 10 per cent of her monthly salary to charitable causes, including her local church.

She said: ‘Tithing is something I deem to be an essential and I take it seriously.

Hilary's (pictured) key tips for saving are fairly straight-forward: cut out any unnecessary spending, use credit cards for cash-back and create a budget that works for your needs

Hilary’s (pictured) key tips for saving are fairly straight-forward: cut out any unnecessary spending, use credit cards for cash-back and create a budget that works for your needs

The savvy businesswoman put aside £2,000 per month – representing two-thirds of her salary – for almost two years. Pictured, Hilary's home

The savvy businesswoman put aside £2,000 per month – representing two-thirds of her salary – for almost two years. Pictured, Hilary’s home

Out of Hilary's (pictured) outgoings, 24 per cent went to general expenses. However, it's worth noting that Hilary was living with her family while saving, meaning she didn't have rent or other bills to pay

Out of Hilary’s (pictured) outgoings, 24 per cent went to general expenses. However, it’s worth noting that Hilary was living with her family while saving, meaning she didn’t have rent or other bills to pay

‘I also found that giving tithes didn’t impede my ability to save…[it] actually motivated me to save and spend more consciously.’

Hilary began her search for a home in September 2021 and had put offers on three properties before she saw the one: a three-bedroom, mid-terrace 1930s house in Bexley, which was close to her parents’ home and in good condition.

She got the keys in February 2022, explaining:  ‘I was happy – I don’t think I fully registered that it was mine. I’m not always the most expressive person, but I was proud of myself.

Aside from budgeting, Hilary shared a few more specific tips on how others can save money – whether they live at home or not. Pictured, her home

Hilary's home, pictured

Aside from budgeting, Hilary shared a few more specific tips on how others can save money – whether they live at home or not. Pictured, her home

Hilary also reduced her pension contribution by around 20 per cent. Pictured, Hilary's home

Hilary also reduced her pension contribution by around 20 per cent. Pictured, Hilary’s home

‘The time between your offer being accepted and when you get the keys can be quite long, so it’s easy to get disillusioned – but it’s worth it in the end.’

Having studied money banking and finance at university, Hilary already has a strong base of knowledge, but says that social media is a ‘game-changer’ for building up financial literacy.

This has also inspired Hilary to share her own story and advice on her TikTok account (@thefashionbanker) and on Instagram (@ihilarity).

The super saver (pictured) believes in giving back too, having donated 10 per cent of her monthly salary to charitable causes, including her local church

The super saver (pictured) believes in giving back too, having donated 10 per cent of her monthly salary to charitable causes, including her local church

Hilary began her search for a home in September 2021 and had put offers on three properties before she saw the one: a three-bedroom, mid-terrace 1930s house (pictured) in Bexley, which was close to her parents' home and in good condition

Hilary began her search for a home in September 2021 and had put offers on three properties before she saw the one: a three-bedroom, mid-terrace 1930s house (pictured) in Bexley, which was close to her parents' home and in good condition

Hilary began her search for a home in September 2021 and had put offers on three properties before she saw the one: a three-bedroom, mid-terrace 1930s house (pictured) in Bexley, which was close to her parents’ home and in good condition

Hilary said: ‘I am someone who has benefited – both in my career and property journey – from other people sharing, so I want to do the same for others and to try to add value.

‘Not everything I say is applicable to everyone, as people’s circumstances vary, but the idea was that, in being transparent about how I [bought a property], it can potentially be of help to someone.

‘I think it’s important to be open with money. I also think that representation matters – it’s good to see young, black females doing great things.’

Hilary (pictured) got the keys in February 2022, explaining: 'I was happy – I don't think I fully registered that it was mine. I'm not always the most expressive person, but I was proud of myself

Hilary (pictured) got the keys in February 2022, explaining: ‘I was happy – I don’t think I fully registered that it was mine. I’m not always the most expressive person, but I was proud of myself

Having studied money banking and finance at university, Hilary (pictured) already has a strong base of knowledge, but says that social media is a 'game-changer' for building up financial literacy

Having studied money banking and finance at university, Hilary (pictured) already has a strong base of knowledge, but says that social media is a ‘game-changer’ for building up financial literacy

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