WE all love a cheeky Friday night takeaway and trips away – but Tracy Boateng put these luxuries on hold while saving for her first home.
The self-confessed Chinese takeaway fan saved £350 a month by resisting the urge to order her favourite meal to help buy her £420,000 first home.
3Tracy moved into her first-time in June last year after saving hard for years
3The couple used the Help to Buy scheme to get on the ladder
3Tracy made the most of sales and did some DIY herself to lower the cost of furnishing her home
She loved her yearly holidays abroad, but she stopped booking trips away for two years to save £2,000.
The sacrifice was worth it in the end, as clinical case worker Tracy, 27, moved into her dream home in June last year.
It wasn’t just her lifestyle she changed – she switched jobs as well to get a higher wage so she could save more to become a homeowner.
She originally worked in the NHS, but went private to boost her pay packet.

It helped her raise enough cash for the £37,000 deposit needed to secure her home, which she bought alongside partner Yanick Leon, 34, who works in delivery operations at a major company.
They would never have been able to buy their first home without using the Help to Buy scheme.
The government will lend you up to 20% of the value of your property – or 40% if you live in London – under the scheme, and the loan is interest-free for the first five years.
She’s set up an Instagram account to help others get on the ladder too, and shared her story with The Sun as part of its My First Home series.
Tell me about your home

It’s a three-bed townhouse in Chatham, Kent.
It’s a new-build and has solar panels installed – which helps to reduce my energy bills a bit, which will come in handy this winter.
There are two bathrooms, and one toilet.
The house feels open-plan, because you can push back the doors to open up the rooms downstairs.
We have a garden which has a patio area to the back of the house.
There’s a balcony too.
How much was it?
The house was £420,000, but we used the Help to Buy scheme to make it more affordable to buy.
We couldn’t have afforded to buy without it – we took out a £84,000 equity loan.
We chose to use Help to Buy instead of another scheme like Shared Ownership because we wanted to own our home outright.
We took out a £299,000 mortgage over a 35-year term at a five-year fixed rate interest period of 1.95%.
I’m so relieved we fixed for that long – experts predict rates could soar to 6% next year, which could add thousands onto mortgage bills.
Our monthly mortgage repayments are £994.
We put down a £37,000 deposit – around 9%.
How did you afford to furnish it?
Each month, we would buy furniture so the cost of doing up the property would be spread out.
I made sure to buy items on sale to lower costs.
I’ve tried out a bit of DIY myself to put a stamp on our home for less.
I wanted to put in a walk in wardrobe, but was quoted £10,000 for it.
So I went on Ikea’s website to buy my own wardrobes and customised them to fit the space, saving me £8,500.
How did you manage to save for it?
I quit my job in the NHS as a nurse and decided to go private instead back in 2018 because I wanted to save more money for a house.
My starting salary was £26,000 in the NHS, and when I moved jobs, it went up to £35,000 initially – now it’s £40,000.
I also set up my own aesthetics business and worked over the weekend, which helped me raise thousands of pounds to put towards the deposit.
While saving up, I had to make sacrifices – so I also cut down on takeaways, lunches out and holidays to save a lot of money.
I cut down on holidays for two years to save £2,000 – per year, I spend around £1,000 on trips usually.
I’m a big Chinese food addict – but I cut down on takeaways to save money.
I would spend £400 a month ordering food and paying for lunches, but cut this down to £50 a month to give myself the occasional treat.
I cut down on clothes shopping too, saving myself £100 a month by sticking to a rule where I would only by essential things.
When my phone was due to be upgraded, I swapped to a SIM only deal which saved me £35 a month as my contract went down from £50 to £15.
What’s your advice for other first-time buyers?
Make sure you take your credit score seriously.
One of the first things our mortgage broker did was check our scores.
Luckily, they were fine, but I didn’t realise how important they are – banks may not be prepared to lend to you if yours is low.
Although you’ll likely be making sacrifices while saving for a home, it’s worth it when you get your own home at the end of it.
Put a plan in place – and a budget – which will help you stay on track.
Investigate schemes like Help to Buy – it’s a great way to get help.

One couple got £4,500 worth of freebies for their first home.
Another couple took on a second job pulling pints to help pay for their first home.