Martin Lewis explains how putting £1 in a bank account could be key to owning a house before turning 40
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In the modern world, owning a home can feel like a pipe dream, especially as we try to navigate the cost of living crisis.
But according to money-saving expert Martin Lewis, there's one simple step you can take today if you'd like to be a homeowner by the age of 40.
Lewis made the revelation as part of his 23 quick tips to save money for 2023, and it really is a must-know.
He explained that if you're dreaming of home ownership, a good step you can take today is putting just £1 into a Lifetime ISA.
A Lifetime ISA, for those unfamiliar, is a government-operated scheme designed to help people aged between 18 and 39 save for their first home.
Providing that home costs less than £450,000, the account automatically adds interest and a 25% boost to whatever deposit you save off your own back.
However, in order to get this free cash boost from the government on your savings, you need to have your Lifetime ISA (Individual Savings Account) open for at least a year.
Thankfully, all you need to open the account is £1, so even if you're not in a position to start saving right now, you can, as Lewis noted, get the clock ticking today.
As revealed by the government, even if you're 39 and think you're too old for the scheme to apply to you, it does.
This is because you can continue adding to your Lifetime ISA until the age of 50 - the key here is that it's opened before you're 40.
You can put up to £4,000 into your Lifetime ISA every year, and the government will give you a 25% bonus on your savings up to £1,000.
It's also worth noting that you can add stocks or shares to the account as well as cash.
However, a Lifetime ISA is not your typical savings account, and any money deposited can only be withdrawn for one of three reasons - to buy your first home, if you're over the age of 60, or if you're terminally ill with less than 12 months to live.
If you decide to take anything out before then, you'll be charged a 25 percent withdrawal charge on the removal of cash or other assets.
But given how difficult it can be to save these days, especially with soaring inflation, if you've got your heart set on eventual homeownership, the Lifetime ISA is a surefire way to help you get the most out of your savings.
If you're not the best at maths, to put the bonus into context, if you deposit £1,000, the government will add an extra £250 to your savings each year.
Check out the rest of Martin's money-saving tips for 23 here.
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