Whether you are buying or building, it’s not a secret that investing in a home can be expensive. Just the down payment alone can look so steep that it seems impossible to save up for. But when you’re signing on the dotted line to purchase a home, you’ll be happy that you started saving now.
Like many things in life, saving your money requires two things: discipline and sacrifice.
You have to be extremely disciplined in order for your savings to hit your desired amount. If you’re not, the length of time it takes you to save will only increase. It’s a good idea to have someone with your best interest in mind hold you accountable to help you stay self-controlled until your goal is met.
Saving money also means not spending any. And we all know that not spending money requires a sacrificial attitude. Keep your eyes on the prize. This will help as you give up certain things in your life in order to reach your goal. You know that all the saving and sacrificing will be worth it when you’re standing in your very own house.
It’s also important to remember that sacrificing looks different for everyone. What may be difficult for you to give up may be incredibly easy for someone else to give up. This all depends on your lifestyle and where you spend your money. By budgeting and managing your money, you can easily see where your money gets spent, which will then reveal to you the things you value most. This might be a great place to begin putting up some boundaries and setting some rules for spending.
Ideas To Help You Save
- Ditch the coffee shop and get your java at home instead. You would be surprised at the amount it can save you.
- Register for a Netflix or Hulu account to take away paying a high monthly cable bill.
- Keep a money jar somewhere safe. As you store up extra change here and there, toss it in and watch it grow.
- Take on a few additional odd jobs and designate that extra money to go directly toward your savings.
- Bring your lunch to work instead of eating out. This can save you a ton of money, and probably some calories, too!
- Budget your money. Watch where your money is going and try to set a monthly limit for your spending categories, such as groceries, clothes, and entertainment.
- Save your coupons. Collect coupons from your favorite places to shop and use them on the items you need.
- Have a yard sale. This is a great way to decrease your clutter and increase your bank account.
- Give thoughtful presents. Sometimes sweet, handwritten notes are better than monetary gifts.
- Visit your library. Do you love to read? Save tons of money by checking out your favorite books at the local library rather than spending $10+ at a bookstore.
- Check your community calendars. Saving money doesn’t mean you have to be bored. There are plenty of free or inexpensive things to do around your city!
- Utilize Redbox. Movie prices have skyrocketed these days. Simply wait until a movie comes to a Redbox near you and rent it for less than $2 instead of paying $10 for one ticket.
- Connect to Wi-Fi. Most of our cell phone accounts have data plans, and when we exceed our data limit, it costs us. Try to connect to an Internet when possible to reduce your phone bill.
- Look for sales. It’s okay that you need a new pair of tennis shoes, but don’t forget to check the store sales. You may be able to get an unexpected 20 percent off just because you did your research.
- Monitor your utility usage to decrease your monthly bill. When you’re not home in the summer, turn your air up. Turn lights off that you aren’t using. By making a few changes, you’ll be able to see the decrease when you get your bill in the mail.
Now this isn’t to say that you can never go see a movie at the actual theater or buy a sweater you love at full price; that you can never go out to your favorite restaurant or order “the usual” from your barista. You have to treat yourself every now and then. You don’t want to feel so limited and restricted that you burn out or give up.
It may seem like these ideas won’t work, that they are too small to make a dent when saving for something as substantial as a down payment on a home. However, staying disciplined while sacrificing in a few areas can make a big difference in the long run.
The main point is to be mindful of where your money is going. When you have an opportunity to begin saving for a down payment on a house, it is a good idea to think of practical ways on how to do so. How you save will probably look a lot different than how someone else would save, and that is okay. Just start now, start today. Why wait? Tomorrow you could be one step closer to being able to afford a down payment.