Saving for your dream house is a big ordeal. It is time consuming, stressful and requires sacrifice.
Not every one of these tips will appeal to you. But it is likely that you could use many of these tips together to speed up the time it takes you to save for your deposit.
So, here we go!
Create a monthly budget
You build savings by spending less than you earn. Therefore, any financial goals begin and end with your monthly family budget, especially when it comes to saving for your dream house. It’s important to be both honest and realistic about your spending habits out of the gate, and then stick to your fixed plan as much as possible. Electronic bill payment is a great tool here, because then your payments take care of themselves. Another option is to print out a list of your monthly expenses and check them off — both to make sure they get paid, but also to have the satisfaction of knowing you are on track.
Make savings automatic
Once you have a dedicated savings account, tell your payroll department that you want a fixed amount sent there every payday via direct deposit and the balance sent to your checking account as usual. The savings will happen regularly this way, and you won’t even notice as long as you’ve built a good family budget. The idea, as personal finance gurus like to say, is to pay yourself first, so there’s no excuses.
Find affordable alternatives
Many of the things you’re already paying for can be substituted or outsourced more affordably. For example, drop your gym membership in favor of working out at home. Or, lose the cable subscription and sign up for Netflix. And for all the programming Netflix can’t provide, there are bars and friends’ houses that are tuning into the same stuff. So check them out. After all, don’t we watch what we watch so that we can talk about it with someone else?
This doesn’t mean that you have to starve yourself of basic needs. Emotions play a huge role in saving money, if you are miserable you will splurge, if you are happy then you will continue saving for your dream house, so, create a balance and ensure that you do not go overboard when it comes to restraining yourself financially.
Turn your hobbies into side gigs
No matter how mundane or insignificant your talents seem, there are other people out there who don’t have those talents — and they might be willing to pay you for your skills. If you’re good at making things, look into selling your wares . Woodworking, knitting, sewing, and graphic design are all in demand. Check out sites that hire you out to do household chores and errands for people in your community. Things like assembling ideal furniture, shopping, pet sitting (especially dogs), and more can yield a surprising amount of money to add to your down payment fund. Yes, saving for your dream house involves some extra work! But, it is worth it.
Downgrade Your Car
Most couples own two cars, or at least one pretty nice car. Little do they know their car could be the deposit for their property.
A car is a depreciating asset and not only does it depreciate over time it costs you a bucket load of money to run. Insurance, registration, maintenance and petrol all cost money.
If you can live with one car instead of two, then you should sell one of your cars and put the money you make into your home savings account. Then calculate the money you would have spent on the car and save that money too.
If you have an expensive car, then it is likely you would be happy with a cheaper car (wouldn’t you rather own your own house than a nice car?) Sell your car, buy a second hand cheaper car and save the remainder. You can always sell your cheap car and upgrade after you have bought your home!
Take time today, try out one or more of these tips. And never forget, nothing good comes pretty easy. Give it what it takes, for it is only for a time.