Owning a home can be a milestone event of life for many people. When you own your own home, you no longer have to answer to a landlord. You also will be building equity even if you mortgage a home, instead of gaining no equity by paying rent. But how do you go about buying such a big expense as a home? I’ve put together some tips so you can save money to buy a home, anytime, no matter what.
The Best Ways to Save Money and Buy a Home Sooner than Later!
Make a Budget and Stick to it
You’ve worked hard for your money, so make sure you are controlling your money instead of it controlling you. One way to control where your money goes is to make a budget. Sit down with your spouse and write down where your money needs to go and where you want it to go. Talk about what’s really important and what areas are extra expenses that you could do without.
Where your money needs to go will be simple to identify. If you are paying rent, that is a needs to go expense. Food, utilities, and vehicle upkeep are just some examples of places where your money needs to go. Of course, you can try to downsize your vehicle and move into a cheaper place to rent, but you will still have those expenses to add to your budget.
Decide where you want the rest of your money to go. Here is where you can save a lot. Do you really need that Starbucks on the way to work every day, or could you make coffee at home until you buy your house? How about all of those dinners out? What about those gym memberships? Could you workout at home instead for a while? Think about where you can make cuts. Make a budget amount for discretionary spending and then stick to it. If you go over the amount, then dinners out are over until the next month.
Make sure to put house savings on the budget. When I got my first teaching job, my grandfather told me to make sure I pay myself first out of each paycheck. That small piece of advice has been one of the wisest suggestions I have ever received. Make sure you do the same with house savings. Treat the monthly amount that you budget in to put towards house savings, just as important as the other budget categories.
Take on Second Jobs
Imagine how quickly you will save money to buy a home if you both take on second jobs. These jobs aren’t going to be a permanent part of your routine, but you could keep them long enough to buy that home. If both of you working second jobs is too much of a strain on your relationship and lives, then maybe just one could take on a second job. Try to put your full second income(s) towards the house savings. Be careful to not live up to your new combined income level. That is tempting and easy to do when extra money is coming in. Instead, put all of that side job money towards your future home.
I’m glad you didn’t skip over this section. Now, that you are still here, let’s get down and dirty and talk about some ideas for cutting out extra spending. You get to decide what is important and how important these things weigh out over owning your own home. I talked a little about this in the budget category when discussing cutting out daily Starbucks and dinners out.
Here are some more ideas to consider cutting: movies out, vacations that cost a lot, and brand name clothing. There are alternatives to each cut that I mentioned. How about movies in, a day at the beach, or buying less expensive clothing. I’m sure you can think of other extras that could be cut and applied towards house savings.
Apply Your Tax Return to House Savings
It’s easy to get excited if you are getting an IRS return. People like to talk about and share what they will do with their tax returns. Many people use the money to take vacations and buy toys that they really don’t need. Imagine how much quicker you will save for your house if you took that whole chunk of IRS return money and put it into a house savings account. Big amounts of money will get you to your goal faster than small chunks.
Cut Food Costs
Food may be taking up a big percent of your budget. There are ways to cut food out while still eating a variety of healthy and tasty meals. Try to buy as much of your food as you can in bulk. While this may not work as well for the produce, it will for items that have a longer shelf life.
Once you have some bulk items bought, make some freezer meals. By buying in bulk and making meals ahead of time, you will be saving a lot of money that could go towards your home. Experiment in the area of food buying and you should soon see that food is an easy category of the budget to get down. It will require a little extra planning ahead on your part, but it will be worth it in the end.
A great way to downsize and make some money you can put towards your future home could be to get rid of things you no longer use or need. Think about having a garage sale, putting things on an app to sell, or selling on the Facebook Marketplace. Selling on Facebook Marketplace is free. Simply list what you have for sale. Make sure to list details like price, and add photos of what you are selling. Then wait for potential customers to comment or message you about your item(s).
You may also want to see if your city or town has its own Facebook page specifically for selling items. These Facebook pages often go by your town name along with the words “classified” or “upcycle”. Chances are good that what you have to sell, someone needs and will be willing to buy. Make sure to apply the profits made to your house savings.
Save Those Coupons!
All of those flyers that arrive in the mail that you may be using as firestarters, contain some money saving coupons. So do the emails that you get and don’t take the time to read. Now is the time to use those coupons for saving up for that dream home. Try to focus on using coupons for things that you actually need or would be buying anyway. It’s easy to start buying more just because you have a coupon for it, so don’t fall into that trap. Utilize those grocery and restaurant coupons for what you really need as great ways to save.
Are you good at writing? If so, you may be able to land some freelancing jobs. The great thing about freelancing is that you can usually work your own hours. That means that you can keep your regular job and freelance in the evening, or mornings, or anytime that you can fit it in. Jobs may pay by the job, or by the word. If you are new to freelancing, you may have to work up to higher paying jobs after you get a portfolio of articles published.
Freelancing for beginners starts around 3 to 4 cents a word and can go all the way up to $1 a word (Reader’s Digest kind of gigs). Most freelancers, or at least the ones I know, make around 12 cents a word. Just think about how much sooner you will get into your dream house with freelance money coming in. Textbroker.com is a good place to write for money.
I’ve given you some tips on how to save up for a house. I’m sure you can think of other ways. When the going gets tough and tough it will be at times, remember why you are sacrificing in the first place. Think about how wonderful it will be to own your own home. Don’t lose sight of why you are striving for this goal.
Make sure to celebrate small successes. When you stay within your budget for a month, take a breather to indulge in a small reward like a trip out to get ice cream or something affordable. Then get right back to it and do it next month. And the next. And the next. By staying the course, you will soon be looking out the windows of your new home, ready to inspire someone else to do the same.
I hope that these tips can help you to save money and buy a home! Though buying a house can seem like an insurmountable task at times, rest assured, you can do this. By taking the steps we have mentioned above, you may be decorating and even living in your new house this time next year. Happy house hunting!