It is easy to get discouraged when trying to save for a home. Even if you secure a mortgage that allows you to put as little as 3 percent down, this is most likely one of the biggest purchases you will ever make. That being said, many people get overwhelmed with the prospect of saving for a down payment. You might be wondering where you would even begin. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of simple life changes you can make today to help you save for a home. Implement these tips and you will be well on your way to home ownership.
Withdraw money only from your bank’s ATM
It may seem like a no-brainer, but you should withdraw money only from your bank’s ATM. Those random ATMs at the supermarket or at that cash-only restaurant charge you fees, and although they may seem insignificant in the moment, relying on these convenient ATMs will cost you in the long run when all those little charges begin to add up.
Sign up for automated bill payments
There are certain bills you can expect each month, such as gas, electric or cable. You’ll save you time and money in late fees if you choose to set up automated payments for these bills. Also, if you are trying to pay off a particular debt, such as a credit card, you can automate a certain dollar amount per month if you want to pay more than the minimum to get it paid off more quickly.
Switch from cable to subscriptions such as Netflix or Hulu
More and more individuals are choosing to opt out of cable television. Cable is expensive, and customers tend to watch only a handful of channels, meaning that they are wasting money paying for all the channels that they don’t use. Try using a streaming subscription such as Netflix ($7.99 to $13.99 per month) or Hulu ($7.99 to $39.99 per month).
Put your savings under lock and key
It’s sometimes tempting to dip into your savings to pay for a vacation or an item you really want; however, this is detrimental to your saving efforts. If you withdraw a hundred dollars here and there, what’s keeping you from doing it again the next time you need some extra cash? To save for a down payment quickly, you must not touch your savings account. Open up a new account specifically for a future home, and set up the account so that you cannot access it through the ATM. By placing this restriction on your savings account, you will be able to access it only by filling out a withdrawal slip and handing it to the teller. This gives you extra time to think over your decisions and question your motives as to why you need to dip into that savings account.
Coming into some extra cash? Don’t spend it — save it
It’s tempting to spend a tax refund or end-of-the-year bonus on a vacation or fancy new gadget, but this money should really go straight into your savings account. Practicing a little self-control and putting all of this money away will boost your savings and get you closer to that down payment goal.
Go cash-only and schedule withdrawals
Give yourself a weekly budget and withdraw only that amount in cash from your checking account each week. Forgo all credit and debit cards and force yourself to use only cash. When your money dries up, you’re out, and you can’t withdraw more until your next scheduled withdrawal. Doing this exercise will help you budget on a weekly basis and allow you to save more.
No one ever said saving for a home was easy, but there are some simple changes you can make in your life that will help you get there. When you’re ready to start house hunting, give us a call.