Saving for a down payment might seem impossible. You know you want to stop renting and finally become a first-time home buyer, but how do you save for the down payment?
There are plenty of easy ways to save more money, faster, for your down payment. Let’s look at some of the ways you can adjust your household budget and a few other options for saving for your home’s down payment.
Examine Your Budget & Save More Towards Your Down Payment Faster
1. Insurance Policies
It’s very possible you’re paying too much for your current insurance. Even if you only carry auto insurance, you might not be taking advantage of all the possible discounts.
Evaluate all your insurance policies to see if you’re missing out on discounts or spending too much.
2. Cut the Cable
3. Cut Extra Services
If you use a lawn care service or you have someone deliver your groceries, consider cutting these extra services for now.
4. Look at Your Eating Out Budget
A huge expense found in many household budgets is eating out. If you eat out often, consider cutting this area and cooking your own meals. For some, this adjustment, alone, will lead to a few hundred dollars a month to save for a down payment.
5. Check all Memberships and Subscriptions
If you’re paying for something you don’t use or can go without, it’s time to cut it from the household budget.
6. Adjust your Grocery Budget
Maybe you shop at the most expensive grocery stores and buy all the name brand items. The grocery budget is an area you can find quite a bit of cash each month if you get creative. There are several great guides to help you reduce your grocery budget, like this one from DaveRamsey.com.
7. Check your Cell Phone Bill
Wireless companies like to get you hooked on things you don’t need. They might give you a free tablet, but you need to pay for the service. If you don’t use that tablet, it can be cut from the bill.
Check your wireless bill and make sure you’re only paying for what you really need. A plan adjustment or cutting a line or two might save you $20 to $50 or more each month.
8. Sell Your Car
If you have a big car payment eating up your monthly income, consider selling it. You can get a less expensive car for now, and later on, upgrade to a better vehicle.
9. Make Coffee at Home
It seems little, but if you spend $5 on a latte every day, five days a week, on your way to work, you’re spending about $100 a month on coffee. You can cut this down to about $5 or $10 by making your own cup of Joe at home.
10. Track Your Spending
Often, we have no idea where our money goes until we track it. Track your spending for 30 to 60 days and you’ll get a better picture of where each dollar is going. You might be spending $100 on coffee each month and not even realize it!
A Few More Ways to Save for a Down Payment Faster
After looking at your household budget and making cuts/adjustments, it’s time to look at other ways to save for a down payment faster.
1. Cut the Vacation For a Year or Two
Vacations are expensive. For most renters, one vacation will cost a few thousand dollars. Saving the money, instead, will get you to your goal of homeownership much faster.
2. Get a Second Job
If you really want to save for a down payment fast, work more. Your full-time job might support you and leave some room for savings, but a second job for even 10 hours a week can boost your savings by $1,000 a month or more!
3. Sell Things You Don’t Need
Even $10 and $20 items add up in a hurry when you sell enough of them. If you want to save for a down payment faster, consider the things you own that you don’t really need. Sell anything of value and put the money into your savings account.
4. Negotiate Lower Debt Payments or Pay offs
It’s always worth trying to get a lower monthly payment on any bill you have when saving for a down payment. You might be able to negotiate a lower debt payment or even a low payoff you can afford right now. This could free up cash for savings.
5. Ask for a Raise
If you’re in a position where you have worked for a company (in good standing) for a while without a bump in pay, now is the time to ask for a raise. Even a 1% raise could make a huge difference in how much you can save this year towards your down payment.
Take the time to look at your household budget and use these tricks to save for a down payment faster. With a little discipline and determination, you’ll become a first-time home buyer in no time!