So, you’ve decided to take the next step in life and pursue home ownership. You’ve used a mortgage calculator to figure out how much you can afford and how much you will need to save for a down payment.
Now you have a goal – a goal that may seem impossible for some. But not for you because with planning and discipline, you can make it happen. It might take time, and maybe it won’t be tomorrow, but owning your own home is something worth working hard for, waiting for, and maybe even sacrificing a few luxuries. Here are tips that will help you achieve your goal of homeownership.
1. Every Penny Matters
Knowing where you spend your money will help you identify those expenses or luxuries that you didn’t realize might be thwarting your plan of home ownership. Keep track of every penny you spend and what you spent it on for a 30 day period – there are even apps for that. Be sure to carefully review your credit card and bank statements to include those spent pennies.
2. Trim the Fat
At the end of the 30 day period where you track all spending, review every unique expenditure or entire categories, rate each item or service you spent money on as a “need” or “want”.
Using your “needs” and “wants” list, determine where you can realistically cut spending. If it means that much, you don’t necessarily have to cut out Starbucks altogether, but reducing your trips will certainly help. Use the budget to set savings goals.
3. Pinching Pennies
Create a new savings account for your down payment. It’s not only easier to track, but blocking off the funds may make you think twice before dipping into that money for something other than your future home. Many financial institutions even have savings accounts used for savings goals that make withdrawing from the account difficult, until a certain goal is reached.
4. Split Direct Deposit
Most employers who offer direct deposit also allow the option to have your paycheck split into more than one account. Automatically redirect a specific dollar amount or percentage of the deposit to go directly into your new savings account. Think of it like you would a bill you may have set up on autopay. You can’t miss money you don’t see in the first place, right?
5. Make Your Money Make Money
Once you have a bit of money saved, talk to a financial professional about other places you might invest it to get a bigger return than you would by keeping it in your savings account – perhaps a money market account or a certificate of deposit (CD). While it’s good to save money, it’s even better when your money earns interest while it just sits there!
When your down payment goal is in sight, call me! I will help you take the next step in your home buying journey.