Saving the money for your dream home can seem like a daunting task. In order to be comfortable and keep the payments low, you’ll want to put together a down payment that is high enough to avoid mortgage insurance. As a rule, conventional mortgages require that borrowers put down 20% of the total value of the home in order to be eligible to borrow the remaining 80%. Obtaining or saving such a significant amount of liquid funds is something that is easier said than done. It can take years to save that much, but don’t despair. Keep these easy tips in mind to catalyze your savings:
Put Yourself on a Budget
Cutting back on monthly spending will help to increase the rate of your savings. If you live with a significant other, try to go from 2 cars to 1; this will help you cut down on daily travel costs. You could save thousands of dollars a year on monthly payments, gas, and insurance. Cooking more meals at home is another way to save; eating out is very expensive. Packing a lunch for work and preparing dinners at home can help you save hundreds of dollars a month.
Change Jobs to Increase Income
It may sound extreme, but maybe you need to consider taking a new job in order to afford the home you’ve been wishing for. For many people, it is much easier to increase your salary by switching jobs than by asking for a raise or promotion. You are in the best position to negotiate your salary when you’re accepting a new job. Most salary increases within a company are below 5%, whereas switching jobs can result in a salary increase by as much as 10-20%.
Get a Second Job
You can save a lot of money if you get a second job. Using modern technology, there are many part-time jobs that you can do from home. Check out sites like Indeed for freelance opportunities. Through the new “sharing economy”, you can make money through many creative avenues. Uber allows you to turn your car into a taxi. You can set your own hours and drive when it’s convenient for you. If you have an extra room in your house, consider renting it out using a site like AirBnB; you can make money renting your room for the weekend to travelers. If you are a pet-lover, you can make money dog sitting and pet walking on Rover.com. The more you are working, the less you will be spending money!
There are many improvements you can make to your home on your own for just the cost of tools and supplies. Labor is always much more expensive than supplies, and most contractors charge more than 3 times the price of supplies for labor. There is a tutorial for almost any home improvement project you can think of on YouTube. Start with small projects, and slowly improve your home while you are saving. The hard work you put in to the home now will result in equity when the house sells.
Set up a High-Interest Savings Account
Traditional short-term savings accounts yield very small percentages of interest, but many financial institutions offer long term, high-interest savings accounts. This is a great way to make your savings work even harder for you. The more you save, the more interest you earn.
Many people have trouble saving money, especially when they see and feel what it’s like to have a large amount in the bank. Setting up a separate savings account for your new home will help you keep those spending impulses under control. Once you have your long-term savings account set up, another helpful tool is to set up automatic withdrawals from your paychecks to savings. This will help to insure you stay on track with putting enough away every month.
Cutting down on spending and increasing your income is the fastest way to save for your dream home. Like most things in life, achieving this goal requires discipline, hard work, and patience. Following our tips will help to accelerate the process.