Buying a home is no small feat, and for many, it takes years of family saving and planning. If you’re ready to move towards purchasing a house, use these tips to help you save up a little quicker!
Find Out How Much You Can Realistically Afford
When it comes to saving for a home, first and foremost, you need to ask yourself, “How much house can I afford?” By using an online affordability calculator, you can create a realistic figure of how much you’ll need to save for a down payment and closing costs.
Many people tend to believe that they’ll need a 20% down payment to buy a home. However, this is not necessarily true.
In Canada, you can qualify for a conventional loan with as low as a 5% down payment. In the USA, your down payment may be as low as 3%. And some specialty mortgages, like a USDA or a VA loan, may not require a down payment at all.
Once you have your down payment figure in mind, you can start saving for your future home! Here are some of the best ways to get started:
Pay Down Existing Debt
While it may seem misleading to save for a home by spending money on your existing loans, it can help establish your reliability to lenders.
As you start applying for loans, lenders will look at your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. This figure is calculated by dividing your monthly debt by your gross monthly income.
If you have a lot of monthly debt, your DTI ratio will reflect that, which can dissuade lenders from giving you money. Or, they may only offer you a loan with a larger interest rate and a higher down payment.
By reducing your debt before applying for loans, you can save money in the long run.
Start a Budget
Where is your money going? Start looking over your bank statements and credit card bills to map out where your money is being spent.
Break your spending down into two categories: essentials, like living expenses, existing debt, and bills, and nonessentials, like eating out, entertainment, and shopping sprees.
Using a budget calculator like the ones at Caculator.me can be a great way to get an idea of how much of your budget should be spent in different categories.
While it can be hard to cut down on your essential spending, you can tackle your nonessential spending by creating a budget for entertainment and extracurricular spending. Relocate the funds you’re not spending towards your savings for your future home.
Skip This Year’s Vacation
The unprecedented pandemic of 2020 has taught us the ways of the “staycation.” Instead of spending your hard-earned money jet-setting to the beach, consider enjoying a relaxing spa day without getting on a plane.
To fulfill that adventure desire, do some research about points-of-interest around you. Chances are there are nearby destinations a short drive away waiting to be checked off your bucket list.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a vacation, you’ll be able to save that money for your long-term investment.
Cut Out Unhealthy Habits
It may not be easy, but kicking an unhealthy habit can make a huge difference in your spending. Quitting smoking, for example, can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year. And you may save even more in future health-related costs.
Cutting back on nights out at restaurants or bars can also add up to big savings. Instead of spending extra money on expensive cocktails at the newest hotspot on your weekends, invite friends over for a potluck movie night to save some cash…and maybe even start a fun new tradition!
Find a Side Gig
Whether it be writing for a freelance company, dog-walking, or joining a rideshare service, you can pick up a few extra bucks from a side hustle. Choose something you enjoy, so you’ll still have fun in your free time while doing the extra work.
If you enjoy animals, consider pet sitting for vacationing pet owners. If you love taking photos, try your hand as a freelance photographer. Spend some weekends driving for a rideshare company and earn more money per mile.
By adding an extra gig to your daily routine, you can start to save money by spending your free time making money.
Consider Your Karmic Relationship To Money
Incorporate affirmations and visualizations into your routine as a way of grounding yourself in your goals. Spend some time focusing on your gratitude. Many people believe that by stepping back and examining your karmic relationship with money, you can start to attract more money to you.
Although saving for a down payment can seem daunting, knowing the amount you’ll need is essential for helping set attainable money-saving goals.
And after that, spending and saving your money wisely will help you become a homeowner in no time.