Buying a house is one of the major steps that people take in life and can be a mixture of exciting and daunting. But as the housing market continues to increase in price around the world, you might find yourself worrying about how to afford a down payment.
Though getting a house is undoubtedly going to be a huge expense, the good news is that you can successfully save up for it by following some easy steps.
Read on for 23 of the best tips and tricks that will help you save for a house!
1. Set Yourself Goals
Saving for a house is a complex, stressful, and lengthy process. To avoid burning out or becoming frustrated with the task, make sure to set yourself achievable goals for all stages of your saving journey.
Watching yourself approach and surpass these goals will reassure you that budgets and saving routines are working and give you a boost of confidence.
2. Create a Plan
Setting up a savings plan is key to success. The process of buying a house will be much easier if you have a step-by-step plan on how to achieve your end goal instead of just putting aside arbitrary amounts of money.
Sit down with your family and work out the kind of savings plan that works for everyone. Remember to keep each step manageable and broken into chunks that don’t seem as impossible as climbing Mount Everest.
3. Open a Savings Account
Once you start the process of saving money for a house, it’s best to have a dedicated account for it to accumulate in. Some savings accounts can even have benefits and bonuses, especially for helping you save for a house faster.
Scout the banking market for an account that gives you high-yield bonuses and safeguards your money against being taken out for everyday purchases. You likely do not want to lock your money away in a GIC or long-term investment, but saving it is key.
4. Analyze Your Spending
Sit down with your family and figure out where your money is going. While you certainly will have monthly bills and living expenses, look for a pattern of unnecessary expenditures and analyze the root causes.
Figure out what you spend money on every day, week, and month. Can any of these items be trimmed? For instance, if you notice yourself pulling out your wallet for a coffee every morning, try making it at home and bringing your caffeine along in a to-go cup.
5. Get Out of Debt
Before adding monthly mortgage payments to your plate, it’s a good idea to pay off the debt you already have, if possible. This also frees up more money to put aside each month for your house savings account instead of paying off your debt-accumulated interest.
6. Apply A Zero-Based Budget
Try a zero-based budget to eliminate extra expenditures if you struggle with budgets and curbing your spending. Though it’s one of the more daunting types of budgets you can opt for, living on a zero-based budget is a very effective way to save fast.
Zero-based budgeting involves keeping track of every expense and all of your income, down to the very last cent.
7. Automate Your Savings
Take the hassle out of saving a portion of your salary every month by setting up an automated payment system. That way, you won’t have to worry about remembering to transfer money—It’s all done for you! Record it like any other monthly bill to keep track.
8. Reduce Your Shopping
To save more, you have to shop less—but sometimes, that’s easier said than done. Identify your household’s daily, weekly, and monthly essentials, and try to curb spending around those items as best you can.
And while it’s alright to treat yourself once in a while, keep yourself accountable. Always think of your future house before swiping a credit card or reaching into your wallet for cash, and consider if the transaction is really worth it.
9. Don’t Eat Out
One of the fastest ways to watch your savings get drained is by eating out. Instead of frequenting your favorite restaurant, cook meals at home. You can make it more enjoyable by getting the family involved and even trying some new cuisines!
10. Avoid Temptation
If you find yourself tempted by email mailing lists or coupons that come through the mail, don’t be afraid to remove the source. Unsubscribe from shopping newsletters or discount alerts to avoid spending money on something you really don’t need.
11. Have an Emergency Fund
If something unforeseen happens, it is wise to have a dedicated fund for emergency payments. Reserve some funds for a rainy day instead of being forced to dip into your house savings if the car breaks down or your pet needs medical treatments.
12. Keep Your Credit Score Up
Part of getting a good mortgage rate on your new house is having an excellent credit score, so make sure to keep it up during the process of saving. If you use credit or debit cards, pay them off again and check your monthly credit reports for more information.
13. Learn To Say “No”
It might only be for a few months or a year, but being able to say “no” to activities or vacations that cost too much for your budget and savings account is important. You can always take that trip to Costa Rica after signing the papers to your new house!
14. Partner up for Accountability
Because saving for a home is a complicated process and can take a long time, it’s essential to surround yourself with support. Get yourself an accountability partner who will help you make sound financial decisions, whether they are a spouse, relative, or close friend.
15. Get a Second Job
Some aspects of a person’s life can prevent it, such as kids or health problems, but getting a second job can help expedite your savings if your situation allows. Doubling your monthly income is ideal, but even a few hundred dollars will make a difference.
Entrepreneurial enterprises should not be overlooked when saving for your house. Do you have any hobbies or skills that can be monetized into a side business? Consider creating an Etsy shop or freelancing on the side for some extra cash.
16. Read up on It
Do some research regarding personal finances, saving hacks, and budgeting in your spare time. Not only will this enhance your understanding of the entire process, but you might find some additional tips on how to amplify your house savings!
Visit your local library and check out some books on financial life and how to cultivate productive habits. Plus, by using a library card, you will avoid spending money on titles that you might not need to read over and over again.
17. Reduce Your Cost of Living
Take a close look at your bills and ‘necessary’ expenses. Are there any areas where you can trim your living costs? Perhaps you can take public transport instead of driving, or put on a sweater instead of the central heating—every little bit helps your savings!
18. Split The Rent
Virtually no matter where you live, rent payments are expensive. And this can be especially detrimental when saving up for a house!
To combat this, consider splitting the rent with a roommate or opening an Airbnb in a spare bedroom if the lease allows it. Any of these arrangements will not last forever and can help amplify your house savings account.
19. Opt for Store Memberships
Instead of shopping for the essentials without benefits, opt for membership cards or rewards programs wherever possible. This includes wholesale club memberships for cheaper gas and groceries, in-store points, and cashback rewards via your credit card.
In saving for something big like a house, every little bit counts. So, if you can get a few cents off for each gallon of fuel or cash rewards points when buying groceries, it all adds up and makes a big difference in your savings account and budget.
20. Use the 30-Day Rule
If you are faced with something that you want to purchase outside of your budget or allocated spending plan, use the 30-day rule to decide.
Don’t buy it right away—instead, hold off for 30 days. This allows you to think about whether you really need it or merely want it. Not only will this save money, but you’ll also have less to pack when you finally do move into your house!
21. Trim Subscriptions
Unnecessary subscriptions tend to pile up and go unnoticed in life. Whether that be a magazine delivery, a TV channel you no longer watch, or a monthly subscription box for socks, make sure you assess and trim subscriptions that are no longer useful.
22. Use Cash
It’s so easy to swipe a credit card and forget about the actual monetary aspect. But by using cash for your daily purchases, you can make yourself acutely aware of costs and be more mindful about spending physical money.
23. Get Proper Coverage
Saving money doesn’t mean cutting back on your insurance coverage! Insurance is there to protect you and your family in the event of an accident.
If you are underinsured and file a claim, you may have to pay high out-of-pocket costs that deplete your savings. But by having the proper coverage for your home, renters, or auto policy, you will have peace of mind knowing you and your family are protected when it comes time to report a new claim.