Once you’ve decided that home ownership is for you the excitement of saving for a down payment kicks in. Some people have a plan, while others just don’t know where to start. After all, saving for something as big as a house isn’t a small feat. It takes discipline and self control and above all else patience.
Pay Off Credit Cards | Most Americans have some form of credit card debt. Your first step to home ownership should include paying off all credit card debt. This not only improves your credit and makes you look better to lenders, but makes the next step much easier.
Use Cash | As you’re paying off your credit cards make a commitment to use only cash. This will help you avoid accumulating new debt and will give you a clear picture of where your finances are. Plus, studies have shown that you’re more likely to spend less if you use cash over a credit card.
Cut Costs | Determine where you can cut costs. Do you really need cable? Can you trim $50 off of your grocery budget? Instead of going out to eat try cooking more at home. Each of these small steps can lead to big savings in the long run.
Set Up a New Account | Set up a separate savings account for your home’s down payment. By keeping these finances away from your usable finances you’re not giving yourself the option to use them and truly setting them aside for future use. This also keeps you organized and allows you to clearly see your progress.
Need Vs. Want | When looking at a purchase, ask yourself whether you need or want that item. If it’s a want, take the money you would have spent on it and put it in your savings account. You’ll be amazed at how honestly answering this questions can help you save thousands of dollars over time.
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Photo Credit: By Joyous! (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons