Yesterday an article was printed in the Charlotte Observer describing how to save to buy a home. These days it seems impossible! Although we’ve covered lots of times that there are lots of loan products out there, which help you out (you don’t need 20% of the sales price to buy a home). You’ll still that 3% or 10% downpayment, which depending on your price range you are looking to buy in, could be significant.
So what can you do to cut corners in your lifestyle? We’ve all seen the figures about how much we spend on coffee!! But there are lots of large and small ways to cut your spending and save money, not just for a new home, but for anything you have a goal to purchase. Read the article above for a full list – here’s our take based on their advice.
Shopping as Entertainment:
Often we go out and shop because we are bored! Or we think that it will make us feel better. Stay out of the malls! We know that experiences with friends and family, often which can be free, are more entertainment than buying a new pair of shoes. You can also cut corners with activities that you enjoy doing that cost you money – love to see movies with friends? Arrange a movie night at home – popcorn and candy will cost a lot less, as will that rental, instead of paying full price for movie tickets.
Limit Eating Out!
Ever think about how many lunches or dinners you eat out on a regular basis? Compare that cost to the cost to buy items in the grocery store! Those bills can add up. Limiting yourself to a specific number of restaurant visits per week or month could save you significantly.
Monitor Your Accounts, and Save Automatically:
Most people these days pay by debit cards, and don’t have a clue how much money is actually in their account. Keep those receipts and keep track of what you’re spending, you may be surprised how much the little things add up in the long run. You can also set your accounts to help you save automatically. Set up a draft that comes automatically from checking to savings each month and save without even thinking about it!
Finally, seek budgeting help:
HUD, the department of Housing and Urban Development, offers free counseling services and will do what they can to help you reach your goals of home ownership. Take a look at their website, www.hud.gov.