How To Save Money For A House

12 Ways to Save for a Down Payment

Saving up for a house doesn’t have to be difficult. Many Americans today are going through some desperate economic times and so are constantly looking for ways to save money. By reading this, you’ll find practical ways on how to cut costs from everyday living and save up for a down payment to buy the house of your dreams in no time!

1) On-line Banking: It is my belief that our old, “Brick and Mortar” banks hinder you more than help you. Most of us traditionally have what banks refer to as “Savings Account.” But that is simply a lie. The proper name for them should be a “Give and Take Account,” because much of our saved money doesn’t stay in our accounts long enough to accrue any real interest. And at what interest are you getting anyhow; 1% or more if you’re lucky? Let’s not forget those hidden charges and so on, as some banks penalize you if you have less than a certain amount of money in their prestigious vaults! I’m not even going to get into Checking Accounts…To be honest, I was much happier when I was paying all my bills with money orders (nothing ever “bounced”). I’ve found some On-line banks who offer high-yield interest rates of 3% and higher on CDs and Money Market accounts, depending on how much you want to invest. It would certainly behoove anyone to at least look into them.

2) Buy Your Goods In Bulk: I learned this while in college, especially during the latter years when mom and pop dohn121 were sick and tired of me crying that I didn’t have any money. My dad took me out one time to our local Costco and loaded up his Ford Explorer with all sorts of goodies. I bought everything non-perishable I needed for the entire up-coming semester. I bought shampoo, dozens of cans of soup, including Chef-Boyardee, ramen noodles, laundry detergent, toilet paper, rice, pasta, and cans of soda, pasta sauce, toothpaste, soap, razors, shaving cream and a few other things. He told me to just buy my perishables once a week—meats, dairy, fruits and vegetables—and I’d be fine. I still practice this today, as it still works.

3) Buy Your Seasonal Items Out of Season: Come again? That’s right. Stores will sell items up to 75% off when the product is out-of-season or discontinued. For example, if you had your heart set on a barbeque grill, buy last year’s grill late in the fall rather than early summer. Buy your winter clothes during the summer and your summer clothes during the winter. Doing so will allow you to buy the products that you want at the right price. In other words, buying out of season means buying at the right time!

4) Avoid Quick-fix Beverage Purchases: There’s a good reason why the likes of Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are everywhere. Folks looking for a quick-fix to refresh or recharge themselves will check-in or drive-thru one of these places to pay upwards of $8 in some cases just for a “cup of coffee.” Such purchases really add up and in time can really affect your bottom line. My advice is to revert back to investing in a thermos (I prefer stainless steel myself) like the iconic construction worker to keep you energized for your busy day. Brewing coffee at home will save you a lot of money and if you still want to enjoy Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks, you can buy it bulk. The still prevalent craze is energy drinks which can be absurdly expensive, especially when buying them individually. I stay away from them myself as they are loaded with sugar and deplete your energy afterwards. If you feel MUST have your daily energy drink, I recommend buying it bulk as well.

5) Work During Your Spare Time: To make up for the burden of the down economy and the increased cost of living, many Americans are looking into alternative means to make money through Google Adsense, Amazon , Ebay and Kontera affiliate programs through Hubpages.com. If you enjoy writing and would like to make money off of what you write, there are many sites on-line in which you can work as a freelance writer such as elance.com and odesk.com. Another place you may want to check out is Finding Freelance Work Online. Another way that you can make money is through Wyzant.com. After you become a tutor, you will be notified of people who want tutoring for their children. One of the great things about Wyzant.com is that charge your customers whatever you feel is fair! The money you earn is deposited directly into your account as you never accept any money from your clients.

6) Save 10% or More of Your Earnings: It’s not much, but 10% of what you earn can really add up, especially when you factor in a CD that is already earning you upwards of 1.75% annually. For instance, if you make $800 a week, $80 can go into a separate savings account (and not necessary a brick and mortar savings account either) and the rest to bills and everything else. My advice is to set aside 10% or more from your weekly or biweekly paycheck and have it deposited automatically into this account. After doing this for a while, you’ll wonder where that 10% was being spent in the first place.

7) Buddha says, “Chill out!” What does this mean? Curb your hedonistic ways! If you are a smoker, you need to cut down and or quit and if you’re a drinker, then you should do the same—believe me, I know. These were two vices of mine in my college days. I’m not telling anyone to not have fun here, but you must admit that going out to the bars is an avoidable expense. Just drinks after a date could easily run you a c-note nowadays. If you really are serious about saving for a house then you will have to make a few sacrifices. If you must, have a can of Budweiser after a hard day’s work. Just don’t wind up on Cops while driving home from Cheer’s.

8) Eat at Home and Create a Menu: Just like the aforementioned tip, eating out costs a lot of money. No other nation eats out more than the average American. I’d recommend that you set just one day out of the week to eat out, like Friday or Saturday, so as to celebrate another escape from the Slave Driver. If you are married, I suggest that you and your spouse (or partner) design a weekly or bi-weekly meal plan in which you will stick to. For example, say one particular Sunday you guys will have chicken parmagiana over spaghetti with garlic bread and Caesar salad on the side and then on Monday, you’ll have meatloaf with mash and mushroom gravy. Just try not to have the same thing EVERDAY of the week. It can get tiresome. You could also set aside just one day for leftovers too. I actually have two recipes that can help that go great together called 20-Minute Rice and 15-Minute Pork Chops. The reason why I suggest this so that you control what you buy at the supermarket so that you are not overbuying and throwing away unused food. It will only benefit you if you sit down and itemize your spending. Treat you cost of living like a business and you will succeed!

9) Maintain Your Car: The cost of auto repair can really set you back when you don’t take good care of it. Some of the ways in which you can alleviate repair costs is to perform preventive care and schedule timely maintenance. This includes changing the oil every 3,000 miles (certain cars that take synthetic oil at 5,000 miles) or every 3 months, checking the tires to see that they are properly inflated, checking all fluids, and checking to make sure that your car(s) get a scheduled tune-up. Once my car was eating up more gas than usual and I didn’t know why. When my brother checked it out, he found that only two of the four spark plugs were operational. In other words, I was running on only two cylinders instead of four! So always maintain your car(s) as you can pay a little bit of money now or pay a lot later on. Having a reliable car should be at the top of your list of priorities.

10) Find Cost Effective Ways to Entertain Yourself: I already mentioned that you should at the least, cut down on going out too much as it really is a waste of your hard earned money. The cost of going to the movies these days is expensive but is very much a part of our lives in many cases. If when I do go to the movies, I rarely buy popcorn or soda, as I will eat before I go or drink a soda before stepping foot inside the lobby. Some theaters won’t bat an eye if you walk in with a travel mug, I’ve found (what you put inside that mug is your business). If I can’t bear to wait for a movie to come out on DVD, I prefer going to see a matinee as it usually costs a lot less than an evening showing. If you’re lucky, your local theater will have a bargain night in which tickets all day long is matinee priced. Another way to save on movie tickets is to buy them in bundles. In some cases, it could save you up to 50%!

11) Buy Things Second Hand or Refurbished: While watching the nightly news one day, I can across one woman who owns a consignment store. Consignment stores are places where regular people can go to either buy or sell things. For example, if you have a computer monitor you don’t need, you could bring it to a consignment store and split the proceeds with the store owner, 50/50. So, if you sold the monitor for $50, you would make $25 and so would the store owner. This of course is a great place to buy clothes and furniture too. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find.

12) Buy Things On-line: Nowadays, many consumers are going on-line to buy items from Ebay and Amazon, such as books, movies, music and electronics. If you do a little bit of homework, you can find exactly what you’ll look for at a bargain. One of my favorite sites for buying books second-hand is Abebooks.com. The place is an absolute treasure trove for second-hand books and it the largest used-book site in the world. In some cases, you’ll find books that have free shipping. Books there come from all over the world and the site is a cinch to work as they accept Paypal in addition to all the major credit cards.

Some Advice About Buying a Home

Certain factors, including luck, credit worthiness, and timing can all play a vital role in the entire buying process. In this market, buying a house may be the right move due to so many unfortunate foreclosures and plummeting market value on houses, as many homeowners are learning late in the game that they can’t afford to keep their houses. Indeed, there is a lot to know when it comes to buying or selling a home. I recommend asking Mark Knowles about that. He knows more about the housing market than anyone I know. For instance, he can show you how to find bank foreclosures and HUD houses.

More Cost Cutting Tips

Here are a couple of more things that I didn't mention before that can save more money:

  • Brown bag your lunch to work as this will seriously reduce your eating costs. I used to spend up to $15 a day just on eating out for lunch when I could have just made a nice sandwich from home!
  • Wash you clothes with cold water as this will save you $50 or more per month on your electric bill
  • Use the public library to borrow books and movies. More than ever, library use is on the rise...I wonder why? You could also use the place as a Wi-Fi hotspot or just use the library's computer...All for free!
  • Exercise without a gym membership. The last time I checked, running and jogging and doing calisthenics was free, so is taking a walk to ease your mind
  • Stop paying for TV! TV is one thing and internet is another. Do you really need television programming? If you have children, I can understand if you do, but there's really not much on TV that you can't get on the internet!

Thank you for viewing my hub. I hoped this helped you to save you some much needed money. Good luck!

I Think I Can! I Think I Can! (Hub 19/30)

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Comments 58 comments

jeenie profile image

jeenie 7 years ago from Port Orchard, WA

This is great advice, I will pass this on.


Chris Eddy111 profile image

Chris Eddy111 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Great cost cutting and saving tips even if your not saving for a house. Thanks.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you jeenie. I hope that this information helps.

Thanks, Chris. I was hoping that I could do exactly that. Most of us consumers over spend on even the simplest things (impulse buying) without really giving much thought on the matter.


mrslisae 7 years ago

Great tips..My husband and I have been discussing buying a home and starting over. We do all of that but bulk buy. I should look into that. Thanks!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

I appreciate the comment, Lisa. Even when buying bulk we all must remember to do a little simple math...For instance, the other day, when I was walking into a gas station, I noticed that they had bulk bottled-water on sale for $4.99. I was thinking about buying it but then realized after doing some quick math that it wasn't such a great deal because it was a 20 pack and not a 24 pack (16 oz. bottles). I knew that on sale, I could buy a 24 at my local supermarket for $3.99 so of course I passed.

Thanks for dropping by!


Massage09 profile image

Massage09 7 years ago

Thanks for the tips. My husband and I already own a home, but we could always use tips to save more money. We try to do most of your tips listed above already, but I liked the one about eating at home and creating a weekly menu, it's a great idea and we never even thought of it. Thanks!!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

I used to work at a sleep away camp in New Hampshire during my summers in high school and college. One of the positions I held there one summer was head cook in which I had to devise a weekly menu for the entire camp, consisting of vegan, vegetarian, and omnivore diets. Of course I had a budget and so had to maximize my budget and a similar menu worked for me. I employed the same strategy in college when living off campus with my suite mates and actually made a small profit because I cooked 5 nights a week! It was great.

Thanks for the comment!


expectus profile image

expectus 7 years ago from Land Downunder

Nice hub dohn121 ,I always try and buy things in bulk but usually just ended up eating more because I have more :P

I'll check out the freelancing hub as swell , thanks


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

That's funny, expectus! I can see what you mean. All of us are trying to find new ways to make some passive income and just plain survive. Good luck!


Davinagirl3 profile image

Davinagirl3 7 years ago

This is brilliant. I have lived by a lot of these tips for a long time, and I find they are very effective. Good job, Dohn. I love this hub.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, Davinagirl3! It's great to hear from you. I grew up with two brothers and two sisters and for the most part, my father was the only one that worked and we somehow managed to survive. We didn't get the best things in life then, but we all turned out okay. I try to utilize what I learned from when growing up and it seems to help.


Ms Chievous profile image

Ms Chievous 7 years ago from Wv

These are great tips for just saving money period! I was just able to afford my first home, but I will be able to use these tips to save for remodeling


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Yes, these tips are pretty much universal to anyone living under the sun. I thought about writing two separate hubs for this but then thought better of it and kill two birds with one stone. I think that I might add more to it as soon as I think of more ideas. Congrats on the house! I'm still utilizing these ideas to get my first house. Thanks for dropping by!


hubpageswriter 7 years ago

I very much enjoy the pictures and these are really good tips, thanks for sharing..


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

I just hope that everyone can find at least one tip useful, HPWriter. If they can, I'll feel like I accomplished something:) Thank you.


pgrundy 7 years ago

This is great dohn! I do most of this stuff already, but you sure put it together well. I agree about banks. Online is the way to go for savings, and keep it separate from wherever the checking is! It's sad to see so many people not cooking these days. I heard on the radio that by the time our kids grow up, cooking your own food will be like killing your own chicken--nobody will even be able to imagine it. I hope that's wrong! It's so much cheaper and so much BETTER to cook! Thanks for another great hub. :)


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, Pam. If I find more ideas, I will ad them (per management). I was thinking about telling people to make room in their yard for a chicken coop (free eggs and chicken parm indefinitely) but I didn't want PETA breathing down my neck. But I'm sure there are better ideas out there. More to come :D


awsydney profile image

awsydney 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Hi Dohn, thanks for stopping by at Watsons Bay today! :) Your hubs are awesome. I feel like a novice after reading what you have written here! What am I doing wrong??


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Are you kidding? There is absolutely nothing wrong with your hubs, my friend. I checked out a few of your hubs and saw that your content and photos are great. However, if you still have doubts, just click on "HUBS" at the top of you screen and then click "BEST." There, you'll see a host of the "best" hubs here at Hubpages. That way, you can get a general sense of what others are doing that's a bit different from you.

During my time here, I've found that you should write whatever inspires you and whatever interests you. As for myself, I try to stay away from trends and just have the autonomy to do what excites me. I promise you, if you do so, you'll be happy with the results and traffic WILL follow. It just takes time!

I hope I helped!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

Great tips - all those little things add up. BTW, dohn, congradulations on your high hub score, you sure shot to the top quickly!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, Dolores. Thank you for the compliment. One of these days, I'll crack break through to double-digits. When first I reached 99 (about 3 weeks ago) I got all excited and giddy going back and fourth to see if my score would rise just one more point. I know now to not get overly excited. I just hope that if and when it does happen, I stayed there :D Thank you as always for reading me.


Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

Dohn, this hub mean worlds to me! I clicked on this one from your beautiful 'Autumn' hub and I live off student loans and financial aid! Any great information about cost saving is worth a look! Thanks Dohn! This one is a keeper! Bookmarked!!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, AIDY. I'm very familiar with that type of lifestyle! While living alone and off of loans and financial aid, I learned a wealth of information. Perhaps I should make another hub geared to helping college students? One of the things I found that can help is to have a minimal spending account for food, that way you spend zero time prepping meals and clean up so you can spend more time on campus studying! Thanks again for your comment! I'm glad I'm able to help :D


Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

Dohn that would be fantastic! I would resource any hub you have for the college student! Bring them on! I already am using the chili recipe Tom Rubenoff recommended in a hub--fast, easy to fit on a budget and lasted a few days (with crackers)! Please do, I have already shared these with a few mates of mine here! I thank you in advance =D


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Ha! Ask and you shall receive. Just to clarify my last comment, I recommend getting a meal plan at school that will enable you to get 5 meals a week or about $50/week for on-campus food, that way you'll never go hungry. I have a great idea for you yet! I'm sure that as soon as I publish the hub, you'll get a email notification. Thanks again.


Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

What a great hub. Must send this link to my boys!

Good work as usual Dohn121.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, Duchess! Thank you for commenting! I hope that it helps them :D


rtacterri profile image

rtacterri 6 years ago

great advice. we cut out paying for TV about 8 years ago and the kids still occassionally ask if we can get Discovery for Shark week. I don't see paying all that money for TV. We did have to buy convertor boxes due to the new signals, but it was a one time cost and we got a rebate card to help. We lose signal much less than our satelite and cable neighbors.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

That really is good to hear, rtacterri. Perhaps the only thing that I'm not old-fashion (if that is the operable word) about is high-speed internet, as I can't bare to revert back to dial-up. I just can't myself doing so, as to me, it would be like using outdoor plumbing. Thank you very much for commenting.


Hope Wilbanks profile image

Hope Wilbanks 6 years ago from Louisiana

Excellent hub...love it! :)


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you Hope. I'm glad you do!


mayhmong profile image

mayhmong 6 years ago from North Carolina

Great tips! I'm gonna do some more research online and earn extra points back. Will keep in mind, since I'm about to start living on my own. (GULP)


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Living alone? Sheesh! Now I have to bring you some sticky rice! Good luck May. I'm always willing to give you more advice...You just gave me another idea for a hub.


mayhmong profile image

mayhmong 6 years ago from North Carolina

Uhh.....is it a good or bad idea???


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

It's a great idea May! My first roommate in college stole money from me, "borrowed" TV over the Christmas break, and hooked up with a girl in my bed! I followed the 3 strikes and you're out rule and so moved into a single dorm and paid the extra $500 a semester (it was worth it). From there on, I moved into a Fraternity house and saw my grades sink lower than snake turds...

I then transferred out and moved to New Paltz and absolutely loved it--only that I was dead broke but managed. I'll give you some tips, May, to help you out. Congrats in advance on making the move to live on your own. I'm proud of you and know that you'll do fine!


mayhmong profile image

mayhmong 6 years ago from North Carolina

Can't believe your roomate did that to ya?! But hey, at least he was not gay. LOL

Anyways, can't wait to see this new hub.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Good job, Dohn, See I have gathered some of the things in addition to what I have written, Hope you have an ew house after two years, You deserve it! Maita


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

...And the first thing I'm going to do is get a dog! I've lived in rentals practically all my life (including college dormitories) and have been asking myself the same question: "When are you going to get a dog?"

Thanks, Maita. I'm glad that you found some new info.


Solar man 6 years ago

Those are some good ways to save money :)

Here are some more to try

http://hubpages.com/money/How-to-cut-costs-at-home


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, Solar man. I'll be sure to check it out.


Solar man 6 years ago

I'm glad you enjoyed the hubs.I'm working on a few more you might like :)


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Awesome. That's great to hear, Solar man. You really are on to something. Over time, I hope that Google likes you as well. In that way we'll be talking about the moola you're earning on top of what you're already saving :D


stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Merry Christmas. Great advice and good things to remember. Thank you for sharing. Your work is very nice and photos are very neat too. God Bless You.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Merry Christmas to you too! Thank you for the great compliments! I hope to hear from you again.


Karina S. profile image

Karina S. 6 years ago from USA

Dohn 121, love your hub amd comments, great tips and advice.

Thanks for sharing.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, Karina. I had a lot of fun writing this one and believe that these ways/methods/tips are very practical in not just saving for a house, but saving money in general. Thank you!


marcofratelli profile image

marcofratelli 6 years ago from Australia

Hey Dohn, these are some pretty cool tips.

You know I've always believed that there are 2 ways to get rich: 1) Be a tight arse and 2) win Lotto... and I don't think I'll be winning Lotto any time soon! :)


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Ha! Thank you for ?hat, Marco! I'm not holding my breath for such an event either as we have a better chance of getting struck by lightning :) Great advice too, may I add :)


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Wonderful tips and advice! I'm not the best at saving!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks Hollee. I'm getting better at it myself! (It's good when you practice what you preach!).


dealrocker profile image

dealrocker 6 years ago from California

What a great advice. Voted up! Liked your other hubs too. Keep up the great effort. Joining your fanclub and would like to invite you to join mine. :)


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Great tips. I know a lot of people will get help from your hub. Good. Will rate


geekchick profile image

geekchick 6 years ago

Great tips! I just bought my first home and follow most of these myself. They are great ways to save money easily. Using the library and paying for internet are great pieces of advice. Cancelling cable can save you a lot of money now that most shows are available online and many libraries own seasons of television shows on DVD. Even if your local library doesn't own them they may be able to borrow them from others.

I can see myself referring back to this hub and sharing it with others. Great job!


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Absolutely sound advice, even if one is not looking to save to buy a house. The principles in here are multi-beneficial. Whenever someone tells me I pinch pennies too much, I often say back to them, "If you're not a millionaire, then don't spend your money like you don't have to worry about it."

As for the whole issue of a down payment before buying a house. Man, did we ever just recently learn how important a down payment can be...

It means you probably can actually afford the house you want to buy.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 4 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you dealrocker. I appreciate the response and look forward to getting to know you through your hubs.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 4 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks Granny's House. Please refer them back to me if you can :D


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 4 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, geekchick. My apologies to you and everyone else I was slow to respond to. One of the things that I can now add to this hub is the fact about Netflix and Hula Plus which offer just about every movie and TV show under the sun for about $8 per day...Which just gave me another idea for a Hub. Thanks again!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 4 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you so much for commenting Springboard. It means a lot coming from you. Great job on the quote. I am now actually have enough for my down payment for my first house after having practicing what I preached no less...It's been a long time coming and now I have the means to make the ends meet. Thank you!

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