- Personal Finance
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.
How to Save Money
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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