SAVING MONEY FOR YOUR NEW HOME – EASIER THAN YOU MAY THINK
Saving for a down payment for your first home can seem like an overwhelming project. With some savvy saving and creative budgeting, you may reach that goal sooner than you think. If you don’t have a budget and you would like to buy your first home, now is the time to start one.
Planning a budget
There are many ways to begin a budget and resources that can help you. If you have never used one before, try EveryDollar or intuit Mint. These helpful tools can help create your budget by using your iPhone, Android or computer.
A common mistake made by many people as they set up their first budget is not having reasonable expectations. Your objective is to save, but in order for a budget to work, it has to be realistic. Don’t set yourself up to fail by making it too strict – or, too open ended.
Ideas to help you save
These ideas may seem too small to help much. This is true if you look at them individually. When you put them all together – they add up, and so will your money.
You will be amazed at what you spend on impulse incidentals every year. Use a small notebook (or your phone) and write down what you purchase each day. If you’re like most people, you will be in for a surprise.
The key to saving is to analyze what you really need and go from there. Let’s face it, need and want are two very different things. When you eliminate some of the ‘wants’ you can save money away and watch it grow.
Specialty drinks. How often do you turn into the neighborhood coffee shop for a specialty coffee or drink? Add them up and see how much you spend over a period of time. Try taking your own home-brew or favorite drink with you from home so you won’t be tempted to stop for a quick pick-me-up.
Impulse eating out. You’re out shopping or doing errands and since it has taken longer than you thought, you’re starving. You swing into your favorite eatery and grab a bite. Before you know it, you’ve spent more than you intended. Sound familiar?
This is quite different than planning a night out – which we all need from time to time. It’s these unplanned times of eating out that take a big bite out of your budget. You can save by keeping a bag of snacks that you can grab and go as you leave the house. Taking the edge off of your hunger will get you home in time to cook a meal that costs less and is a much healthier alternative.
How your bathroom can save you money
Believe it or not – there are things you can do in every room of your house that can save you money. Let’s focus on the bathroom and see how you can save money.
Search the sales. One of the most important ways to save money is to buy your paper products when they are on sale. The big box stores sell in bulk, but they aren’t always the best deals. Check to see how much per unit you are spending before you buy.
Long showers. When you limit showers to about five minutes, you will save money, and save one of our most valuable resources. Did you know that an average shower uses about two gallons per minute? You can also save money (and water) by taking a relaxing bath instead. If you love your showers, install a low-flow shower head and limit your time.
Turn the water off. How many times have you brushed your teeth and left the water running while you brush those pearly whites? When you turn the water to the off position when you don’t need it, water is saved (along with your money).
Be on the look-out for leaks. A leaky toilet or sink can increase your water use before you know it. You can also save money by decreasing the amount of water in your toilet tank. Try taking a 20-ounce soda bottle filled with water and drop it in your toilet tank mid-flush. The tank will still flush properly but it will use less water.
Watch your savings grow
If you have been saving money for a down payment on your first home, you may be closer than you think. Put away what you save with these and other ways into a special account so it will remain untouched. The next step is to talk to a mortgage lender to see if you are qualified for a pre-approved loan. The professionals at Shamrock Financial will advise you how to get you into your first home.