Renting? There are perks to renting, like no mortgage payments, no property taxes, no maintenance work or repairs… but there’s one huge drawback, You’re not gaining equity in a home!
The thing stopping most of the people I know who rent from buying is the down payment you need. 1 in 5 Americans don’t even have a savings account, and 1/3rd of those people have a $0 account balance.
Saving money is hard, here’s some tips that might help!
Set a target goal: Figure out exactly how much house you can afford, this allows you to determine exactly how much you need to save for the down payment. Then, put together a detailed savings plan, research shows people who have a plan are more likely to succeed at reaching their goal than those who don’t have a plan. You need a hard dollar amount to work towards.
Assess your spending habits: This will be hard to see, at least it was for me. Look at your bank statements from the last 3 months and see where your money is going. Identify areas where you can cut back, like those daily Starbucks runs or the weekly trip to target. (those are my weaknesses) Maybe switch up where you grocery shop, go online before you head to the store and look for deals and coupons.
Shrink your TV package: Unless you’re like me and you’ve already cut the cord, (I stream from Netflix and get my news off YouTube) consider giving up the cable or just downsizing. If you’re not down to cut it off completely or can’t give up your channels, call your provider anyway and try to negotiate a lower rate. As long as there’s another cable provider in your area, you’ve got leverage.
Forget the gym membership: You can workout outside or at home for free!! I know that some people wouldn’t even consider this an option, but add up the membership fee’s and then weigh out the pro’s and con’s. I dropped my $40 gym membership and bought some workout tapes at Walmart. (But, I hated the gym anyways)
Downsize: Here in Reno, downsizing from a one bedroom apartment to a studio will save you thousands a year. Live modestly, if you’re serious about wanting to own a home. Reducing your living space not only saves you on rent, but energy bills too!
Get a 2nd job: Uber, Lyft and Postmates(a food delivery service) are all jobs that pay you for driving around in your car!
Open a high-yeild savings account: Instead of keeping your cash in a regular account where it’s not earning interest, move the money to a high-yield savings account. You get full access to your money but it acquires interest daily.
Get a cash rewards credit card: Put away your old credit cards and apply for a card with cashback rewards. Blue Cash Preferred American Express, Chase Freedom Credit Card or the Citi Double Cash Card.
Save your tax refund: If you’re anything like me, and most people I know, you go out and spend your tax refund on a vacation or something big. Consider exerting some willpower and put the money away.
Sell your stuff: Having a yard sale isn’t going to make you tons of cash, but it will give you some extra money to put towards your down payment. I may be a little bit of a pack rat.. so getting rid of stuff was hard! But I made around $500 selling some stuff I had no use for anymore. I also sold some furniture on craigslist! I had a great experience with it and made $1,000 on some couches and a dining table that were sitting in my storage unit gathering dust.
When you’re sitting in your $400 a month studio apartment watching Netflix and eating that popcorn you got half off with a coupon, remember that soon you’ll be in a home of your own.