Tips on Budgeting for a House
You’ve got your eye on the prize, and that prize is your very first home. It’s one of the most exciting times in a person’s life. Saving for it, however, is no picnic. It takes discipline and planning, but that makes it all the more exciting when the time comes. No more rent checks going out the window, and you can decorate your home just how you like it! If a purchase is on the horizon but you still have some saving to do, we can help. Read on for tips on budgeting for a house.
Can You Freeload for a Time?
This one might be painful but it could be just what you need to get you to that finish line. If you have someone who would be willing to put you up for six months to a year, saving this money in rent could be just the difference you need to get that final nut for your down payment. We know it’s not the perfect option for everyone but, if it is an option for you, go for it. You’ll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel the whole time. And you can always offer to pay for utilities, babysit, or the like in exchange for this help from your family member or friend.
Your FOMO (fear of missing out) must become a thing of the past. Yes, you’ll see a lot of your friends and family members going on vacations, enjoying shopping sprees, going out to dinner, and more—all thanks to the wonders of social media. It might sting a bit but when you consider what you’re doing this all for, it makes it worth it. It’s not like you won’t ever go on vacation again, but it’s time to buckle down and make sacrifices for that big prize.
Monitor What’s Going Out
In order for you to budget, you obviously need to know what you are spending in the first place. If you’re using cash, this can be more challenging. Many financial experts will recommend using your debit card for a month or two to keep track of where your money is going. If you use it for everything you do, you can easily transfer that information into your spreadsheet. Very few businesses are “cash only” these days, so it shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Stick to That Budget
We get it. Spreadsheets make you itch. But seeing the numbers going in and the numbers going out each month will help you to remain accountable to your end game. If you stay true to entering all your purchases, it’ll help you start sweating the small stuff and actually learn to save. Again, you don’t have to do this forever, but that daily Starbuck’s latte adds up. For now, those extra expenses have to go, and you’ll see a difference in your bottom line.
Your budget should also reflect where you live, so you’d better be aware of the cost of living in your area. For example, the cost of living in Lansing, Michigan is significantly lower than that of Denver, Colorado. Of course, if you’re living in Denver and that’s where you hope to stay, you know that you need to save that much more to be able to afford to stay in your dream city.That also ultimately means you’ll be able to sell a house in Denver, which should reap you major rewards if the market continues in its current direction.
Not all of us go into buying a home with the knowledge we need, so there’s no shame in getting help. Sit down with a financial advisor to go over your accounts and get tips on where you can save and make possible investments. It’s easy to say that you’re going to set goals but a financial advisor can help you actually stick to them.
Pick Up Extra Work
There are so many ways to pick up extra money on the side these days and, if there ever were a time for you to do this, it’s now. Whether it’s a moneymaking app like Ibotta or Ebates, selling clothes, driving for Lyft or Uber, or even just grabbing a shift or two waiting tables, every penny counts. And, hey, working more keeps you from the temptation of those damaging trips to the mall. So there’s that.
There are very few better feelings in life than working really hard for something and having that hard work pay off. Saving for a house can take dedication but follow these tips and you’ll be a homeowner before you know it.