One of the largest obstacles between you and home ownership is coming up with enough money fund the required mortgage down-payment. Let’s assume that we’re looking for the average single family home in Massachusetts which is roughly $350,000. Let’s also assume you are like the majority of home buyers in this state and qualify for an FHA Loan, which is a 3.5% down payment or roughly $12,250. This isn’t amount of money most people have sitting in there bank accounts. So how do you find the cash to fund your dreams of home-ownership? Here are a list of things most buyers do to save up some cash:
Side Job or Temp Work – Can you pick up a side job or work for a temp agency? It’s may not be something you ant to do permanently, but it’s worth it to reach your home-ownership goals. Let’s assume you can pick up a part time job working 10 hours per week at $15 per hour. If you worked 48 of 52 weeks in the year you’d have an extra $7200 (before taxes) to add to your home savings account.
Cut Cable & Phone Bill – Many of us have Comcast or Verizon packages that consist of every movie channel, sport package and various other upgrades. Are these things we can live without for a little while? The same goes for many phone bills. Many of us are paying $40 per month or more for data packages while the only thing we do with our phone that require data is posting to Facebook. If you can reduce one of these bills by $50 or two of them by $25 each, you would be saving a total of $600 for the year.
Cut Gift Spending – We all love our family and friends but could you cut back on birthday and holiday gifts for one year? I think your friends and family would stand by you if your gift were less expensive this year because you’re saving to purchase a home. Statistics show cutting this spending out entirely can put another $600 in your pocket for the year.
Work Overtime – Are there overtime hours available at your current job? Maybe it’s time to stay late or come in early. It may be a good idea to approach your manager and see what extra hours he/she can offer you.
Save Your Tax Returns – Getting a nice check back from the government this year? Don’t view this influx of cash as discretionary spending. Many Americans look at this check(s) as chance to buy a bigger TV or various other luxuries. Be smart and save this money for your down payment. The big screen will look better next year in your new home.
Hang At Home – Let’s assume that you’re like most of us and you love to hang out on the weekends. If you’re spending an average of $100 per weekend (drinks, food, movies etc) and your going out every other weekend, you’re spending an average of $2600 per year on entertainment. Can you cut than down this year to just 1 weekend per month? If so you’re saving $1300 per year and you’re that much closer to you saving goals.
Cut Your 401K Contributions – I’m a big believer in saving for your retirement, but I believe even more that every individual should own their own home. It may be a good idea for you to speak with your HR department and cut down (or cut out) your retirement contributions and add those additional funds to your savings.
Ask Your Family For Help – When your family sees all the lifestyle adjustments you’ve made to save for home ownership, they will see how important it is to you and will become important to them as well. Can they help you with your down payment?