Small Changes to Help You Save for a House

Verani Realty

Jar with change to represent saving moneyNew Year’s resolutions only work when we take steps to make them happen. If you want to buy a house in the coming year and your budget isn’t what it needs to be, there are ways to improve your chances. A surprising amount can be saved simply by changing a few common spending habits.

Now is a great time to buy, and the sooner the better. Over the next year, it is predicted that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates up to four times. This means that locking in at the lower rate during the next few months could save you money over the life of your loan.

You may be thinking, I am already trying to save money to buy a house - what more could I possibly do? But what about all those little things that you spend money on that you could do differently? Those things can really add up.

Here are a few changes to consider:

  • Price out groceries: Do you shop for groceries where it is most convenient, or do you shop where the prices are the most competitive? Some people have reported that simply going to a different store for their weekly needs can save them $30-$50 on their normal groceries. It pays to shop around and compare prices!

  • Control gasoline costs: Same as with shopping for the best pricing for groceries, making sure you fill up at the lowest-priced gas station is also a great way to pinch pennies. There are also loyalty or reward programs at the pump that have a lower price for regular customers. Over time this adds up, so it is worth signing up.

  • Dine out for less: You probably know this is an area where you can save, and maybe you already do it less now that you are trying to buy a house, but there is more to be done! If you really can’t give up dining out, try frequenting the less expensive establishments. Also, try take-out as a replacement. You could order pizza, take it home, and save big by buying your drinks at the grocery store. Not having to provide a server a tip, choosing less expensive meals, and buying drinks for a fraction of the price can really add up to savings - no cooking in your kitchen required.

  • Make coffee on the go: Who doesn’t like the convenience and flavor options available at the local coffee shop or drive-thru? But that is where many consumers spend $20 or more per week and don’t even think about it. Make your own at home and take it with you. Buy a thermos and make enough for that mid-afternoon coffee break you take. This can really add to your savings quickly.

  • Limit entertainment: Most people love a good movie, but every time anyone goes to a movie theater it is easy to spend $45 or more on tickets and snacks. Unless there is a “must-see” film being released, wait and rent it for at-home viewing.

  • Cut cable: More and more people are turning to smart TVs and online streaming of the shows they love versus a big cable package. There are economical options through the PS4 Vue or Roku for example, and making this move can save you $60 or more depending on your current monthly plan.

Saving enough money to buy a house seems like a tremendous challenge, but beyond the big things – like putting off vacations or that new car purchase – there are smaller, everyday ways you can save money. Small bur repeated savings over time can make a huge difference in qualifying to buy a home and your budget.

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