It is my belief that this year is going to be better for Windsor real estate as compared to recent years. The market is on the upswing, home prices are slowly increasing and I’m hearing from people who are eager to buy a home before interest rates move up and realize it’s a good time to take the plunge and make the purchase.
For those who hope to buy a home this year, but are still short on cash, every once in a while on this site I offer ways to save money. It really isn’t difficult to cut back and track your spending when you have a goal in mind, like a house for instance. And because down payments and closing costs are here to stay, it’s best to start saving as soon as possible. It’s also a good habit to learn as once you own a home, you will find that living with a budget while saving for emergencies is the best possible way to live a more stress free life.
So, here are some new tips on saving money:
1. Cancel unused memberships.
If you are paying dues for a gym or golf membership that you rarely use, then get rid of these monthly expenses. Even if you think you might use them again, you can always renew at a later date. But for now, think of how much you will be saving each month. Instead, go outdoors to get exercise or use a local public course to golf.
2. Give a gift of service:
If you have friends that are new parents, offer an evening of free babysitting. Or offer to pet sit for a friend that travels frequently. Bake a friend dinner for their birthday as opposed to going out to a pricey restaurant. In other words, you don’t need to spend money in order to give a personal gift to a good friend or family member.
3. Brown Bag Lunch:
Going out to lunch five days a week is not only costly, but it’s not good for you if your diet consists of fast food. You can easily save $200 per month, that’s $2400 per year, by making a lunch at home and taking it to work. And while you may not want to make your lunch every work day, make it a goal to start at least three days a week. The savings are still considerable.
4. Clean Out Your Closet:
Get rid of stuff you no longer need or will never wear again. Take them to a consignment shop or have a yard sale. Not only will you feel better looking into an organized closet, but you will have some extra money in your wallet.
5. Automatic Savings Plan:
Create an automatic savings plan by having a certain amount deposited into your savings account every month. If you don’t see it in your checking account, then you won’t spend it.
6. Buy Generic:
Do you really care if you have an expensive brand of cereal or the store brand? A good rule is to find what products work for you and buy cheaper when you can. Also, create your meals around the weekly store specials. And never buy anything that isn’t on sale.
7. Shop During The Slow Season:
Yes, Christmas is behind us, but I know of many that are already shopping for next year. Buying one or two gifts a month is much better than splurging and panicking the month of December. It also gives you plenty of time to shop for bargains.
8. Drop Bad Habits:
Anything that negatively affects your health, like smoking, should be stopped we all know that. But think of the money you can save not to mention a better quality of life. These bad habits just send money out the door and you have gained nothing in return.
9. Save Energy:
Look at it this way: saving is the opposite of wasting. So turn off the lights in rooms you are not using, unplug the TV or computer. Turn the heater down several degrees in the winter. Making these small steps will reward you when your monthly bills arrive.
10. Use What You Have:
How many of us run to the grocery to grab something for dinner when chances are, we have plenty at home already? The problem is, we just don’t know what to do with the ingredients. Many websites are out there that will find recipes based on the food you have at home. And lets face it. Those quick trips to the grocery always end up being impulsive shopping at its worst.
Cutting back and watching your savings grow means you are one step closer to becoming a homeowner. It’s a good goal to have.