If you are committed buying Windsor real estate in the next few years, but having trouble even comprehending how to save money for a down payment, I’m here to tell you that it can be done. Not only can it be done, but most buyers have been where you are now: trying to figure out where they can save and as quickly as possible.
I have found that once a person sets the goal to buy a home, saving money is easier. Splurging on unnecessary items or impulse buying is no longer a threat once the bigger picture, such as a home, is clearly in focus. Take a good, long and hard look at your living expenditures, such as gym memberships, vacations and entertainment, and see where you can cut back. Don’t take away all your fun, as that can make saving for a home a big resentment, but rather find where you can curb your spending. And think of this, it’s more fun to see the balance of your savings account grow each month than it is to eat out for dinner several times a week.
1. Record all expenses:
It happens to all of us. We have a certain amount of cash at the beginning of the week, and next thing you know, we need to go to the bank to withdraw more. Where did it all go? It’s amazing how quickly it can all go when we are not paying attention. Write down everything you spend throughout the day, whether it’s for a piece of gum or filling up the gas tank. You can’t cut back if you don’t know where to start first. Look to see how much you eat out, how often you go shopping or buy your favourite coffee. After several weeks, take a look at your shopping history. What surprises you the most? Chances are, you will notice quickly where you can start saving.
2. Automatic savings:
If you can’t see it, then you can’t spend it. Either through your employer or your bank, determine how much you can save and have it automatically withdrawn from your paycheck and transferred into a savings account. You won’t have the temptation to spend if it’s not into your checking account. Look for a high yield savings account.
3. Look at your current rent:
Cutting the cost of your rent is one significant way to save money each month. I have had clients move back in with parents, get a roommate or move from a highly desirable rental unit to a one bedroom flat. Knowing that this living arrangement is temporary is helpful and can often save hundreds of dollars each month.
4. Refinance debts:
Spend a day and call your credit card companies and see if you can lower your current interest rate. This would also include any car loans. Look into balance transfers or looking into other banks that provide lower rates. Again, this can add quite a bit to your savings program.
5. Part time work:
Many future home buyers take on freelance work or find a part-time job on weekends or evenings. One former client developed web sites on the side while another did nanny work for her neighbour.
6. Have a yard sale:
Throwing a yard sale to get rid of stuff you rarely use can bring in quite a tidy sum. If you have old sports equipment, furniture, clothes, books, music that you no longer need, plan on a garage sale once the weather turns warmer. Ask other neighbours or friends to join you as the more items you have, the bigger the turnout.
7. Look for better deals on insurance, cable, etc:
Now is the time to look into your car and rental insurance rates, cell phone contracts, internet and other necessary items and see if you can find a better deal. Ask yourself if you really need cable television and can survive instead watching programs online? However, if you do like cable, then contact your current company and ask for a better deal. Almost always you can come away saving money.
2014 is here and now is the time to find out where you want to be this time next year. If living in your own home is at the top of the list, then get started today to make your dream a reality.