You know what it looks like. You know the size of the master suite, which appliances fill the kitchen, and how the deck looks on a summer morning. It’s your dream home and it’s out there waiting for you.
Instead of tolerating that awkward closet, mornings sharing the sink with your partner and a bedroom too small for your newborn, start saving for the home of your dreams. With some dedication and planning you can have your dream home. Here’s how to make it happen.
1. Pay Off Your Debts
It can be hard to save for your dream home when your money’s going to interest on credit cards or monthly car payments. Clear out as much debt as you can before you start saving. If you have a partner and can get by with only one car, it might be worth boosting your down payment by selling your car.
2. Track it with an App
Personal finance apps are great for tracking where your money goes and showing you where you can cut the fat. Apps like Mint, Wally, and HomeBudget are free or low cost and can make saving simple.
3. Get Rid of Grey Charges
Grey charges are those things you see on your bank or credit card statement each month and say, “What was that for, again?” Those small subscriptions and renewals take small bites out of your finances each month sometimes adding up to hundreds of dollars over the year. That money could be going to your dream home. Go through your monthly fees and eliminate those grey charges.
4. Make Your Meals
How much do you spend every day on lunch? How about dinner? Are you eating out most nights of the week? You can cut down on your spending by packing your lunch and cooking dinner at home. Going to the grocery store once instead of multiple times a week will help you budget your food spending.
5. Put a Pin in It
Sure a spice container that automatically measures and dispenses your spices is clever, but is it better than finally having your own sink for your morning routine? Start a Pinterest board for the things you want and wait 30 days to buy them. If after a month you really can’t live without it then buy it. Most likely that spice carousel won’t seem like such a necessity.
6. Go Old School in a New Way
When was the last time you went to a library? For a few bucks you can borrow movies, books, music and more. You don’t have to give up your Spotify or Netflix subscriptions, but with libraries offering lots of digital content as well as hard copies you might find you don’t need them as much as you thought. Especially when it can save you a few hundred dollars a year.
7. Protect Yourself
Web browsers and apps like Apple Pay and Google Wallet remember your credit card information and make it easy to spend. Put a layer of security around your purchases by clearing your cookies and deleting your apps. When you have to take the time to pull out your card and enter your information you might rethink what you buy.
8. Find Discount Deals
Online retailers offer special deals to companies like Groupon or BeFrugal and they’re a great way to save without actually having to clip coupons.
9. Go “By Owner”
Home sellers save an average of $14,000 on their home sale using ForSaleByOwner. With interactive tools and guides, marketing exposure to millions of buyers and services that help you photograph and price your home, selling isn’t just easier than trying to share the shower, it’s easier than you think. List your home for sale on ForSaleByOwner.