If you’re a first-time buyer looking for a home for sale in Scottsdale, you already know that saving up for a down payment can be tough – but follow these seven tips to start stashing away cash toward your dream home and you’ll have enough in no time!
7 (Almost) Painless Tips to Save for a Down Payment
Saving money can be a rough ride, but you don’t have to trim all your expenses go without things you need in order to put away enough cash for a down payment. It won’t be easy – it never is – and it won’t happen overnight, but there are 10 things you can start doing right now to put away a little bit of money each week.
#1: Look for Down Payment Assistance
Many first-time buyers don’t know that down payment assistance programs exist, but there are many types of grants designed to help buyers bridge the gap between how much they have and how much they need.
Pro tip: Look into Home Plus and Home in 5 programs.
#2: B.Y.O.C. (Brew Your Own Coffee)
It’s no secret that coffee from a coffee shop is a lot like the coffee that you brew at home – but if you’re stopping for a cup of java a couple of times each week, the dollar amount that’s slipping through your fingers adds up pretty quickly. Think of it this way: If you stop for a $4 cup of coffee 3 times a week, you’re spending almost $50 per month on coffee. That’s a $600 per year habit that you can break by investing in a good to-go cup and bringing your coffee from home.
#3: Start Using Cash
Give yourself an allowance each week, and keep it in cash. When you’re out of money, you’re out of money – no heading for the plastic. You’ll quickly figure out how to keep yourself under-budget. While you’re at it, don’t spend anything that jingles; keep all your change in a jar, which adds up faster than you think.
#4: Set Up an Automatic Transfer
Set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account so that part of each paycheck – however much you can afford without missing too much – goes directly out of your reach. Make sure you keep a close eye on it, though; overdraft fees can get pretty expensive, and they’re an incredible waste of money.
#5: Save Raises and Bonuses
If you get a raise, or if you get a bonus, stash it away immediately. Let’s say your weekly paycheck goes up by $50. Put that $50 directly into savings before you get used to earning more. You won’t miss it, and it’ll help rack up the amount in your savings account.
#6: Get Into a Lean Mindset
Look at how much money you spend each month. Are you dropping $200 on cable television that you rarely watch? It might be time to switch to Netflix, Hulu and HBO Now (we’re speaking from experience!). Even if you’re not ready to pare down, see if you can save money by bundling your services from one provider. If it’s time to renew a contract, call and ask what kinds of deals they can offer you so that you’re not forced to go with a cheaper competitor – you might be surprised at how far companies are willing to go to keep your business.
#7: Brown Bag Your Lunch
Going out to eat every day for lunch is one of the most expensive ways to avoid saving for your down payment. If you can bring your lunch even three days each week, you’ll save a ton of money – and you’ll probably be a little healthier for it, too. Add up all those $15 lunches (let’s say three times a week) and you’re looking at a total of $45. Over the course of a month, that’s $180 – but if you’re bringing your lunches from home, you can save $2,160 a year.
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Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team
RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255