Owning a home is a big deal. It took us over a year before we bought our first home and we were really fortunate to get it for a very low price. After two years we decided that we wanted to move so that my husband could get a better job and I could stay at home with our expanding family, so we sold our house. For the following almost 4 years we lived in apartments doing things like managing complexes, working side jobs, anything we could to get all of our debt paid off and save up a big down payment. We looked for over a year for the perfect house, and finally found the one we wanted. Our second home (that we live in now) was more expensive then the first one and with the market changes, our payment was higher as well. We kept this higher payment and interest rate for a while, but wanted to make a change so we looked at Capital One Home Loans and loved their options. Overall it took us about 6 years of renting to really afford the home but it was worth the wait. We are now in the market for another home because with a large family you always want more space inside and out.
I want to share 10 budgeting tips to help you plan for your future dream home now so that you can start saving money and realize your goals sooner than later. These are tips almost everyone can apply and start saving money right away!
10 budgeting tips to help you plan for your future dream home now:
- Write down ALL of your incoming and outgoing numbers – keeping track is the only way to know exactly how much you have coming in and going out. Use a budget sheet and use cash to pay for everything.
- Get rid of Cable and Satellite TV and run off your antenna or subscribe to an inexpensive service to stream movies.
- Put at least 10% of every paycheck in savings and leave it there. If you can’t do 10% – do at least 5%.
- Communicate with your partner so everyone is aware of the financial situation to avoid overage fees, overdraft fees, etc.
- Make a shopping list of only essentials, eat before you leave to go to the store, and go alone or with your spouse to avoid unplanned purchases. Buy the items to make things at home like bread, cookies, meals, etc and do not buy pre-made or boxed items. You budget will go a lot further. Also shop the sales and use coupons when able.
- Avoid spending to much on cars, apartments, furniture, etc. Make do with what you have or set a minimum. While saving up for a dream house you don’t want to have hundreds of dollars going out on a car payment, toys (like a trailer, ATV’s, etc).
- Be self-sufficient and self-reliant. Do your own housework, yard work, grow a garden, learn how to can/bottle foods, sew, etc. These are all easy to learn and can save you a lot of money in the long run.
- Sell unused items around your house and minimize your shopping time. If you think of something you need make a list. At the end of the week go through and evaluate needs and wants.
- Go through your bills and see if you can get lower interest rates, lower prices, or better deals on the services that you have. You will be surprised what you will be offered when you ask. We have been able to do this with everything from phones, insurance, credit cards, loans, cable and more.
- Shop at second hand and thrift stores when you have the chance. If you don’t find what you need you can always go to a retail store. Often you will find what you need for a fraction of the cost. This is a must for children/youth clothing because they grow so fast. Also a great place to find bedding, books, toys, home and kitchen wares, etc.
Planning for a future dream home is exciting and scary at the same time. Even though we are living in a nice house right now, we have a 15 year mortgage and we are making extra payments so that we can have it paid off faster. That way we will be able to have that extra money when are kids get into college, marriage, etc. I would love hear your tips on how you plan for your future dream home now!