Buying a house is expensive. You need a down payment, money for closing costs, moving expenses, and don’t forget all the gorgeous furniture and curtains you have pinned on your Pinterest page.
So if you know you’ll need a lot of money to buy a house, why aren’t you saving more?
Or pizza. Or margaritas. Or steak dinners.
Austin residents spend an average of over $6300 on eating out. Sure, here in New York, that wouldn’t even cover a year’s tax escrows on an average house. But in many places, that would pay a lot of closing costs.
I like eating out too. Let’s face it, I’m never going to learn how to make my own sushi. But if your dream is to buy a house of your own, it’s time to reevaluate your dining habits.
You Aren’t Saving Because It’s Not a Priority
You spent hours setting up categories of bills in a spreadsheet. You pay your rent promptly on the first of the month. You’ve never been late for a car or credit card payment.
Why don’t you have a budget category for savings? Why don’t you transfer money into savings before paying other bills?
Or more importantly, why is some big credit card company or car dealership more important than you?
Pay yourself first. You’re worth it.
You Aren’t Saving Because Your Friends Don’t Save
This one is tough.
You want to save. But your sister invites you for a long weekend at the beach. Or you only have time to catch up with your friend who just had a baby by getting together for lunch. And don’t even think about your friends who enjoy recreational shopping.
Some people suggest expensive activities because they’ve never thought of anything else. Why not find creative ways to enjoy yourself that don’t cost lots of money?
Some of my favorites:
- pot luck dinners at home followed by board games
- sledding at a local park with a big thermos of hot chocolate
- a picnic dinner with a bottle of wine at the many outdoor summer concerts
I’m sure you can come up with lots of ideas. And hopefully, your friends want your company more than they want a mediocre lunch out or a trip to the mall.
You Aren’t Saving Because You Don’t Earn Enough Money
Everyone in America thinks he’s middle class. I recently heard a pundit on a news channel say that an income of $250,000 a year is not rich. And people earning minimum wage don’t think of themselves as poor.
But even though we like to believe the American Dream is attainable for everyone, that’s just not the case.
If your income is too low, you need to increase it. Because you can only do so much by being frugal.
And don’t forget to contact the one person you shouldn’t wait to call when you want to buy a house—a housing counselor.
An independent eye might help you find ways to save, programs to help stretch your income, and even suggest some money making opportunities. You have nothing to lose by asking.
Save More Money – Start Today
It’s impossible to save too much money when you want to buy a house. Ever dollar you add to your down payment will lower the amount of interest you’re paying on your mortgage and increase your likelihood of profiting when you sell that home.
Besides, I’m assuming you don’t just want a house so you can enjoy the echo sounds as you walk through your empty living room. You want to garden, decorate, or entertain.
So cut down on the sushi, make saving a priority, find frugal friends, and get help if you need it. And on the day you move into your very first home, you won’t regret starting that savings habit one bit.
photo credit: y_katsuuu via photopin cc. Click on the image to learn more about the photographer.