According to a report from the National Association of Realtors, the average age of someone who is buying a house for the first time is 33-years-old – the oldest recorded since 1981. Houses are becoming more expensive, and people are finding themselves further into debt from student loans, making it that much more difficult to save enough to make such a substantial purchase.
But there is still hope. There are many ways to save money without sacrificing too much and still paying the necessary bills.
Here are a few helpful life hacks to help you save money and get yourself into your first home sooner rather than later.
It’s Time To Get Better With Your Budget
The first thing you’ll want to do when planning to buy a home, whether it’s your first time or your third, is to consider your budget. You’ll want to take inventory of not only how much you are able and willing to spend on a home, but also your daily or even weekly expenditure.
Figure out things you can minimize, like streaming networks that you could happily share with a friend, or getting on a family phone plan to cut costs. It doesn’t mean you have to remove all of your extra spending on fun activities, but providing yourself a weekly budget can dramatically help you understand what you have coming in, what you’re spending, and realistically how much you are able to save towards your future.
Get Crafty With A Side Hustle
If you’re looking to buy a house, you more than likely have a full-time job. That doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with a side hustle for extra cash. Figure out what your skill sets are and see how they can apply. Whether it’s picking up a few shifts at a local restaurant, babysitting for your neighbor, freelance writing through third-party platforms, or utilizing one of your side crafty hobbies to sell online, there is always a way to bring in a little extra money.
Set Up Automatic Payments To Your Savings Account
Most banks offer automatic payments to your savings account. While figuring out your budget, determine how much money you could realistically set aside from your paycheck every week. Then, automate a transfer on the first of every month to be deposited into your savings account. You’d be surprised how quickly it will add up when you don’t notice something as small as an extra $25 every month to be stacked away.
A Cash Jar For Your Bad Habits
Everyone has a habit they want to break and replace for a good one they want to start. Why not help yourself reach more than one goal by providing a monetized incentive? Say you want to start running every morning for three days a week. Each day you skip running, penalize yourself by putting $20 into a cash jar. That money is not allowed to be spent and will have to be deposited at the end of the week into the savings you have for your new home.
At the end of the day, the money will still go towards a future investment, but it could also be a great way to incentivize yourself to keep up with your personal habit goals too.
Use What You Already Have and Do What You Already Do
There are dozens of websites and apps out there that allow you to make money through activities you already do or by using products you already have. For instance, Spar is an accountability app that pays people for keeping up with their daily goals such as drinking water every day or sharing daily practices of gratitude. Other websites like Branded Surveys offer payments for product reviews through cash and gift cards. Who knows, you may already be using products on their lists.
Buying your first house can seem daunting, but the truth is that it’s very possible to attain your goal despite your circumstances. You might just have to get a little resourceful and creative along the way.