You might have a degree, your own car, and a decent job, but buying a home is the ultimate in life goals. It’s a status symbol—proof you’re winning. (Mom will be so proud.) There’s just one thing holding you back: You can’t get financing without a down payment, and there’s no way you can save thousands of dollars. Or is there?
Here’s the research: Millennials aren’t buying homes as frequently as people in previous generations did, but they’re more likely to earn a bigger salary. So what’s the problem? A lot of it comes down to lifestyle. Millennials would rather spend money on travel than buy a home, backing up the notion many have held about this demographic for years: experiences are more valuable than things. But that doesn’t mean young people want to do without small daily luxuries, like dining out and the regular latte either. Forty-seven percent would actually prefer renting to buying if it meant they can still afford these indulgences. This begs the question: is it possible to save for a down payment without compromising your lifestyle? Here are some unusual ways to save for a home without budgeting, or sacrificing what you love.
Become an Rideshare Driver
If you want to become a first-time home buyer, you need a side hustle. If you already have a car, becoming a part-time driver is a great way to secure some extra cash without giving up your day job. You don’t need any qualifications—apart from being able to drive, obviously—and you can train in as little as seven days. If you’re lucky, you could save a hundred dollars a week.
Sell Your Clothes on eBay. Or Mercari. Or Poshmark. Or Wherever.
Clothes. No doubt you have loads of them, and most are probably somewhere in the back of your closet collecting dust. Consider selling your wares—and anything else laying around that you don’t need—on eBay or other selling sites (a simple google search reveals you have plenty of options) to raise some cash for your down payment. Need some inspiration? This British student made £30,000 ($40,000) online from selling clothes that her friends and family no longer wanted.
Give Up Your Streaming Services
A standard Netflix subscription will now set you back $12.99 every month. Considering the average household subscribes to at least three streaming services, cancelling them could lead to quite a bit of extra change at the end of 12 months.
Sure, you love “The Crown” and “Stranger Things,” but all those shows will still be waiting for you when you move into your new home. By then, you might even have room for your friends to come watch, too.
Start a YouTube Channel
YouTube isn’t just a place to watch cat videos. No, you can make some serious cash creating your own content. You don’t need skill or a niche (really). Just be yourself. Film videos about your life. Tell the world your opinions. Give some advice. Who knows, you might generate millions of views and make lucrative returns from ad revenue. Famous YouTubers Logan Paul, PewDiePie, and Jeffree Star were all in your shoes once. Now they’re all millionaires.
Investing may seem overwhelming if finance isn’t your thing, but new companies like Robinhood and Acorns, which automatically invests your change everyday, have made it super simple, even for beginners. Just download your favorite app, and trade right from your phone. Most services even allow you to directly invest in Bitcoin, the preferred investment of Millennials, who are more likely to buy it than any other traditional stock.
Take Up Dropshipping
Dropshipping is another side hustle that requires very little effort. Basically, you fulfill orders on e-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay by buying goods from suppliers and shipping them to customers. Essentially, you’re the middleman, and you take a slice of the pie. Do some research to find out how it works and see if this part-time job suits you.
Set Up a GoFundMe
Ok, nobody likes asking for a handout, and there are much better causes people can spend money on, but you could raise funds for your down payment with a GoFundMe. Explain why you need some financial help, and friends and family can send you cash if they want.
The Bottom Line
While none of the tips on this list will turn you into a homeowner over night, they do prove you can save for a down payment over time without having to adhere to a strict budget or limit your lifestyle. Just keep your eyes on the prize and think of your long-term goal: Moving into your dream home. Good luck!