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Top Tips to Help You Save Money for Your First Home

Buying a house may be the most expensive and rewarding purchase you ever make. To ensure you have enough money for this purchase, start saving now with these savvy tips.

Three model homes stacked on top of coins.

Select a Savings Goal

You're more likely to save enough money for your home purchase if you set a goal. It should include money for the down payment and other homeowner expenses, such as closing costs, home insurance, house renovations and moving expenses.

To calculate your savings goal, meet with a mortgage lender. Discuss your income, credit score and current debt load, which are a few factors that lenders use to determine how much house you can afford.

Then, choose a down payment amount. Some lenders require as little as 3.5%, but a down payment of 20% could reduce your mortgage debt, potentially lower closing costs and increase your equity.

Open a Dedicated Savings Account

Start with opening a dedicated savings account that is separate from any other savings accounts you may have and is not used to pay bills or living expenses. Because you generally won't miss the money you don't see, set up automatic, recurring withdrawals from your primary checking account into that dedicated savings account.

Create and Follow a Monthly Budget

Be intentional about saving money when you add your house fund to your regular spending plan or budget. A budget guides your spending and your savings.

Whether you use a paper budget ledger or an app, reevaluate your budget regularly. Look for ways to increase income, reduce expenses and boost your savings for your future.

Find New Income Sources

Increase your income and deposit the extra money you make into your dedicated account. You could start with overtime hours or an additional part-time job such as a dog walker, retail associate, or even a driver for a ride-sharing company.

Don't forget to save all your spare change and any unexpected income you receive, such as your annual work bonus or raise, income tax refund, inheritance or cash birthday gifts. Any sacrifices you make now will pay off when you're ready to buy your home.

Reduce Expenses

Most of us can afford to cut expenses. Take an honest look at your monthly expenditures and carefully look for ways to reduce spending, such as:

  • Use a streaming service instead of cable or satellite TV.
  • Cook at home rather than eat out.
  • Cancel unused subscriptions or memberships.
  • Substitute a staycation for an extravagant vacation.
  • Choose generic over brand-name products.
  • Buy used clothing, accessories and furniture.

Make Temporary Lifestyle Changes

Creatively boost your savings account with short-term lifestyle changes. You could move in with your parents or take on an extra roommate. You could also carpool or take public transportation to work.

Buying your first home is a big, yet rewarding, commitment. These savings tips can help ensure you have enough money set aside for this purchase.

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