Scraping together enough money for the down payment on a home can be a challenge. And even if you do have the funds, having extra cash on hand can help with unexpected costs. The following are some of our favorite ways here at San Joaquin Valley Homes to help you and your family save for down payment money.
The Week-Number Challenge demands that you save dollars equal to the number of weeks that you’re into the challenge. For example, on week one, you save $1. On week 2, you save $2. And on week 3, you save $3, up until week 52, where you put away $52. You’ll end up with $1,378 by the end of the challenge. That may not seem like much but why not get every member of your family into the game? The little ones can contribute one cent, two cents, etc, all the way up to 52 cents. This gives them a financial investment in your next property.
If you feel the end result is still too small, up the ante by ten, so that week one saves $10, week two saves $20, up to week 52 for $520. This strategy ends up with $13,780 by the end of the challenge – enough to buy a $393,000 home if you qualify for an FHA loan with a minimum payment 3.5% down.
Pay to Eliminate Bad Habits
You’ve always wanted to stop drinking soda at every meal or stop eating donuts before work or kick that cigarette habit. Now you can pay yourself to kick those bad habits. Every time that you decide not to buy that soda, doughnut, or pack of cigarettes, use the money you would’ve spent to throw into your down payment kitty. Depending on how early you start, how many bad habits you decide to eliminate, and whether you get other family members involved, you may end up with a sizable amount in a short time.
Go Netflix and Hulu
How much does your family spend to go to the movies every Saturday night? And what’s the monthly bill for accessing all your cable stations plus specialty channels like HBO? Cut the cord on these expensive diversions and switch to monthly subscriptions to movie and TV services. Netflix typically has the latest flicks, although it may take a few weeks or months to show up there. For TV series, even current ones, Hulu is the service to have.
No Credit Is Good Credit
Credit cards are a great way to get what you want now and avoid having to carry wads of money. Unfortunately, they reduce spending real cash to mere numbers and a signature on a piece of paper. This method of buying is easy and painless until you have to pay the bill at the end of the month. You usually end up spending extra and have interest to contend with.
Leave the credit cards at home for a month and operate with cash only. You’ll discover that you’re suddenly more judicious in buying when you have to hand over actual dollar bills. This leaves you more money at month’s end to put toward your down payment. You may also find out that operating with cash only is easy enough that you extend your strategy for two or more months, which, of course, gives you more savings.
If you want to tour the homes that you can put your savings toward, please contact us.