Are you considering buying a house? It’s a great time to do so: interest rates are still low, it’s statistically more cost-effective than renting, and you can build equity in your own home rather than giving your money to a landlord.
To help get you started, Miranda Crace with Zing! by Quicken Loans shares some ways you can save for a down payment without feeling the pinch in your wallet.
1. Put It on Autopilot
Automating your savings makes it easier for you to reach your financial goals without thinking about it.
BoostUp is a service that helps you save incrementally for things like a car or a house. You determine how much per day you’d like to save, and at the end of the week, it transfers money out of your account to build your balance over time without lifting a finger. It also lets you round up purchases to the nearest dollar when you connect your debit and credit cards to your account and deposits the remainder in your BoostUp savings.
If you sign up for an account through BoostUp and close your mortgage with Quicken Loans, Quicken will match your down payment savings up to $750 in the form of a lender credit.
2. Smarter Eating
Most of us don’t want to cook every night, and the amount we spend on dining out may surprise you. Millennials spend 44 percent of their overall food budget, or an average of $2,921 annually, on dining out, while Baby Boomers spend $2,629 annually.
If you’re able to cut just $10 out of your weekly restaurant budget, that nets you an extra $520 per year that could go toward your down payment. If you’re ambitious, you might set a goal to cut $20 from your weekly budget.
Try bringing your lunch twice a week to help cut costs. It’s a little more prep in the morning, but it can make a big impact on your budget (and health). Or choose carry out instead of delivery – if the cost of the gas is less than the delivery fee and the tip, it makes a lot more sense.
You may have over 300 cable channels, but how many do you watch on a semi-regular basis? By cutting cable and keeping the internet, you can pay only for you want, and save.
For the one-time cost of a digital antenna for each of your TVs, you can get local channels for free in HD. Most TV shows and many movies are available on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Paying $10-$12 per month for a subscription to one or more of these services may be less expensive than your cable bill. You can even get premium channels like HBO and Starz on their own for about that price.
4. Cancel Subscriptions
Consider all your subscriptions and whether or not you use them fully. This especially goes for any food or clothing subscriptions, which tend to be more expensive.
If you have a subscription you’re not using, an easy way to put money back into your pocket is to dump what you don’t use.
If you’re billed on a monthly or yearly basis, be sure to cancel auto renewal.
5. Check Your Phone Plan
With connected offices and homes, most of us spend the majority of our day on Wi-Fi. Do we really need 10 GB of cellular data if we’re only going to use one? Probably not. Switching to a cheaper cell phone plan could save you money.
Google’s pay-as-you-go phone service, Project Fi, is currently $20 per month for unlimited voice and texting and $10 per gigabyte for data. You only pay for what you use, and the network uses available Wi-Fi before data, saving you even more.
If you’ve been budget conscious and have your down payment in place, you may be ready to buy a house. Go ahead and get started online with Rocket Mortgage® by Quicken Loans®. If you’d rather get started over the phone, one of Quicken’s Home Loan Experts would be happy to take your call at (888) 980-6716.
– Coffee fiend, baking extraordinaire, and Zing content strategist, Miranda Crace brings a creative touch to everything she does. In her time at Quicken Loans, she’s worked with the Public Relations and Social Media teams and written home, money, and seasonal content for Zing. Check out more information about home, money and life from the Zing Blog.