Make a Down Payment Savings Plan To Buy Your First Home

by D.D. Dolan 03/18/2019

You’ve been thinking it for a while: “I really should start putting some money aside for a down payment.” But, you just can’t seem to find any wiggle room in your budget.

You’re not alone. Saving for a down payment isn’t easy. Especially if you’ve got rent, car payments, student loans, and are trying to put money aside for retirement.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about how to make a game plan for your down payment. This way, you can start saving immediately, bringing you closer to your goal of homeownership each day.

Step 1: Give each dollar a job

The first rule of budgeting is that you need to know where each dollar you earn ends up. From there, you can start re-allocating funds to the things you want to save for.

There are many apps and tools available to help you out with this process, including YNAB (You Need A Budget) and Mint. If apps aren’t your thing, you can always use a simple spreadsheet.

First, account for all of your income. This could include your salary, rental income, or other forms of money that you have coming in.

Next, detail each of your weekly and monthly expenses. Everything from groceries to the internet bill and retirement contributions.

Step 2: Reassess your expenses

Now it’s time to make some tough decisions. Are there ways you can cut down on your weekly or monthly expenses? Maybe you aren’t using that Amazon Prime membership as much as you thought you would. Or, maybe you’ve decided you don’t really watch anything on cable but the news. There are a number of ways one might cut back on their monthly bills.

Get creative with family plans, bulk shopping for food, or cooking budget-friendly meals. All of these savings will add up quickly.

Step 3: Pay off small debts with high interest

Let’s face it, if you have thousands of dollars in student loans, you might not be able to aggressively pay them down by the time you want to move out of your apartment.

But, for small debts (under $1,000 credit card debt, for example), you could save more in the long run by paying them off and avoiding interest payments.

Step 4: Be smart about your savings

With the right savings account and credit card, you can earn money through savings interest and through cashback rewards on credit cards.

First, find a savings account with the highest possible interest rate. These can often be found from choosing an online bank who doesn’t have the overhead of running branches.

Next, direct deposit a set amount of your paycheck each week into that savings account. This way, you can be sure that you won’t dip into your down payment savings.

To generate additional income, you can use cash back rewards from credit cards for things like groceries and gas. Choose a credit card that offers the best cash back rewards for things like groceries and gas purchases. The key here is to only use your credit card on necessities and to always pay off the card in full at the end of each month.

If you follow these four steps, you should be able to streamline your down payment savings process and start saving right now.

About the Author
Author

D.D. Dolan

SReS SRS GRI e-PRO

First, let me be clear about what I am not. I am not just another salesperson. I am a service professional. Buying or selling your home is a significant and often emotional event in your life; it is not at all the same as buying a product in a store. Choosing the right Real Estate Professional to assist you is essential. Just as you rely on your attorney or accountant to serve your interests with honesty, diligence and integrity, so can you rely on me to represent your real estate interests in the same manner. Real Estate is a Service Profession and my approach is Client-Oriented. More than numbers, success lies in achieving your goals. I understand that every situation is unique, and statistics do not tell the whole story. My strong repeat and referral business is a clear indication of that success. Listening to the client is crucial. Identifying the clients' needs is the first, and most important step in the practice of Real Estate. I pride myself on my attention to detail. From fact-checking, to enticing and thorough descriptions in a listing, to providing the most current information, I never stop at "good enough.” My promise... Client service is always handled personally. Your research, your marketing … all of your real estate needs are my concern, never delegated. Marketing will always be creative, memorable, and far-reaching. Enthusiastic, evocative descriptions and high-quality photos engage buyers! Technology has greatly impacted the practice of Real Estate, and I fully utilize current capabilities. As technology advances, you will always benefit from the best of it! Communication with clients is always prompt and pertinent. Whether you want to know how your home is being perceived, whether new possibilities have come on the market for you, or simply what the next steps are, you will have the information you need when you need it. My skills, dedication, and "straight talk”, combined with enthusiasm and professionalism make me a valuable asset to the buyers and sellers I represent. I will help you easily navigate the complexities of the Real Estate process for a superior service experience. 

EXPERIENCE: Re-sales and new construction, across all segments of the residential market: Single-family homes, Condominiums, and Co-operatives 

EDUCATION: BA in Political Science with Minors in English and History from William Smith College, Geneva, New York 2 years attendance Syracuse University College of Law 

DESIGNATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS: Licensed Associate Broker, New York State Member, National Association of Realtors Member, New York State Association of Realtors Seller Representative Specialist Seniors Real Estate Specialist Graduate, Realtor Institute e-Pro Certified Certified Home Marketing Specialist President, White Plains Outdoor Arts Festival