Home Buyer's New Years Resolutions - Changing Your Spending Habits to Buy a Home in Raleigh
Many Raleigh home buyers want to focus on change as the New Year rolls around. You may be thinking that this year you are going to make the changes necessary in your life so that you can put yourself in the position to buy a home. To buy now, you do have to worry about stricter income requirements. That means it is time to buckle down with a few simple ways to make changes to your spending habits. You can tuck away more this year so you have a larger down payment than you realize. These tips will help.
- Be realistic about what you are really spending. You may or may not have a budget, but what's written on paper rarely provides any real information to the buyer, in a store, with credit card in hand. Check out the LevelMoney app. It lets you know exactly how much spendable money you really have. That way, you can stop guessing and start making better decisions.
- Call your cable provider. If you want to be drastic about your savings, cancel your cable, rely on Netflix or Hulu, and your library to provide you with everything you need. You'll save $100 or more doing this. Otherwise, ask your provider to reduce your bill perhaps by cutting out those movie channels or going with a smaller plan.
- Pay off one of your credit cards. As you work to pay down your credit card bills overall, try to totally pay off one of your cards. Then, limit the use of all your other cards to your most essential purchases. If you limit your usage to just one card, it will easily let you see where you are shopping and how much you are spending. It is easier to keep track of and also limit just how much you can spend each month.
- Set a goal. Tell yourself you are going to find a way to save $100 this week. You can do it by cutting out expensive meals and bagging a lunch for work, or using the carpool. While most people carpool with friends or coworkers, there is also the option of looking online for a ride with someone in your community (e.g. erideshare.com or even craigslist). Start by giving yourself a goal, then find ways to work towards that goal and put that money into your savings.
- Find your biggest weakness and stop it. Be honest with yourself. Where are you losing the most money? Are you eating out a lot, buying items you do not need, or spending on convenience foods instead of making meals from scratch? Look for the area that is most problematic for you and reverse it into a money maker.
- Cut out your luxury spending. Do you have subscriptions to tons of magazines? Try canceling those subscriptions and reading the exact same articles for free online. Do you have a gym membership that you rarely use? Why not cancel that membership for $29 a month, and go for a jog around your neighborhood instead, or if safety is a concern, then why not pick up an exercise DVD for a one-time payment of $19.99. Every time you spend, you are taking that amount out of your savings account. If you are serious about buying a home, then now is the time to cut out your luxury spending.
- Focus on improving your grocery bill. Are you buying the best items for less, using coupons, and reducing the number of pre-boxed meals you are consuming? Make the most out of every grocery store trip so you can save more. The best way to control how much you spend at the grocery store is to go prepared with a list.
- Evaluate the long-term goal. Sometimes it is hard to cut back on that fast food meal or that night out with friends when it seems like to wait forever to gain any reward or when the goal seems to farfetched. Talk to a Raleigh real estate agent about how much you'll need to buy a home in the area. Discuss your options with lenders to see how close your are to reaching your goal. The key is to see and remember that you do have a big benefit waiting for you.
Overall, it comes down to making the decision to buy wisely. If you invest in the right spending habits now, it will reward you for years to come.