Finances can be tight among families today.  Even with increasingly low mortgage rates, the ability to retain enough savings for a down payment on a home can be difficult and frequently requires an earnest dedication to saving before the dream of home ownership is within reach.

Here are some tips to get into a money-saving mindset:

Living Healthy Saves Money

If you are a diehard smoker or caffeine enthusiast, try cutting back on these two vices.  You'll potentially save thousands of dollars per year, feel better and generally remain healthier in the long run.

If fast food often tempts you, try eliminating at least some of those drive-through stops in favor of shopping smarter and making more meals at home -- you'll eat healthier and save a significant amount of money.

Trim the Expenses

Try to generate a list of five to eight things you buy that you really don't need or even use regularly. Could it be an unused gym membership or a video streaming account that makes you pay for streaming and receiving discs at home—that latter of which you never use? Eliminating these are all types of things can save you thousands of dollars each year and bring you get closer to having that needed down payment to buy a home.

Learn to Budget

For most folks, budgeting isn't exactly fun, but if you will routinely write down how much you spend and what you're spending money on, you'll better understand where your money is going and where you can cut corners. And for those who are impulse buyers, this goes double for you.

Choose the Highest First

Since many folks have credit cards, keeping outstanding balances under control is critical.  Pay off accounts with highest interest rates and the highest charges first. This assures that you’ll pay less in the long run, helps to put bills in order of importance and increases the monies you’ll retain for that elusive down payment.  If you have multiple debts, try combining those into one, preferably at a lower carrying cost to increase your ability to pay them off quickly.

Take One for the Team

Most of the time, to achieve a goal requires sacrifice.  So if you have extra personal time, you might even consider taking on a second job to shorten the time it takes to acquire a down payment.  And when you think you are nearly ready, feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have and/or help you find your dream home.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
[email protected]

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image courtesy of Pictures of Money/