The more savings and financial stability you have the easier it will be for you to qualify for the mortgage you need to purchase the type of property you have always dreamed of. And the more likely you are to get a lower interest rate.
But sometimes it is difficult to know how to save or what aspects of your life you can make less expensive without adversely affecting your standard of living.
Here are 11 simple tips to show you ways to make savings so that you can increase your chances of buying that perfect home.
1 Be organized when you shop
Make a list of what you really need (and stick to it!).
Set your budget (and stick to it!). Use cash where you can so that you cannot overspend or limit the amount available at any one time on your debit card. Avoid credit where you can.
Cut out coupons and make a deliberate point of using them where you can.
Follow these tips and you’ll come away with only the items that are truly necessary and no “on-a-whim” purchases that you’ll later regret!
It also helps to shop stress-free away from the crowds. Go early or later when the shops are still empty and you’ll save both time and avoid overspending on items you grabbed from the shelf just to get out of the chaos.
And avoid shopping with your children when you can! This way you won’t be tempted to succumb to their please for candy or toys or find unexpected items in your shopping bags when it comes to unpacking back home!
2 Eliminate the services you don’t use
We all have services that have outlived their purpose.
It may only be a few dozens dollars each month but you will be surprised how easily this can add up and how much you can actually save without noticing any “gaps” in your life. Weed out all those services that you barely use – after all, you can always add them back in if they are truly missed!
3 Do your research before your buy
Whenever you decide to get an expensive item be sure to investigate all your options before parting with your hard-earned cash. Remember to:
Just by spending a few minutes researching (stores as well as eBay, Craigslist, etc) before you rush out to buy you could save hundreds of dollars each year on clothes, furniture, household furnishings, vehicles, and many other large ticket items.
4 Make the most of reward programs
Many stores offer rewards to customers who make frequent purchases and all those bonus points can quickly add up. It might be well worth your while spending a few cents more and accumulating points that can help you save big in the long term so always do the math and see if it isn’t worth your while to be loyal to the same few companies over the course of a year.
5 Drive, don’t fly!
You can save big by NOT going by plane and instead taking your own car – with the added advantage that you have a vehicle that you are familiar with when you get to the other end!
If you’re not convinced about using your own car to make the road trip, how about renting a compact for a week or so? At around $300 per week it is probably cheaper than a single return air fare. And you can sign up for Triple A and other programs that offer great discounts on restaurants, hotels, and visitor attractions to enjoy at your destination, as well as day to day benefits to enjoy closer to home.
6 Sell off your unwanted items
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure! Get rid of all that ‘stuff’ that you never use by holding a garage sale or selling it through a local consignment store.
Alternatively, put it up for sale online via E-bay, Craigslist or another site or even take the old fashioned route and advertise in your local newspaper.
(You’ll find these are great places to shop, too!)
7 Make the most of discount stores and clothing sales
Why pay the full price if you can get it for a bargain! This is particularly true for children’s clothing which they soon grow out of so why pay full price? You don’t always get the full selection but there is usually something that appeals so why not check out your discount stores first before looking elsewhere.
8 Review your insurance policies
We’re often over-insured these days and pay a fortune in premiums that don’t even make sense. For example, why pay for a million dollars of life insurance coverage if you’re only making $55,000 a year? Make sure you only pay for insurance coverage that is realistically in line with what you could expect to be paid out in the event that the worst should happen!
Weed out other insurance policies that you really don’t need (what about that prescription medicines policy, for example, when you don’t often get sick…)
9 Pick when to buy
The best time to buy is when everyone is selling. This is true of real estate, clothing, Christmas decorations – just about anything. Use end of season sales to stock up ready for next year and buy ahead for annual events such as Valentine’s, Halloween, Easter and other festive celebrations.
10 Keep Healthy
It saves to keep healthy. Not only will you be more energetic and in better mental and physical shape to be out there being productive and earning your living, but you can also make substantial savings on all those over the counter cures that you’re buying each month.
Eat a balanced diet of fresh fruit and vegetables and a little protein each day and you could probably do away with half your vitamin supplements too.
Keep physically active and get fresh air when you can. Keeping fit doesn’t necessarily mean an expensive membership is a stuffy gym – walking/jogging/running costs nothing and is a great mood booster.
And it definitely won’t hurt to cut back on all those cigarettes, alcohol and illicit drugs too – which will also do wonders for your savings account.
11 Save 1/5 of your net pay every month
Set up your banking so that 20% is automatically transferred to a second savings account each time you get paid. You’ll soon forget about the money you are saving and over a couple of years with compound interest it can quickly add up to a sizeable amount.
A solid savings account shows mortgage lenders that you are disciplined and meticulous in handling your personal finances – both of which inspire confidence and a willingness to lend.
It could also entitle you to a lower mortgage interest rate, and will enable you to shop around and choose between all those lenders who will be making you offers.
Do you have other good ideas for ways to save without noticing the sacrifice?
Send us your tips and we’ll publish the best here!!!
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