8 Ways to Save for your Dream House, Room by Room
We’ve created a fun list for you to use as motivation to save more in 2017.
Save for every room of your dream house with these opportunities to rethink your spending habits, step by step and room by room.
Plan your meals. Drink more water.
Taking some time at the beginning of your week to plan your meals, go grocery shopping in bulk, and prep all those lunches will save you money normally spent on tax and tip.
And before you eat that handcrafted sandwich from your own imagination, try drinking some water beforehand – you’ll stay fuller longer and ultimately eat less. Better yet, drink that water from a reusable water bottle.
Check that you have everything before you leave the house: your cellphone, keys, Tupperware lunch, water bottle, and you are already spending less.
2. Dining Room:
Potluck with friends.
Next time you want to go out on the town with your friends, which leads to a big divot in your food and entertainment budget, stay in.
Heat up the crock-pot, clean off your dining room table, and invite your friends to potluck. Everyone brings something small (one food item and one game), but everyone gets a lot out of it.
Slowing it down with friends by staying in is always cheaper than a night out, and just as memorable.
DIY cleaning products.
Does your bathroom counter look something like this?
If you are inundated with cleaning and grooming products, maybe it’s time to rethink all those bottles of chemicals. You really only need 5 ingredients to keep a clean house.
If you have children, it makes much more sense to keep simple ingredients on hand rather than everything under the sink for health and safety reasons, too. Invest in white distilled vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, and castile soap.
With these 5 natural greats and an empty spray bottle, you’ll be disinfecting, deodorizing, and scrubbing your dream home beautifully, while saving money on “one-use” cleaning products.
4. (Spare) Bedroom:
Rent out unused space.
Do you have extra rooms or an in-law suite not in use? Airbnb is just one popular site where you can post your room for rent and make some extra money.
The renter pays for any cleaning costs and fees for using the site, and if you are willing to meet some travelers along your daily routine, you can bring in some extra money.
5. Living Room:
Entertain on a dime.
Try swapping books, music, and DVDs at your local library, or in your neighborhood with friends. A library card is your passport to near free entertainment, especially with the magic of inter-library loans; if your library doesn’t have it, they will try their hardest to get whatever you seek pretty soon after request.
There are also “free libraries” popping up like outside the Walmart in Rutland or the Castleton Family Health Center in Castleton.
If you smoke, quit. If you don’t, garden.
The connections between getting healthier and saving money continue with this obvious one: quit smoking. Smoking is an expensive habit for your lungs and your wallet.
If you can give yourself a healthier alternative for every time you feel a craving kick in, say gardening, you will be investing in another way to save money because you’ll be growing your own food at the same time.
When we think about where our money goes, transportation can be a hefty line item in your budget. Maybe you have a monthly car payment, a lease, or a tattered bus pass you hold very dear, but unless you are walking everywhere you go, it’s going to cost something to get from point A to point Better.
There are some neat carpool strategies in Vermont right now; check out Go! Vermont for bus schedules, carpool matching, and advice on starting/joining a carpool for your work.
Or perhaps your neighbor happens to drive by your office every Monday and Thursday on their way to visit their old cat Betsy – you’ll never know if an opportunity exists unless you get to know your neighbors. Hint: ask if they know anyone named Betsy.
Sit down and set a budget.
When you were little, what did you do with your allowance? If you stuffed the belly of your yellow-and-pink-glazed ceramic elephant bank from that Clay and Play birthday party for Tina, the tallest girl in your third-grade class, and you didn’t count up all your elephant belly quarters until you saw those pineapple earrings in the store and you just had to have them, then you are probably a “cautious saver.”
If you pocketed every penny your mother found on the ground and gave to you only to turn around a buy pineapple after pineapple, then you are probably a “happy spender,” and most likely, a fan of tropical fruits.
Knowing what triggers your non-essential spending will help you see where you need to focus your consequential saving strategy. And remember, keep discretionary spending – what you spend on nonessential goods – to a minimum.
If you slow down, avoid instant gratification, and try to tackle some of these strategies, then you will achieve your personal financial goals in no time, and you will be that much closer to buying your dream house.
For more tips and tricks:
Attend a Homebuyer Education class and receive free, one-on-one financial coaching.
Sign up for Financial Capabilities class online.