New year, new house. That’s the plan, right? But the daily habits that only cost a couple bucks here and there may be doing more damage to your budget than you realize, making it impossible to save for that down payment.
What constitutes “discretional income” varies from person to person and situation to situation—what you have to play with today might be far more than last year, thanks to that raise. When you’re saving for a big-ticket item like a house, discretionary income can really take a hit. Maybe your weekly outing to your favorite sushi spot doesn’t seem so necessary anymore (Or, maybe you just need to come during Happy Hour!). This is just one of the adjustments you can make to your lifestyle when saving for a down payment. If your goal is buying a house, these “skips” will be well worth it.
Skips the Starbucks
Your grande latter costs $3.65, and if you get it five days a week, every week…well, you really should go out and buy some Starbucks stock. You only order a grande coffee, you say? OK, $2.10 per day, five days a week, every week is over $500 a year. Even if you bought yourself a machine to make lattes at home (and you have several options here, some for under $200), you’d still save a bundle overall.
Skip the lunch out
It’s just lunch, and it’s not like you’re going anywhere fancy, but all those meals can take a chunk out of your bank account and leave you scrambling for ways to make up the money. “If you go out for lunch Monday through Friday for a year, you might spend $10 a meal—a pretty good deal at most dining establishments. This adds up to $50 weekly,” said Money Under 30. “Spend $50 a week on restaurant food, and in total you’re spending $2,500 per year, near the national average.”
Spend $50 on dinner a couple times a week, and that’s another $5,200. Now consider that you only need a minimum of 3.5 percent for a down payment and the current median home value…