Think it’s impossible to save money for a down payment on a house?  Think again.  Here are some tips on the little things you can do to save money for that down payment on your Chevy Chase, DC, Chevy Chase, MD, or Foggy Bottom dream home while comfortably reducing your overall spending.

  1. Get a savings account.  I don’t mean the one you already have.  I’m talking about a brand new account, one that is used for the sole purpose of saving for your down payment.  This account is a one way street; money goes in and it does not come out, not until it’s big enough to help you purchase that new home.
  2. Cut back on eating out.  Easy to say, very difficult to put into practice.  You know the story.  It’s the end of a long day.  You’ve spent all morning and afternoon at the office, and come five o’clock you start your second job running kids to basketball or soccer practice, or picking them up from band practice.  And there’s homework and housework, not to mention feeding the family…Make cutting back on eating out a game, especially the eating fast food part.  Anytime you get that urge to run through the drive thru take a moment to compute how much it will cost you to feed your family of five at McDonald’s.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.  Now make a conscious decision to take the money you would have spent on happy meals and deposit it into your home savings account.  I’m not saying you have to quit fast food cold turkey in order to purchase a house.  But what will your home savings fund look like if you deposit an extra thirty of forty dollars a week because you made the commitment to drive past those golden arches instead of thru them?
  3. Coupons.  You can save quite a bit every week using coupons at the grocery store.  Why not calculate how much you saved each week on your bill and take exactly that amount to the bank?
  4. Make the sale. Use eBay and Craigslist to sell some of your old stuff.  What about a garage sale?  Kids outgrow their clothes just as fast as they outgrow their toys.  Remember that DVD collection you never use?  What about that old couch in the basement.  Promote your unused stuff online or in your garage and move the proceeds directly into your home savings account.