It’s a new year, and for many, that means a time to set goals for the future. If your finances are on your mind, you might be planning to pay off debt, or save money for traveling or buying a home. If you are renting a home now and hope to buy a home soon, there are some tips for saving a house while renting that can help you stay on track to save and stay focused on the future.
Save on rent
One of the first aspects to consider is how much space you really need. Are you living in a two-bedroom apartment, with a second-bedroom that could be rented out? Or could you downsize your furniture or belongings to move into a smaller space? Saving money is about minimizing your expenses, and assessing your space is a great way to start. Think about where you are living and how you can make changes to not only save on rent, but utility bills, too. Depending on the rules in your town or city, another rent saving tip is to make an extra room, or your entire home, available on a short-term rental site when you are traveling or your schedule otherwise allows.
Cut back on the extras
Small expenses — like ordering coffee to-go, takeout food, and streaming subscriptions — can add up. A new year is an ideal time to assess where your money is going every month and see where you can cut back. That doesn’t mean you can never order food, or treat yourself, but instead, take a realistic look at where you are spending and set a goal to save a set amount on these luxuries. Indulging less often will not only be good for your wallet, but it will help you to appreciate these extras more when you do have them.
The reality of retail is that not all products are priced equally. Take a look at frequent expenses like your grocery bill, gym memberships, clothing purchases, prescriptions, and other necessities, and see if there are places where you might be able to shop sales or discount stores to save money. Even a few dollars here and there can get you on a fast track to meeting your financial goal.
Set a specific savings goal
And what about that goal? The key is to be specific. Once you have a realistic assessment of where you can cut back, you can set a clear target for how much you can save every month. With a specific number in mind, and a clear purpose, you’ll have extra motivation to save. At the end of every month, you’ll have the added benefit of soaking up the accomplishment of working towards your future.
Having a place that you own to call home can create a greater sense of stability and give you the opportunity to live in a space that is truly your own, but it’s unlikely to change your life dramatically — unless you’ve been living with several housemates in a small space. Owning a home can also give you other issues to think about, such as factors that can hurt property value, the cost of home upkeep, and home maintenance expenses. The bottom line is, don’t put too much stress or weight on your timeline for buying a house and do the best you can to save. If it really matters to you, it will happen.