The best advice my mom ever gave me was, “Pay yourself first.”
Pay yourself first
What does that mean? Every payday, put some funds straight into savings – before you throw that cash at other expenses or purchases.
Now, it doesn’t mean you should ignore your bills. Obviously, you need to pay your rent and make your car payment and all the rest. But if you set yourself an aggressive monthly saving goal, paying yourself first can help you avoid wasting money on little things and reach your overall saving goals sooner – even if you aren’t really sure what you’re actually saving for yet.
Do you eventually want to own a home?
Most people will answer “yes” to that question: 80% of non-owners say they aspire to homeownership.
For my husband and I, the idea of buying a house was crazy, until all of a sudden, it wasn’t. Sure, we always assumed we’d buy a house someday, but the due date was “when we feel ready.” One minute we weren’t ready, and the next we were moving in. Because we’d been paying ourselves first for years, we had enough for a 10% down payment while leaving a financial cushion in our savings.
It’s never too early to start saving for a down payment
If you think you might ever want to own a home, it’s never too early to start thinking about that down payment.
RENTcafe recently reported that Millennials spend $93,000 on rent by the time they hit 30. Sounds about right – before we bought our house (we were both 28), we spent about $75,000 on rent. Yikes!
I don’t regret spending $75,000 on rent. Renting is great! It gives you flexibility when you need it. But while you’re paying rent, make sure you’re paying yourself. Because if and when you decide owning a home is right for you, you’ll need more than the ability to pay a mortgage on time each month – you’ll need to make an investment up front via a down payment.
That investment could be as little as 3-5% if you get an FHA loan or finance conventionally with private mortgage insurance, so you might be able to buy a home sooner than you think. But the more you save, the more options you’ll have in terms of the houses and neighborhoods you can afford. So start paying yourself first. You never know when “someday” will become “right now.”
By Liz Keuler, from Readynest.com