Over the past year, I’ve been focused on keeping my business lean, moving forward, and saving loads of money for a down payment. As much as I would like to state that it’s easy to build a massive nest egg for a home, I must admit it’s proving to be far more challenging than I would like. As I’m flying solo, finding a home has been challenging in my price range, in this market, and with a single income. When this happens, I always try to find additional savings anywhere I can and wanted to pass them along to you, my dear readers!
Keep reading for the full post after the jump!
Finding Home: Single Income & Buying a House
Address your mindset.
Let’s talk about the mindset behind not having a down payment in your 30s first. It’s more than a lower income or big investments- it’s not thinking about the long-term when it comes to finances. For most people, credit can get in the way and paying down debt is all too real. However, more than anything, I’ve found that giving into impulse buys, believing that your business needs employees, loads of expenses, and living off of more as your income subsequently increases….usually these are all direct signs of a bigger problem. Start thinking for the long term. Let’s get practical: Create a vision board with your financial goals that you can see in front of you everyday. Download the Subconscious Vision Board app for your phone and place a few affirmations at the top. Start renewing your mind and watch what happens!
Keeping track of income coming in.
As a solopreneur, it’s always wise to make sure you have years of income on file for your business. This and a long history with the same bank shows a sense of reliability as a buyer and increases believability that you’ll be able to pay a mortgage without becoming delinquent on your bills. I recommend using a simple system to track your finances and invoicing. Some great options are Excel, Quickbooks, or Paypal to keep things streamlined. Find a system that meets your needs and can be used from year to year building a financial history that can be shown consistently. (And prevents the need to collect pay stubs.)
If you can, wait to buy until you have 5% down.
As a first-time homebuyer, I like most of you have one significant obstacle. Securing money for a down payment. Simply put this means, I’m budgeting like a mad woman and being super creative when it comes to finding ways to decrease my monthly expenses and saving 50% of my monthly income. By choosing to wait until I have 5% or more as a down payment, I offer a more appealing offer to the rapid paced market in which I live.
Repurpose your looks and wardrobe simply with Pinterest.
When it comes to spending money there’s always the temptation to go shopping. I love rocking the latest and best trends- looking on point every time. However, with a streamlining of fashion and the resurgence of a capsule wardrobe, I’ve found the beauty of dressing according to a uniform. It keeps things streamlined and forces creativity through discipline. Are you looking for other ways to stretch your wardrobe dollar? Find 5 Ways to Refresh Your Wardrobe Here.
Looking for additional savings?
Have a jar with change and visit Coinstar.
In our house we have a mason jar that gets filled every few months. Cleaning out our wallet and adding it to the jar makes for a great practice and usually results in $40 a quarter. I always opt to get a credit to the retailer for groceries and to reduce the transaction fee. This allows the ability to purchase essentials without spending additional money, keeping monthly expenses low.
As I live in a smaller town, I do my best to source locally. But when I’m not able to do that, I love to find extra ways to save as I order online. In the past this meant searching for discount codes on Google prior to checkout. Now that I have the Honey extension installed on Chrome, it does all the work for me.
Living three hours north of Sacramento and family living in other airline hubs, I applied for a Southwest Rewards Credit Card a few years ago and have never turned back. By placing all of my recurring monthly expenses on this card, I’m able to secure 1-2 free domestic tickets a year. They have phenomenal introductory offers (hello free domestic ticket within the first three months) and still some of the best customer service up in the air. Everyone in my family uses this card and we absolutely love the way it allows us to stay connected visit after visit.
Provide feedback to a survey provider and get compensated for your time.
We recently did this last summer and are quickly reaping the rewards of it. Our favorite is Harris Poll Online. More than anything they’re looking for trends and marketing research from users. They have a mobile app that makes it easy to complete while you’re standing in a line or running errands. I always opt to choose a reward of a gift card that can be used in my daily life. Hello, Amazon and WalMart gift cards.
Have you bought a home as someone who is self-employed? Do you know of additional ways to save?
We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.
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