Trimming Your Family Budget: How to Afford to Buy a Home

savings jarIf you have been dreaming of the day when you will own a home, but it feels likes that day is taking too long to arrive, there are several things you can do to speed up your savings plan and boost your buying capabilities. It may be time to trim your family budget.

Now, you may be thinking, “I have done that.” This may be true. Perhaps you have given up your favorite lattes from the drive-through each day, and there is nothing but bag lunches for everyone in the household. But that is only the tip of the iceberg of what you can trim from your budget. This does not equate to cutting out things your family needs, obviously. Saving money does not mean you must cut out necessities. It means you need to find ways to save when buying them.

Here are the top ways you can trim the budget and buy your house sooner, without giving up the basics:

Clip coupons: Have you seen those shows where the shopper leaves the store with a full shopping cart, but after all the coupons are tallied, they pay just a few mere dollars for it? Well, that is strategic shopping at its best, but even the average person clipping a few coupons for what they would normally buy can save $10-$15 per week. That adds up.

Switch where you buy: Some places are simply less expensive than others. Shop around and price out some basic weekly items you always get (or do a test shopping day at another store) and be willing to switch stores if you find you can save money by doing so.

Switch how you buy: Whether it is household items or must-haves from your grocery list, looking into buying options online, shipped directly to your home, can save money. Amazon offers deals on items like diapers, paper towels, and toilet paper. If you already have Amazon Prime (a yearly subscription for deals on movies, books and shopping) it ships for free. Also look to wholesale/bulk buying for anything you can buy ahead, store, and use as you need it without having to run to the store- as long as they are cheaper per item if you by them this way.

Savings programs and apps: There are downloadable apps you can utilize that allow you to collect rebates on your regular purchases. Each work a bit differently, but essentially you scan in your purchase or receipt and you begin collecting money into a savings account with each purchase. It can be redeemed once you get to a certain amount and mailed to you in the form of a check or a gift card toward future purchases at that store. Check out these apps: Ebates, ibotta, retailmenot and checkout51.

Shop around for less expensive insurance: Compare prices for auto, home, health, business and life insurance. Consolidating at one insurance company could lower your insurance costs. That might mean you'll need to take your business elsewhere to save money.

Shop for lower credit card/debt interest rates: Sometimes if you ask for a lower rate, the credit card company will oblige, if they think they are at risk of losing your business. Other times they don’t feel they have much to lose, so then it may be tome to see about transferring your balance to a low interest card or getting one with zero interest for a year to 18 months. The caveat to this of course is not to add to your debt once you get a new card. You get the new card to simply eliminate as much high interest debt as possible, for as long as possible, so everything you pay on it goes toward what you owe. Also be cautious of what the interest rate will be once the grace period of zero percent has elapsed. If you do not have the bulk of the balance paid off by that time, you may end up paying more in interest once the grace period is over.

There are ways you can save money through your family budget my shopping smarter and work your way toward home ownership faster that you thought possible. It takes a bit of investigation and perseverance, but it can be done and you can realize substantial savings.

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