Taking the plunge into purchasing a home can be stressful if you haven’t done it before or worry about how to come up with enough money for that down payment. Thankfully, there are a variety of easy tricks you can use that together will make saving for a down payment easier.

Automate Payments into Savings Account – One hack you can set up quickly through your bank is creating a separate savings account and designate it as your ‘down payment’ account. Once it is in place, then just automate payments from your primary savings or checking account to deposit into this down payment account. If you’re unsure of how to set that up yourself, a bank employee can easily do it for you too.

The overall concept though is taking the middleman and stress of saving out of the mix. Make sure that for every payment deposit you receive, a small portion is automatically rerouted into this separate account and sits there without you touching it until you finally need it.

Set Aside Unexpected Cash – Another uncomplicated trick is to simply collect all the unexpected cash payments that often show themselves throughout the course of the year. You may be asking yourself “what do you mean ‘unexpected’”? In short, ‘unexpected’ means things like Christmas money, birthday money from family, tax refunds, perhaps a lucky streak while on vacation in Las Vegas or winning a fantastic game of bingo.

No matter the source, you end up with extra cash on hand that you did not have to work hard for usually. Instead of using it to buy a brand-new toy or sumptuous meal, put it aside as you’re saving for a down payment.

Pay Off Debts – This trick sounds ridiculously obvious, but sometimes the simplest solutions have the greatest impact on achieving your goal. Think about it – let’s say right now between credit card debt and car payments alone, you are committing at least a thousand dollars to paying down outstanding debt that isn’t bringing in any other significant benefits to you other than keeping a healthy credit score.

Now imagine wiping all those bills away but still having that imaginary thousand to two thousand dollars available because you’ve learned how to budget your life around it. Instead of spending it in a sudden rush, that money can be set aside and within a year or two, you’ll already have enough for a potential down payment. Again, the solution is simple – yet powerful.

Frugality vs. Short-Term Fun – For many potential homeowners, this option is the least fun one to do despite knowing its value. Living a frugal lifestyle is hard because it forces you to cut out all the little indulgences that we all enjoy in our daily lives. Getting that morning latte, going out for sushi on a Friday night, buying the Ikea furniture versus the generic pieces at your local big box outlet, etc., these are all small luxuries that, if temporarily cut off, will quickly save you more money than you realize.

Fine-tune Your Credit – Despite the numerous articles discussing how they are abused and trouble-inducing, in this particular instance, credit cards can help you quite a bit when looking for money to buy your future home. Using your cards responsibly, taking out additional lines of credit, making all of your payments on time, etc.; these are all actions that you can do now which, over time, will improve your overall credit score and file. From there, applying for funding will be an easier task to accomplish.

Saving for a down payment can be stressful at first, but success all comes down to strategy and time. Another consideration to take into account is protecting your home if something unexpected happens that threatens to put you in a liability suit. Be it from an accident or unexpected financial troubles, your home can end up as part of a settlement. If you have an entity in place though to legally hold it for asset protection purposes, then such a predicament can be easily avoided.

Thankfully, Anderson Business Advisors handles entity structuring issues like this every day. If you’d like to learn more, feel free to attend one of our live event workshops.

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