“Look everywhere you can to cut a little bit from your expenses. It will all add up to a meaningful sum.”-Suze Orman
Samuel Johnson was once quoted to say that a man who both spends and saves his money is the happiest man because he has both enjoyments. However, while that may be true, you should also exercise a little caution as to where to spend your money as according to Benjamin Franklin, you should beware of the little expenses as even the smallest leak can already sink a great ship. This is particularly true if you are saving up for a place of your own and have been unable to afford a home despite making a conscious effort to save part of your earnings.
Yes, owning a home and having a place to call your own is what we consider as the penultimate dream—second only to a few things we consider to be successes in our lives. Indeed, a place of your own is considered an accomplishment on its own as well as a big financial milestone. Unfortunately, it is not attained without any significant effort on your part. More importantly, owning a flat means undertaking more responsibility for yourself as well. However, if you are convinced that you are ready for this kind of responsibility, saved up for quite some time now and have found that you cannot afford even the low cost housing in the Philippines, then your budgeting and saving scheme might not some tweaking. It might be that you are incurring more expenses than you are saving which leads you to save only a meager portion of your income. Remember, a house is an investment—regardless of how much it costs. In this regard, you ought to view it as a significant financial responsibility—one that you should not only consider during the purchasing stage but for a lifetime.
In any case, if your money-saving efforts is met with difficulty and fraught with challenges, perhaps adjusting your lifestyle might address your pecuniary predicament. If you find that you still cannot afford the down payment of a home, here are things you might need to give up to make more headway and progress:
An endeavor to buy a home is a serious one and if you are committed to making it happen, then you should start saving money today. Your plans should be concrete and specific. Do not simply create a savings account for your house funds and then remind yourself to contribute to it. If you wish to see results, create a specific plan with a hard deadline. However, before you do that, determine what kind of how you can afford and set a target date for when you should make the purchase. After you have that figured out, identify how much you will have to save and for how long. From there, you can start setting aside an amount each day, week or month. Having a concrete plan with a deadline ensures that you keep things moving and propel your plans forward. Telling yourself simply just to save can potentially waylay your plans.
Put any unnecessary expenses on hold
If you want to become a homeowner, you will have to turn a blind eye to the things you do want but do not necessarily need. This is especially true for things that put a significant dent on your budget. Major purchases such as a new car or an exotic vacation to a foreign country might have to be put on hold. It might constitute as a big sacrifice on your part, but take note: The more sacrifices you make, the closer you will be to affording your new home.
While dining out or grabbing your morning coffee from Starbucks might not seem like much, they can add up quickly—especially if eating out is something you do regularly. If you are not careful, it might even cost you an exorbitant amount in just a month. Generally, preparing and cooking food at home can significantly save you a lot of money and allow you to reach your savings goals sooner. However, this is not to say that you should deny yourself the simple treat of an occasional meal. Of course, that is still very much within your rights but be sure to curtail any unnecessary expenses. Remember, the simplest way to cut back on your expenses in a doable fashion is to opt for more affordable alternatives such as simply dining at home.
Cutting out underused services
Do you have Netflix and cable at the same time? If so, which service do you see yourself more? Once you have an answer, cut out the service that does not get used as often. Sure, it might be cool to have a cable TV as well, but what is the point if you are even rarely at home to enjoy it? Might as well cut it out of your expense and use that money in contributing to your housing fund. The same goes for any household service you might have that you rarely use. Remember, if you rarely use it then the chances are you are not going to miss it much.
Just because you got a salary increase does not automatically mean that you should immediately upgrade your lifestyle as well. Sure, you might be earning more but would it not make more sense to save your monthly additional earnings rather than spending them if you are looking to buy a new home? Continue living on your existing salary and save the rest. Take your raise as an opportunity to buy your home faster rather than an avenue to elevate your lifestyle.