It appears that Generation Zers are looking to fast-track their homeownership goals. According to a recent study, nearly 60% of 18 to 23 year-olds want to buy a home in the next five years. And another 52%? They’ve already started saving up for it.
Are you one of these go-get-em Gen Zers with dreams of homeownership? Want to reach your goals even faster? These money saving tips can help:
1. Choose the right savings account.
The right savings account is key if you want to maximize the amount you’re able to funnel away. First and foremost, you want an account with a high interest rate, so you’re constantly earning more on the funds you have saved. If you’re just starting your savings efforts, you also may want an account that doesn’t require a minimum balance. This will allow you to start earning interest instantly, no matter how much you have in the bank.
2. Automate your savings.
Make your savings a no-brainer. Have a portion of your paycheck direct-deposited into your savings account, if possible, or set up auto-transfers from checking to savings once or twice per month.
You can also use savings apps like Acorns, Digit, or Chime to handle the auto savings on your behalf. Many of these tools even help you identify potential areas where you could cut back and maximize your savings.
3. Use credit cards wisely.
Having a credit card has its perks. It can allow you to earn miles, get cash back and, most importantly, build up your credit score to make yourself a more attractive mortgage borrower. But credit cards can also be detrimental — especially if you’re using them too much or not paying them on time.
If you have credit cards, make sure to choose ones that reward you for using them — ideally by way of cash back. And for every dollar you earn on the card, make sure to divert it directly to your home buying fund. If it’s an interest-earning account, that’ll help you save up even more.
4. Consider a side hustle.
The gig economy has made earning extra cash incredibly easy — and convenient. If you have even a few hours a week, you can earn hundreds of extra bucks, which can then go straight into savings. Driving for Lyft or Uber, running errands through Favor or TaskRabbit or even doing someone’s grocery shopping on Shipt can all help you boost your savings without too much extra hassle or headache. They also allow you to work on your own time, so earn when you can, and take a break when you need to. You can do as much or as little as you like.
5. Be smart with windfalls.
Most of us get the occasional windfall throughout the year. It might be a hefty tax refund, a holiday bonus, or a nice birthday check from grandma. Whenever these “extra” payments come in, commit to putting them straight into savings — in full. Though it can be tempting to use it on a fancy meal out or a quick shopping spree, the more you’re able to put into savings, the more you can earn — and the faster you’ll reach your home buying goals.
6. Stick to a budget.
Take a long, hard look at your income, and create individual budgets for each expense or goal you have. This should include a grocery/food budget, an entertainment budget, a transportation budget and more, as well as a savings budget. How much do you want to save each week or month? Where can you cut back to make it happen? You can use an app like Mvelopes or Mint to help keep you on track.
7. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions and services.
Are you subscribing to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Consider canceling one and putting those savings into your home buying fund each month. You can also cancel things like makeup or meal delivery boxes, magazine subscriptions and music streaming services, or cut the cord altogether and save on that sky-high cable bill. Even if you just cancel these items temporarily, they can equate to serious savings and a faster home purchase on the whole.
8. Pay off your high-interest debts first.
If you’re working on paying off a few credit cards, student loans, and other debts, make sure you focus on the highest interest ones first. Doing so will help free up more cash to pay down your other debts, as well as put more toward savings. In most cases, credit cards will have a higher interest rate than student loans but if you’re not sure, check with your credit card company and lender to compare rates.
9. Homeownership is Within Reach
Saving up for that dream home might seem impossible at times, especially if you’re just getting started in your career. But with a strategic financial plan and consistent, steady savings, you’ll be a homeowner much sooner than you think.