Are you wondering how to save money for a house in 6 months? If so, this post should be helpful to give you some creative ways to save money for a house fast.
Most mortgage companies recommend that buyers put at least 20% down when they’re buying a house with a conventional loan – yet for nearly 75% of all buyers, that’s simply not realistic. Many put down far less.
Even if you can’t afford such a lofty payment, knowing the best ways to save money for a home is a step in the right direction. Here are some ideas!
1. Apply for a Government Loan
Amount You Can Save Per Month: Varies (RocketMortgage)
This isn’t a savings tactic, per se, but instead a way to help you lower the overall cost of buying your home so you don’t have to save quite as much.
The FHA, VA, and other organizations offer down payment loans to qualified buyers. In some cases, there are also grants available (which are awards you don’t have to repay).
2. Open a High Yield Savings Account
Amount You Can Save Per Month: $2 for every $100 (Bankrate)
Very few Americans have their money in high yield savings accounts.
While $2 for every $100 might not seem like a lot of money, just think about how much money you’ll be able to save if you have $20,000 in a high-yield savings account for a period of several years or more.
This is a great way to save money for your house without having to do much of anything at all.
Trends on the Rise:
Only 25% of Americans are taking advantage of high yield savings accounts but the good news is that those numbers are going up. The national average interest rate for a savings account is just 0.06%, but a high-interest account can have rates up to 2%. A high-interest savings account is a great way to save money that will be easily accessible later on – consider FDIC-insured options such as those offered by Discover, American Express National Bank, Capital One, and Marcus.
3. Turn Down the Heat
Amount You Can Save Per Month: $5-25 (DirectEnergy)
Consider turning down the heat in your home just a few degrees.
You can also invest in a smart thermostat, which will save you money by adjusting your heat intelligently, or swap out your light bulbs for LEDs.
Both of these adjustments can save you a great deal of money over the long term. In fact, this is one of the easiest ways to save money.
4. Ditch Cable and Cancel Unused Subscriptions
Amount You Can Save Per Month: $70 (Cnet)
Chances are, if you ditch your cable subscription, you probably aren’t even going to notice the difference (especially if you already use things like Netflix and Hulu anyway).
Cut out cable and any other unused subscriptions to help you save a ton of money each month.
5. Cut the Bad Habits
Amount You Can Save Per Month: $188 (Nicorette)
Are you a smoker? Drinker? Prone to impulse shopping?
Cut out your bad habits. It can be tough, but reducing or cutting out a bad habit entirely can help you save hundreds of dollars per year.
Quit your unhealthy habits and put the cash you save in a high-yield savings account instead.
Tactics for Success:
- Focus on the end goal – research suggests that it’s easier to quit a habit when you know the change will be beneficial to you. Write down your reason for cutting out your habit (saving for our house!) and post it somewhere you’ll look at it often.
- Try not to get too hung up on the all-or-nothing mindset. Even if you can just cut back rather than quit cold turkey, you’ll be able to save money that you can put away for your house.
6. Get a Side Hustle
Amount You Can Save Per Month: $200 (BusinessInsider)
If you’re not “side-hustling” yet, you’re missing out on a major piece of the American economy. It’s easier than ever to make money on your own time with a side hustle that you enjoy.
You can work as a freelancer, doing some writing, photography, or even graphic design. You could even drive for a ride-sharing company, pet sit, or get paid to test new apps.
There are all kinds of ways you can make money outside of your main job – including high paying second jobs.
Trends on the Rise:
A whopping one in three Americans works a side hustle, with an additional 24% planning to start a side hustle this year. So what are you waiting for? Think about what you love to do the most and then consider whether you might be able to turn it into a lucrative gig.
7. Be a DIY-er
Amount You Can Save Per Month: $200 (HomeAdvisor)
A great way to save money is to start fixing the things that you break.
YouTube and the Internet in general both have all kinds of resources you can tap into to learn how to fix just about anything.
Whether it’s the zipper on your jeans or the leaky faucet in your kitchen, there are plenty of fix-it tasks you don’t actually need to hire out.
8. Stop Eating Out
Amount You Can Save Per Month: $200 (Cnet)
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spends roughly $3,000 per year dining out – regardless of family size.
You might not think that you go out to eat that often, but remember, even grabbing a quick cup of coffee or a salad to eat while you’re typing away at your desk at work counts as eating out.
From delivery minimums to surcharges, gratuity to the simple upcharges that exist every time you eat at a restaurant, eating out is expensive.
Many people are considering grocery delivery with Whole Foods as an alternative to save time and money grocery shopping.
Start grocery shopping for healthy ingredients for meals you can make for yourself at home. Start small – if you’re eating every single meal out of the home, just start with breakfast.
It’s an important meal and it’s easy to make for yourself. Just make some freezer-friendly breakfast sandwiches or grab a piece of fruit instead of stopping by Starbucks.
Not only will you save money that can be put aside for your mortgage savings, but you’ll likely get healthier in the process, too.
9. Set Up Automatic Transfers
Amount You Can Save Per Month: $200 (SynchronyBank)
Don’t forget to set the money aside. If you can, set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account each month.
If you’re worried about overdrafting, transferring smaller amounts more frequently (such as once a week) can be less daunting.
10. Cut Back on Rent
Amount You Can Save Per Month: $400 (Huffpost)
Can you move to another apartment that will cost you a bit less money?
The average apartment costs around $1200 in most metropolitan areas but if you can move just outside the city, you could save $400 per month or more.
Some newlyweds are even considering living with inlaws to save money.
11. Automate Your Savings
Amount You Can Save Per Month: $420 (BusinessInsider)
Just about everyone knows they should be doing more to save for short- and long-term goals, yet few of us are actually hitting our savings goals.
Automatic savings can help prevent you from throwing your money out of needless buys while also taking forgetfulness out of the equation.
You’ll be much more likely to hit your savings goals and there are all kinds of ways you can go about saving for your down payment.
Tactics for Success:
- If you contribute to an IRA or Roth IRA, you can save up to $230.76 per paycheck at the maximum savings rate per year – but this can be hard to tap into for a purchase of a home. Instead, direct funds to a cash savings account or high-interest savings account (more on this below).
- Consider using an app like Digit or Acorns to automate your savings, but make sure you aren’t being charged exorbitant monthly fees to use those apps.
12. Ask for a Raise
Amount You Can Save Per Month: $500 (Zippia)
If you have very little money left over after your paycheck to actually save, then it might be time to ask for a raise. Come prepared with all of your performance data and be sure to time the conversation right.
Even if you only get a couple thousand dollars more per year added to your salary, that’s pretty substantial when it comes to how much you might be able to save. 3 to 5% is the average.
Having another offer on the table is one of the most effective way to get a raise, so make sure you are following the latest tips for finding a job.
13. Rent Out a Spare Room or Parking Space
Amount You Can Save Per Month: $600 (BusinessInsider)
Have an extra parking space? An unused room in your home? If you’re willing and able to rent these spaces out, you could save a few hundred dollars a month.
Just make sure you have clear terms and contracts in place so you don’t get burned! Also, be prepared to pay taxes on the income.
14. Skip a Vacation
Amount You Can Save Per Month: $4,500 (Forbes)
It might be tough to even think about it, but if you’re able to forgo the annual trip to Cabo, you might be able to stash away some serious coins for your home purchase.
The average family of four spends about $4,500 on a vacation – that’s a lot of money, especially if you want to buy a house.
Instead of spending a ton of money on a trip, plan a staycation! Consider having an at-home spa day, taking a local art class, or exploring historical sites near you. There are lots of ways to unwind without spending lots of money.
15. Explore the Market
Amount You Can Save Per Month: $16,000 (Budgeting.thenest)
You might already have a dream house in mind, but if you don’t, consider if you can take a detour through a lower-priced neighborhood first.
Whether you explore the market in a new city or just in a different part of town, you might be amazed at how much money you can save on your house without having to lift a finger.
Don’t be afraid to reconsider your list of priorities as you are house shopping, either.
Buying a lower-cost home now means you won’t have to save as much (or as long) for your down payment. Plus, you can use the equity you build in that home to buy a higher-priced home later on.
Consider using a housing price calculator to get an idea of variations between down payments for different cities.
While San Francisco has a median home cost of $500,00, homes of comparable value in Minneapolis, MN come in at just $157,000. With a 20% down payment, that’s a $100,000 difference – so more than $16,000 per month over the course of six months!
If you want to know how to save money for a house in 6 months, hopefully these tips have been helpful.
You don’t have to start raiding your piggy bank in order to finance a downpayment – just try a few of the techniques above and you should have enough scraped up for your 20%!
Rebekah is a writer who covers all things education, business, agriculture, and finance. She owns a small farm business in upstate New York. Her educational credentials include a bachelor's degree in English from St. Lawrence University and a master's in special education from SUNY Plattsburgh.