Simple ways to save for a down payment on a home

42270875 - family relaxing in garden hammock togetherYou’re ready to buy a home. You have a great job, good credit and you’re prepped for the responsibility of homeownership. But what about the down payment? Coming up with enough money to put down on a home can be one of the toughest parts of a home purchase.

While a number of conventional mortgages require a down payment of 20 percent of the home’s purchase price, there are mortgage programs with a down payment of as little as 3.5 percent – or even less! Whether you have just started saving, or have been saving for a home for a while, here are some great ways to help boost your downpayment fund:

Open a dedicated savings account. Consider keeping your down payment money in a separate account. You may be less tempted to dip into an account dedicated to buying your next home. And you’ll be able to more easily track your progress. You may also want to set up automatic deposits to this account from your paycheck. That way you won’t forget to keep feeding that account.

Look for new ways to save. Review your budget and see if there are areas you can trim. Cutting back on deluxe cable TV packages, pricey cell phone plans, restaurant meals and trips to Starbucks can yield some significant savings over time. Have a family meeting to discuss your homeownership goals and ask your spouse and children to help come up with ways to save. On the flip side, having garage sales and selling items you don’t use could help free up some cash to add to your down payment account. A side gig could help, too. Employment bonuses and tax refunds also can make nice additions to down payment funds.

Stay optimistic. It’s tough to save money. Celebrate as you reach milestones in your down payment savings account. And keep your eye on the prize: A home of your own. You can do it!

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