It's been almost two years since we closed on our house (woo!). It's been incredible living in a home that we own, that we wanted and that we worked hard for.
Since today is Money Monday, the day where I answer real money questions from real people on my YouTube channel I thought i would share a question from a viewer.
"Can you talk about saving up for a house on one income?"
Sweet and to the point, right? Here are a few things that we did and that worked for us. Remember, I am not a financial expert, just a woman who likes to save money.
1. Get out of debt.
I know that seems like my stock answer to everything. But in this case it's the truth (in all cases it's the truth).
The last thing you want when you're trying to save for a house on one income is a giant student loan payment, a $400 car payment (that's the average here's a source) and $15,000 in credit card debt.
So work to get out of debt first before you even begin the home-buying process. Not having those other debts in your way will make things easier.
2. Figure out what you can afford.
My husband and I used the website Bank Rate to figure out what our payment would be and how long it would take us to pay it off.
Now, Bank Rate and I had a little bit of a disagreement when their calculator told us we could "afford" more house than we needed or were willing to pay. (See next point!)
3. Adjust your expectations.
It is so easy to enter the home buying experience with stars in your eyes. Huge walk in closets, granite counter tops, hardwood floors. I could go on and on. But our goal here was to get in a house we could afford and pay off our mortgage as soon as humanly possible.
This meant we had to had to decide what we really wanted and what our non negotiables were. I really wanted two bathrooms and a laundry room inside of our house. And Jason really wanted two acres or more. So that meant that if we wanted those things we had to give up some other things.
We opted for a smaller house with smaller bedrooms, but more outside space. And I still got my two bathrooms.
4. Calculate your down payment.
If you're following along on the Dave Ramsey plan he recommends a 10 - 20 percent downpayment on a 15 year fixed rate mortgage.
So if you're in the market for a $120,000 home 20 percent down would be $24,000.
5. Set a time frame for savings.
Determine at what point you want to be in your house. If you want to be in a new home in two years and you need a $24,000 payment that means you will need to save $1,000 a month.
If that's more then you can save then adjust your time frame.
6. Give yourself a reality check.
Just like it's a good idea to be out of debt before buying a home, it's also a good idea to make sure you're in a position to buy a home.
If you're living paycheck to paycheck and you're hardly scraping by, then this isn't the time to buy a home.
Readjust, rebudget and give yourself some time. Don't get in a hurry.
You can buy a home on one income. People do it successfully everyday so don't get discouraged, just realize it won't happen over night.
What about you? What tips would you add to the list?