I was reading an article today about ways to help you buy your first home. Some points were very similar to mine except there were two that were added, get a side hustle and tap into your retirement.
I totally agree with the first one. Yes, definitely get a side hustle by increasing your income. I looked into doing that myself. I thought about driving for Uber, but my problem was not wanting to drive at night as a single female. I'm not fully comfortable driving around drunk people at night, and at night is where you would make the most money. So if you can get a side hustle great, that will definitely help you reach your goal, but the second option, let's talk about it.
The suggestion was to tap into your retirement account. I had to blink a few times to make sure I was reading that correctly. I do not suggest taping into your retirement. Why? Because that is your future. I understand that you want to buy a home, but how much is it going to cost you to tap into your retirement?
I started saving for retirement early because I don't want to work until I am 70 years old. I am number one and I am going to focus on number one. To borrow against my future to buy something else for my future seems a little counter intuitive. I would say I am not ready to buy a home if I couldn't save up enough to do so. Also, unless you absolutely have to, please don't borrow from your retirement.
Now let's talk about what I wrote to help you buy a home even further.
Budget. I can't stress this enough. If your goals are that important to you then you will take the means necessary to make sure you are living within your means and your budget. The next few steps are to create your budget, even if it is a simple one it will work.
What is your Net Income? Yes, that is correct. Your net income. That is what you actually bring home. You can only actually spend what you bring home so it is important to know this.
What are your required bills? In this next step you are going to focus on your utilities, mortgage, loan payments, credit cards, etc. Anything that is required to be paid, including groceries (you need to eat).
What subscriptions are you paying for? I added this one to really look into what I actually wanted to pay. I cancelled quite a few magazine subscriptions when I added this step. I did keep Hulu and Netflix because I don't want to pay cable, and let's face it paying for those two and internet is cheaper than adding on cable.
Set your goals and create a plan. You are able to set up goals after you can see what you are left with. I pulled a little bit out of this amount to transfer into two different savings accounts each month, one account for normal savings and the other for my home purchase. In my original article with tips to help you buy a home I suggested opening an additional savings account. Depending on how fast you want to reach your goal depends on how aggressive you're going to set your savings plan. I also set some aside to still go out with friends, because we all need to stay sane.
Follow-Up on your plan. Check in on your plan the first month every week to make sure you are still on schedule. This is where you can make adjustments to your plan. Then after that I would slowly back away from checking it weekly to every two weeks and then monthly. By this time you should have created a new habit. If you are finding yourself still off from week to week, continue checking weekly until you are consistently on track.
One of the biggest points I want to make about following your budget is self discipline. It's ultimately up to you to reach your goals. I can't force you to budget, but what I can do is remind you oh so kindly that you won't reach your goal if you don't stick to any plan.
I am here for you as well. If you have any questions about any of the steps please don't hesitate in reaching out to me!