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If only you could still buy a house with a handshake and a check, huh? Since buying a house costs a lot more than the five figures of our grandparents’ day, owning a home might seem like it’s out of reach. Not only does your credit have to be impeccable, you also have to have a massive down payment. How many people can save twenty grand and still take care of their day to day expenses?

According to home owners and various financial experts, the key is goal setting. When you approach buying your home as a small step-by-step process, you’ll hit your goal of owning a home a lot more quickly than you could have imagined.

Start With Budget Cuts

[covertplayersinglevideo trvideoid=”ao8hjLmUm-o” trdisplaytype=”5″ trnumbervideosdisplay=”” trvideoperpage=”36″ trthumbnailwidth=”80″ trthumbnailheight=”55″ trpopupwidth=”500″ trpopupheight=”350″ trvideoalign=”left” trytautohide=”0″ trytautoplay=”0″ trytcontrols=”1″ trytrelvideo=”0″ trytshowlogo=”1″ trytshowtitle=”0″ tryttheme=”dark” trythighquality=”0″]This is by far the least fun part of planning for your home purchase. We all have little extras that make us tick, but are they something you can live without for the next few years? You don’t have to get rid of every bit of pleasure in your life while you’re saving. You still need to live your life! Don’t be too heavy handed with your budget negotiations and completely cut out every enjoyable thing like eating out or shopping trips with your sister. Moderation is key.

Don’t eat out five nights a week; make it once a week and spend the other nights learning new recipes with fresh, interesting ingredients.

See how you can lower all of your bills, too. Chances are you can save money somehow with your car insurance, cell phone, and your cable. Most companies are more than happy to knock a small amount off your bill if you threaten to go to another company who’s cheaper.

When you’re haggling new prices with your cell or cable company, ask to talk to the customer retention line. If you’ve been paying your bill on time and you’ve been a customer for more than a year, there’s always a chance of getting your bill lowered.

Make Some Extra Cash

When you’ve trimmed the fat on your budget and you still feel like it’s taking forever to reach your down payment goals, then it’s time to bulk up your income a little bit.

Make a small side business mowing lawns, raking leaves, or helping people with menial jobs around the house.

If you like babysitting, offer up your skills among your friends. Christmas is a great time to get a temporary part-time job for some extra cash. With unlimited hours, you have the potential to add a couple grand to your nest egg!

Don’t forget to see what you can sell around your home for some money. You’re going to be moving anyways, so it only makes sense to purge all of that unwanted junk.

Save your bigger ticket items for local yard sale pages on Facebook or Craigslist. Extra furniture goes quickly on these sites when it’s priced fairly. If you have a garage filled with years of clutter, that means it’s time for a yard sale!

Set Limits

When you’re sick to death of renting, you might find yourself going a little bit crazy with the penny pinching. Don’t ruin your current life in your quest to own a home. If you alienate all of your friends or lose all of your hobbies, you’re probably not going to be all that excited for your new house, and you won’t have any friends to come and visit you in it, anyways.

Set limits about what sacrifices need to be made – but remember that some sacrifices can be too much. It makes sense to curb your coffee habit, but don’t feel like you need to relegate yourself to really cheap coffee for the next couple of years. If your family has a long standing tradition to have brunch every Sunday, don’t cut that out. Use coupons to offset the cost or leave that as one of your remaining luxuries.

If you have friends and family who love to go out for drinks or take expensive trips, just clue them in on your saving goals. If you let them know you’re trying to save money for your own home and you can’t indulge as much as you used to, chances are they’re going to understand and be supportive.

Home ownership seems to be a necessity in adulthood, and it’s certainly going to be one of the proudest moments of your life. The process can be frustrating, but once it comes to fruition, you won’t even remember all of the sacrifices you made

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