For most Filipinos, it’s the ultimate goal: having your own home someday. Understandably, this bucket list item can feel daunting—it’s a big leap toward “adulting”, after all. Before you can even make the first step, how do you achieve this goal considering the financial responsibilities it entails?
Step one for buying your own home involves making a down payment. Many fail to get past this stage, because their existing expenses eat up all the income they need for a down payment each month. But did you know that a few tweaks to your budget and your lifestyle can give you the space to afford your first down payment, and continue to finance your new home in the future?
Here are five 2019 resolutions that may help you finally purchase your dream home this year!
1. Get as much information about this goal and keep yourself updated.
Do as much research as you can about your real estate choices, locations, and financing options. Remember that the location will greatly affect the price so weigh your options: will it be wiser to get a home near your workplace? Or will it be better to stick closer to your home town?
Then, determine the type of home that suits your budget and needs. For example, buying a home in a place like Nuvali may be a wiser and more affordable option for first-time home buyers. The area offers real estate options that are not as expensive as those located in Manila, despite having all the normal amenities and commercial establishments you need.
Also, study the various financing options you can afford. Banks have promos throughout the year, so be on the lookout for those. Check regularly for updates from different banks and financial institutions by following their social media pages.
2. Set and track your monthly budget using apps on your phone or tablet.
It’s now easier to set and keep track of your monthly budget using applications you can download on your mobile device. Apps like Wally and Goodbudget are among the most popular. These personal finance apps help users with budget planning and proper money management. You can list down all your expenses every month and plan how you’ll spend and save.
Wally uses a colorful user interface that helps you keep track of your expenses against your remaining budget so you can avoid overspending. While Goodbudget is a nifty app for couples who plan budgets and spending together as it allows users to sync and share budgets across multiple devices.
Keeping track of your budget and having the option to review it anytime anywhere on your mobile device allows you to allocate part of your income for your “home down payment savings.” You can start small in the beginning, as long as you make adjustments to your spending habits and increase this savings amount as you go along.
3. Regularly review your monthly budget and analyze your expenses.
Review your budget and ask yourself: where and how you can cut back on your spending? There are so many supposedly essential things that you actually don’t need at all. When you have everything laid out in a document, it’s easy to spot what’s draining your income and how you can save. Better yet, download an app that will give you an overview about your finances.
Applications like Mint for example collects information about your spending, analyzes it, and produces an easy to understand report using visuals so you can have an overview of your finances. By doing this you can pinpoint the unnecessary things that’s draining your income.
The seemingly cheap subscriptions for example could be adding up to a considerable amount. And by using finance analyzing apps you can easily pinpoint which ones you can skip and cancel. This way you can save money for your home down payment faster.
4. Make lifestyle changes and explore options that will help you save money
Do you have one bad habit that’s hurting your health and your budget? Not only is smoking and drinking bad for you, they’re also bad for your bottom line. Maybe your dream home goal can finally help you quit them.
Alternatively, you can analyze your daily spending and do research on a more affordable option for your usual habits. If you use Grab, you’ve probably seen how much you’ve spent on it last year. You can check others like OWTO so you can compare fares and get ones that are cheaper for your route. Other save even more by using ride-sharing apps instead. Wunder for example, is an urban carpooling platform that allows people who ply the same route and are all headed to the same area to share a ride.
5. Get a part-time/freelancing jobs online
The weekends you normally spend shopping or drinking with friends could instead be spent making money on the side. This year, try starting a small business or part-time job that will give you side income. There are many online job portals for freelancers and those looking for part-time employment that allows them to work from home.
Job sites like Acadsoc.ph and bibo.com.ph offer jobs for people with specific skills and services, like being an online english teacher. And there’s transcribeme.com for transcriptionists. They key is to think of what you can offer and find a way to make money out of it.
This year may be the year you finally buy your own home. If you follow these resolutions and stick to them throughout the year (and not just in January!) you’ll save enough for that dream home, for other investments, and maybe even have more money saved for your retirement.