A year ago, I had freshly graduated from college and I was considering the idea of moving to New Jersey. I grew up in the suburbs but moved to Philly for college. Just the idea of moving away from the excitement of the city threw me into panic attacks. Now, it's a year later and I still feel the same. I don't think I ever will really be someone who wants to move to the suburbs (this might be the millenial in me talking). At this point in my life. I have a steady income and a 5 year plan that includes staying in the city. The next logical step for me is to start looking at buying.
I have been casually browsing Zillow and Realtor.com to check out home prices in areas of Philadelphia I am willing to call home. It looks like my price range is $300K and under for a 2 bed/2bath home. Some people might be jumping out of their seats thinking that's crazy price for such a small home but honestly, that's Philly pricing.
Since I am planning on splitting this with my boyfriend, my savings goal for a 20% down payment about $30K. Here's a quick breakdown of what I currently am dealing with:
- Savings: $2000 (Barclay Dream Account at 1.05% APR)
- Emergency Fund: $5000
- Roth IRA: $5500
The car loan (which I am also aggressively paying down should be gone by Dec '17 (hopefully earlier). If not earlier. I am contributing around $1,000 a month to my Barclays savings account. Finding that $1,000 can be tricky but it you take advantage of some of my tips below, you'll be able to find some extra cash each month.
4 Tips to Aggressively Save for a House
- Minimize eating out. This is a good way to save a ton of money. Happy Hour, cheap pizza dates, and the occasional sushi splurge add up. I have limited my eating out budget to $50 a month which can cover about one brunch and one pizza.
- Drive less. That's one good thing about living in the city, I only have to drive to work and back. Everything else is accessible on foot or by public transportation if it's really far.
- Find activities that are cheap or free. If you are trying to save, there are usually a bunch of really cool events around town tempting you to spend. Coincidentally, there should be a bunch of really cool FREE events, like concerts, museums, and food tastings too. Uwishunu and Philly.com always feature interesting things that you can do for FREE. Most cities or towns have similar websites.
- Inviting friends over instead of going out. You can have a splendid time play old school board games (Yahtzee's my fave) or video games. You can easily get the supplies or utilize stuff you already have! Plus, creating a cheese or veggie platter can still be fun, festive, delicious, and CHEAP!