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Saving for your Down Payment

One of the biggest challenges to buying your first home is saving up for a down payment. The size of the down payment you’ll need depends on which type of mortgage you choose. You’ll likely need at least 3% down, but it varies depending on the type of loan. One thing is for sure, you will need to some money available to purchase a home. Here are several easy ways to save money to put towards a down payment in just ONE YEAR!

Skip the Fancy Morning Coffee: A small espresso drink costs around $4.00 at most coffee shops. That adds up to $1,460 a year! Buy a bag of gourmet coffee and make it yourself. Or get your caffeine fix at the office where the coffee is free.

$4.00 day x 365 days = $1,460/year

Drink This, Not That: A single 20oz. soda from a vending machine can cost anywhere between $1.20 to $2.50! Buy a gallon of distilled water for $0.80 and fill your reusable water bottle thorough the day. (Not only is this one good for your wallet, it’s good for the environment!)

$2.50 day x 365 days = $912/year

Eat In: The average American family spends $225 a month eating away from home. Wow! That’s $2,700 a year! Invest in a good cook book or search Pinterest for recipes and make your dinners at home this year. Don’t forget to pack your lunches too!

$225 month x 12 months = $2,700/year

Cut the Cable:

This year the average cable customer will pay an astonishing $123 per month for television. By contrast, a basic Netflix subscription is only $7.99 a month. Cutting the cable and replacing it with a cheaper streaming TV subscription can save you over $1,400 in just one year!

$123 month x 12 months = $1,476/year

Cancel the Gym Membership: Your health should be a top priority but the average gym membership costs $58 per month per person and 67% of people that have gym memberships don’t even use them! Instead of wasting money on a gym membership that you don’t use, get your exercise by walking/running around the block or utilizing the equipment at your local park. For rainy days, purchase a set of dumbbells or take up Pilates.

$58 month x 12 months = $696/year

Cut back on Entertainment: You can have fun without spending a whole lot of money. It just takes a little creativity! Instead of going to the movie theater, hit up the RedBox and pop some popcorn in the microwave. Many museums and art galleries are free or offer free days. Check your local library for free classes, lectures, and book clubs.

$150 month x 12 months = $1,800/year

Homemade Holiday: The average American planned to spend just over $800 on holiday gifts in 2015. Plan ahead and make next Christmas a homemade holiday. Homemade gifts are more thoughtful anyway! If you’re not crafty or don’t have the time to make your gifts, talk with your family and tell them ahead of time that you’d like to set a dollar limit for each person.

$800 x 1 month = $800/year

Save from your Paycheck: It’s easy to save money if it never makes it into your pocket. Set up an automatic withdrawal from your checking account to your savings account on the same day that you get paid. $25 a week will add up to $1,300 in just one year! If you can double that, you could save $2,600 in a year!

$25 week x 52 weeks = $1,300/year

Other areas that you might be able to save, include:

Car insurance – Call around to different insurance agencies for free estimates. You may be able to save hundreds a year by switching providers!

Cell phone – You may be able to save hundreds by switching cell phone providers so be sure to shop around. Some providers will even buy out your current contract, so be sure to ask.

Health insurance – If you’re married, you may be able to save money by opting into your employer’s health insurance rather than being on your spouse’s plan. Be sure to compare costs during open enrollment.


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Jill Gunter

Do you have a family that needs a larger home? Are you thinking through the house hunting process, trying to figure out exactly how to do this with your kids? Or, are you trying to sell and concerned about how to keep your house clean, the yard mowed AND make it to soccer practice? I’m in this business because of my family and the goal I have for you is to help you and your family find the home of your current dreams. A little about me…my husband Van works for Wells Fargo and we have two beautiful, well spirited daughters under the age of 9, a spirited son and a golden retriever named Miss Nipper Pearl. My daughters are realtors in training and my oldest can point out features of a home in record time! I’m a proud graduate of Appalachian State University (home of the 3 time national champions) and received my Masters in Public Administration from UNCW. I’m also an alumna of Phi Mu Sorority and am actively involved in both the collegiate and alumnae chapter in the Wilmington area. Volunteering comes naturally to me and I often contribute financially to local nonprofits in honor of my clients and the closing of their new home.

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