Until you’re ready to become a first-time home buyer, renting is a great way to explore different areas. But if you plan to one day buy a place of your own, saving for a down payment may seem impossible – especially with rent prices skyrocketing across the country.1
Here are four things you can start doing today – with a little help from money-savvy apps – to save for a house.
1. Use apps to help automate your savings
It can be hard to save money when you’re looking at a checking account balance. Instead, try a “hands-off” app that allows you to save without thinking about it. Acorns rounds up each of your purchases to the nearest dollar, then deposits the spare change into an investment portfolio.2 Digit calculates what you can save based on your income and spending habits. It automates your savings and delivers 1 percent cash back every quarter.2
2. Track your spending
Start tracking your spending to know exactly where your money is going. Mint is a free financial tracker that consolidates your accounts, bills and credit cards all in on place. By analyzing your spending history, it can create a customized budget to help you reach your savings goal.3
3. Cut extra expenses from your budget
You don’t need to stop going to the gym or swear off eating out to buy a house. If you want to save for a down payment, comb through your monthly expenses and see which ones you can live without for a while.4
After accounting for bills, spending and savings contributions, the free app PocketGuard calculates how much money is left for additional spending. The app lets you track specific categories – like groceries or eating out – to see where you might cut back further.5 ClarityMoney can help identify subscriptions you may no longer use and cancel them.3
4. Be mindful with savings from financial windfalls
Extra money can arrive in unexpected ways, with little notice. These might include tax refunds, gifts, bonuses or commissions, and selling personal assets, such as an old car or gently used clothing.4 Next, go the extra step and put those pennies to work for you. Depending on your financial goals and risk tolerance, you may want to save or invest those extra dollars with an app like Stash, which offers free stock trades and helps you build a custom investment portfolio.6,*
Saving enough for a down payment might seem tough, but you’ll reach your savings goal as a first-time home buyer faster with a carefully planned budget.