At the end of March, Eric and I made a pact that we were going to start saving up for a house down payment. We have no real timeline right now about when we plan to buy a house–we just know that we want to be financially ready for whenever the opportunity arises.
Considering three-bedroom home prices in our area go for at least $500,000, we know we’re going to need a sizable down payment.
Fact: a two-bedroom townhome in our neighborhood sold for $450,000 two weeks ago.
I don’t think we’ll ever be able to save the standard 20% down payment, but we can at least make some progress.
On April 1, we had $3,000 in our down payment fund. Today, we have more than $10,400.
How did we do it?
- May was a three-paycheck month for the both of us. A portion of my check is automatically deposited into our online savings account so we never see that money in our checking. Rather than enjoy the extra checks, I doubled our regular savings throughout the month.
- We contributed $2,000 from our tax refund.
- We put all of our overtime money into the fund. I rarely get overtime, but I had two full days of overtime in the past two months. And Eric usually has about 1 or 2 days of overtime a month.
- We put every penny of “extra” money into our house down payment fund. This includes: money made from biking to work, and random checks received (like $12 commission from books Eric sold).
At the beginning of the year, we set out to save $5,000 and I thought that was ambitious. I cannot believe that we have more than doubled our goal and the year is only halfway over.
I think it’s because we made a joint decision to start saving for a down payment and we really put our minds in to it. And it’s great to feel like we’re actually making progress.
I would also like to add that during this time that we saved $7,000, we also:
- took a trip to New York for fun
- took a trip to San Francisco to visit friends
- and paid off $3,000 in student loans
So all this goes to show is that you can still have fun, live your life, save for your goals, AND pay off debt.
I am really quite proud of us, and am just going to take some time to pat myself on the back right now…
What financial goals have you accomplished lately?