So you've decided to purchase your first home here in Calgary! Good for you! The first thing you'll need to do is put together a down payment. This is the biggest hurdle for a lot of people since you'll have to be saving money while you continue to pay rent. There are some things you can do to help speed up the process though so that you can get into your new home faster.
Trim the fat off your budget
Take a look at your existing budget to see how it can be trimmed down to add extra savings to the down payment pot. For example, if you go out to eat once a week you can trim back to dining out once every 2 weeks instead. If you're spending $75 per meal for you and your spouse, you'll end up saving $150 per month. If you take this money and put it right into the savings fund for your down payment, it will add up to $1,800 per year. That's a lot of money that you could be saving!
If you take things one step further and stop dining out altogether for one year you would be saving $3,600 during the 12 months. Instead of going out for dinner you could plan potluck dinners with friends or enjoy family picnics outside during the summer.
Look for a second job
Sometimes you just have to make compromises in order to reach your goals. If you take on a second job on a part-time basis and put all of this extra money towards your down payment, you'll start to see the fund growing very quickly. You may find that working hard for a year will be just enough to cover the down payment especially if you are trimming your budget at the same time.
Ask for cash gifts
Let your friends and family members know that you are seriously working towards homeownership and that you are scrambling to put together enough money to cover a down payment. When special holidays come around you can request cash gifts that can be put towards the fund. Most people are more than happy to hear such requests since it means that they won't have to worry about shopping around to find you the perfect gift.
You don't have to sacrifice everything when you're ready to take the plunge into homeownership but you should be prepared to sacrifice some things. Once you've made it over to the other side and can relax in your new home, you'll definitely be happy that you took the time and energy to make it happen.