Four Ways to Quickly Save Up a Down Payment

Some quick tips to help you get into your first house

In today's housing market (especially the Okanagan) saving up for that first down payment can be tough because you still have to pay for everyday life. However there are some things you can do to speed up the process. Warning: these steps will not come easily. They all come with sacrifices but the more you save at the outset the better off you will be.

1. Cut down on transportation costs
With gas prices soaring and insurance premiums higher for youth, having the freedom to drive wherever and whenever you want can take a big chunk out of your potential savings. Find a way to cut those costs: If you have two vehicles sell one. If you drive everywhere, consider transit when you can. Research carpooling opportunities and even consider walking during the three warmer seasons.

2. Move back in with you parents / in-law
If you have parents who are local and willing to allow you to move in this can be a huge money saver. Set a prescribed period of time and conditions that are amenable to all. A shorter time period is better at first so that you can re-evaluate and keep the communication lines open.

3. Pay off all your other high interest debt
Adding a mortgage to a high-debt situation is only going to snow you under. Talk to a solid financial advisor who can help you make the best plan to get rid of all the other bad debt that is robbing your savings each month.

4. Find a cheap alternative for fun
Brainstorm entertainment ideas for less: Cut your cable (Netflix), use your library (for music, movies and books), use coupons for eating out, drink water at restaurants when possible and find inexpensive activities to do with friends (walking, beach time, board games).

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