Are you looking for new ways to save for a down payment on that new home you’d like to buy? We’ve all seen those shows featuring celebrity financial advisors. You know the ones; they yell at us to liquidate our cars in favor of using services like Uber or Lyft, live on park benches to save money on rent, and make snowballs or something to get rid of debt. We have NO idea how the last one works, especially in Florida’s climate, but with a little brainstorming, we came up with a few ideas of our own to help you save money for your down payment.
1.Put Your Parents’ House on Airbnb.
Are your folks going away for a few weeks? Is there a big football game in town and a shortage of hotel rooms? Lock up all their valuables—don’t forget the ceramic figurines—and market their home to travelers looking for retro chic.
I mean, come on. It’s better than all those times you threw pay-at-the-door keggers at their place back in high school, right?
2.Start a Successful YouTube Channel.
The key here is “successful”. After all, only about 4% of user-maintained channels make a dime. But wait. YOU are a born superstar. You can do it! We hear fishing channels are pretty hot right now, or you can dress up your kids in bright colors and make them do “weird food” challenges. Heck, if you get them to do “yard work challenges”, you might double your investment by getting them to separate your neighbors from their cash!
Speaking of neighbors… if you don’t have kids, but you’re looking to move because you have this person living next door, you can take advantage of the situation big time. (Or stage the whole thing; either way!)
3.Kick Off a Dog Walking Service.
If you love animals, or even if you don’t, you can moonlight as a dog walker. Not only will you make some bank, but you’ll really get into shape… thus helping reduce your insurance premiums and copays and allowing you to cancel your gym membership.
Eventually, you can expand your services to include overnight pet-sitting, eliminating the need to pay rent… and opening up your inventory for Tip #1.
4.Become a Digital Nomad.
Fix up a cheap RV, grab your laptop, and hit the road! Tons of people are living footloose and fancy-free, working from their traveling homes while exploring the continent. Or, at least, “boondocking” in the local Wal-Mart parking lot while using their smartphone hotspots to access the internet and work remotely.
By the time you have enough cash saved up, you’ll be grateful for the opportunity to put down roots and enjoy a hot shower in a stall that doesn’t include your toilet and sink.
Seriously. Have you seen the price of razors these days? We’d bet that if people stopped shaving (women, this means you, too) America’s personal debt crisis could be wiped out in two years.
Now, we know that beards have been a pretty big deal lately, so for those of you who are going for the Hipster/Special-Forces-On-Leave/Grizzly Adams look, knock it off with the beard oils, conditioners, and waxes. And for those of you (ladies AND gents) who go to the salon to get the peach fuzz peeled, there are another gazillion dollars you can save, not to mention all the adult beverages you need to consume as part of your recovery.
Once you’ve saved up enough to get yourself into your new home (preferably a brand new one with clog-free, heavy-duty plumbing) you can always go back to your old grooming habits.
6.Bring Back Rollerblading.
OK, somewhere at the top of this post we mentioned ditching the expensive car and hopping on the Uber bandwagon. If you’re not a fan of getting into strangers’ cars, why not dig through some used sporting goods stores, garage sales, and thrift shops in search of an old pair of Rollerblades? They were hugely popular back in the early 90s, which makes them vintage now. And hey, vintage is totes in.
Of course, this means you’ll have to navigate side streets to get to work, but if you do the whole digital nomad thing, you can park your rig in your employer’s lot and just blade your way to ‘Bucks and back.
7.Become a Freegan.
You’ve got your vegetarians, and you’ve got your vegans. What about becoming a “freegan”? Try eating at at your parents’ more often. They’d probably enjoy seeing you and you’ll score a delicious home-cooked meal at the same time.
8.Explore New Entertainment Options.
How much do you pay for internet and cable? Do you pay for HBO just so you can watch Game of Thrones?
Knock it off! Go to the nearest mall, sit down on a bench, and people watch. Take a friend, and place bets (Easy now. We’re talking pennies here. afterall, you ARE saving for that down payment) on exactly when a certain kid is going to have a tantrum, or how many times a teen says “like” or “you know” as they’re standing in line for Panda Express.
9.Seek Out New Construction with a Preferred Lender.
Mortgage lending isn’t as daunting as you think, and you can even to swing a reduced down payment when you choose a builder who works with a preferred lender. New construction is booming in South Florida in response to the growing economy; Let them get creative with the number crunching, while you focus on building the life you imagine.
And if any of these don’t seem up your alley, check out these 10 more conventional ways to save.