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The New Homeowner Diet

Saving money is a lot like losing weight. It's no fun, requires sacrifices and no one at the dinner party wants to hear about your plan. For many first-time homebuyers, trying to save enough money for the down payment on a house can seem like a diet that won't end. It might even be tempting to click one of those email links that promise magical results, even though you know there's no magic pill for weight loss and no magic plan for saving money.

Fortunately, if you've ever tried to lose weight, you already know how to save money. While most weight loss results are temporary, buying a home is something that won't disappear if you skip the gym for a week. You'll be living in a home you own, building equity and moving closer to financial independence. So, here are some tips to get you moving toward that down payment.

Don't bite off more than you can chew

One of the biggest mistakes new homeowners make is buying more house than they can realistically afford. At Northeast Credit Union, we want to get the right loan for you so that you can move into a home that's comfortable and fits your lifestyle. That doesn't mean you have to use every dollar you qualify for. Let's talk it through to figure out exactly how much you can spend every month and make sure you don't get in over your head.

Your goals may require more work than others

You may be making sacrifices and saving as much as you can, but still not feel like you're getting any closer to your dream home. You're not alone. Unlike their parents or grandparents, today's typical middle-class family has more than one job, and a surprising number of those families have three or more sources of income. Even with the popularity and necessity of taking on a second job, some people are embarrassed to do so, as if having a working spouse or taking on extra work on the side is a sign of failure. Don't be that person who's too embarrassed to go to the gym because they don't want anyone to see them get healthy. There's no shame in working.

It's important to keep track of your progress

Most people keep track of their weight every day while dieting. Some keep a food log. Some count calories, points or carbs. The bottom line: You need to be able to see how you're doing so you know when you can splurge and when you need to cut back. The same is true when saving for a home. Make a budget and stick with it. If you have a bad month, don't get frustrated. Instead, commit to doing better next month.

If you want to own a home, you need to save money - but you don't have to do it alone. Think of us as your personal trainer for your financial health. Drop us a line at 888-436-1847 or email us at memberservices@necu.org, and we'll help you figure out what you can afford and how you can get there.

  

Sources:
http://twocents.lifehacker.com/how-to-start-saving-for-a-home-down-payment-1541254056 
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/01/25/upshot/shrinking-middle-class.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0 
http://fortune.com/2015/04/06/how-to-save-for-a-down-payment-on-your-first-home/
http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB114092130166883567