Are you looking to possibly buy a home in the future but need to start saving and don’t know what to cut back on? Continue reading for 20 unique and creative ways to save money.

  1. Live below your means and sacrifice buying coffee at your favorite shop, because the price of your daily caramel macchiato can add up!
  2. Understand what the majority of your money is being spent on by using an excel sheet and adjust your spending habits to better fit your budget. Spend money on necessities, not wants.
  3. Use cash instead of swiping your credit card. Set a cash limit for yourself that doesn’t involve bill payments and stick to cash-only for a couple weeks. Set your limit by taking out only a select amount a week, let’s say $20.
  4. Try and have your employer match your contributions from your 401(k) and set aside at least 10 percent of your income in a retirement account to ensure you have enough when you do in fact retire.
  5. If possible, try and receive two incomes. Save the income you make the most and use your other income for spending needs. This ensures you saving your money but spending it on necessities.
  6. Automate your savings account so a portion of your income automatically goes into your saving account without you really noticing.
  7. Sign up for loyalty store cards because of the perks of receiving coupons for products you regularly buy.
  8. Save a portion of the extra cash you receive throughout the year whether that is your tax refund, work bonuses, etc. Adding extra money to your savings account will ensure you not spending it on unnecessary items.
  9. Use the 24 hour rule and wait at least 24 hours before purchasing something expensive. This will prevent you from an impulse purchase you can’t afford or don’t need.
  10. When contemplating on buying something, calculate the cost of the item by hours you worked. If something costs $70 and you get paid $10 an hour, is the item worth seven hours of work?
  11. Unsubscribe from emails from stores that tempt you into online shopping when you don’t have the funds to splurge.
  12. Write a reminder on your card saying, “Do I need this?” “Is this worth it?” This little message will remind you to think critically before making a purchase.
  13. Look into refinancing options on your mortgage to lower your interest rate to save money over the life of the loan. By refinancing, you’ll have the possibility of collecting home equity quicker.
  14. Ask for a free or low-costing home energy audit from your local electric or gas utility company. You may be able to find ways to lower your heating and cooling costs each year.
  15. Adjust your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees or less to save money and energy on your electric bill.
  16. Cancel your cable and invest in Netflix, Hulu or other streaming network to save from paying a bigger fee for cable TV when you can get the same shows on those streaming sites.
  17. Remove your credit card numbers on online accounts. Some accounts will auto-renew and you may forget about them.
  18. Write a grocery list and stick to the items on it to stray away from over buying unnecessary grocery items. This will also cut back on your food waste.
  19. Pick a bank with perks such as no ATM fees, no overdraft fees, higher interest on saving accounts, etc. Finding a bank that fits your needs will help you save money in the long run.
  20. Use budget-tracking apps such as Mint to let you know what you spend the most of your money on. These apps can help you better prioritize what’s worth spending on.

If you feel as if you saved enough from these hacks and want to start the homeownership process, contact a loan officer today.