You want to save for a down payment on a house, but #YOLO right? Maybe you should stay in tonight, but if you say no, they might stop inviting you! #FOMO
YOLO (you only live once) and FOMO (fear of missing out) lifestyles may make fun stories and cool Twitter posts, but the consequences of a lifestyle driven by short-sighted acronyms may not be enjoyable – especially if they lead you to debt. Sure, you only live once and the world is your playground. But does this mean you should spend like there’s no tomorrow?
How you handle your finances now will determine how much money you’ll have for all those big, fun things down the line – be it a house, a wedding or bungee jumping into a bottomless Himalayan gorge. Buying a house is a great way to lay the foundation for a sound financial future, so here are 7 tips to help you start saving for a down payment now.
1. Bring your own lunch to work: You don’t have to live on peanut butter sandwiches every day, you could throw something together before you leave the house. Takeout lunches easily cost 50 dirhams or more, adding up to over 12,000 dirhams a year – money you can stash away! Start by eating out once a week for lunch instead of five.
2. Skip the taxi: Take the metro, ride the bus or better still, walk. Dubai taxi fares start at AED12 whilst the longest metro ride from Rashidiya to Jebel Ali only costs 7.50!
3. Find affordable alternatives: Do you really need that gym membership? Work out at home or go for a run in the nearest park. Ditch the daily coffee runs. Do your own laundry instead of sending it out. Small expenses add up.
4. Save 100% of all windfalls: Expecting a raise or a bonus? Save it all!
5. Downsize: Moving to a one bed from a two bedroom apartment can drop your rent significantly – money you can easily throw back into your housing fund.
6. Make a visual reminder of why you’re saving: Take a picture of a house you want to buy, pin it on a poster board and see it every day. This may seem silly, but constant reminders of your home goal will keep you motivated.
7. Make saving fun: Get creative. If you’re planning to buy with your spouse or partner, create a savings race to see who saves more. Break your savings goal into chunks and treat yourself to something nice when you achieve a milestone.
Is it easy to save for a down payment? No. Will you get jealous of friends who may be taking that trip to Vegas or dropping AED3000 on those gorgeous Louboutins? Perhaps. But soon, you’ll be the one signing on that dotted line while your friends cram themselves into a studio. And then, the wonderful feeling of walking in the front door of your own house will make all of it worth it.
Still have more questions? Visit our guide to buying a house.