10 Wild Ways to Save for a Home

Last updated on April 2nd, 2017

I was recently emailed by Movoto about an infographic they had put together on ways to save for a home purchase. I’ll give my thoughts on their 10 reasons below.

Ways to Save for a Home

1. Don’t Have Kids

This is a legitimate option, as kids tend to cost a LOT of money to raise. We actually think that children are a real blessing (just an unwelcome blessing at this stage in our lives), so this is one area where the Cash Cow Couple stays silent. To each their own…

2. Freeze Your Credit Card

I just wrote about the many reasons to use credit cards, so I can’t see any reason to freeze them if you are going to go through the trouble of applying! Of course, my one disclaimer was that you shouldn’t bother with credit cards at all if you can’t pay the monthly balance in full. Carrying a balance on a credit card is financial suicide.

3. Don’t Have Pets

Ah, we couldn’t agree more. Recall my previous post on affording a dog. I will say that pets can be excellent companions and entirely lovable, but that doesn’t mean that I personally think they are worth the cost or the trouble. Your mileage may vary.

4. Get Roommates

This is an excellent idea and one that we’ve championed before. If you are single, it’s a no brainer. Even if you are married, it could still possibly work out. We considered the option but felt that our mobile home was just a bit too small for another person.

5. Move In With Your Parents

Depending on the situation, we like it. We’ve already written about living at home during college and still feel like that is a really intelligent decision. Avoiding debt or high payments that stretch your cash flow needs to be a priority.

6. Downsize Your Living Situation

Having a big home and a big mortgage can really ruin your ability to achieve financial freedom. Homes have historically only appreciated at the rate of inflation, so you aren’t really making an investment when you choose to buy a house that is far larger than your needs.

7. Brew Your Own Coffee

About 83 percent of American drink coffee, so the chances are high that most people reading this post love java. But how much is that worth to you? People who like to frequent Starbucks and other overpriced havens spend more than $1,000 per year on coffee! That’s insane. Why not just make it at home??

8. Cut Your Cable

I personally think it’s insane to still own cable TV, but my parents and many other friends choose to keep the trend going. There are many good alternatives to a $75/month cable bill. I detailed many in my article on watching TV online for free.

9. Write It All Down

If you want to save money, you need to know where your money is going. Does that require a budget? Maybe not, as I detailed in a previous post on the mindset behind budgeting.

10. Brown Bag It


10 Ways to Save for a Home


The next time your cubicle mate asks you to grab a bite to eat, say no. On average, Americans spend almost a grand per year eating out for lunch. Instead of getting an overpriced burger down the street, learn how to shop for groceries, cook your own food and bring it for lunch. You’ll save a fortune in the long run.

Do you have any other ideas to save money when saving for a new home? Leave a comment and share!

  1. Reply

    I could get behind some of these. I personally am not going to give up children to have a house (if I had to pick between the two, I’d go with kids!) But I’m a big fan of downsized homes, brewing your own coffee, and cutting cable!

  2. Reply

    Oh, this little infographic made me chuckle – especially the part about saving over $24K annually… I don’t even make $24K annually!

    Anyhow, I think kids and pets probably belong in the same category – same idea, different levels of commitment, expense and fur – and once you’ve got them, there’s pretty much no looking back. I’ve definitely chosen the fur-bearing option on that one! 🙂

    And as for moving in with your parents… well, all I can say is that the authors must have parents who are significantly saner than mine ever were. I think when you figure in the years of psychotherapy that it would require to recover from the experience, that one is definitely a net loss! 🙂

    • Kathryn
    • December 23, 2013

    My husband and I have chosen to live car-free. We rely on public transportation, bicycles, walking and the occasional car rental. We spend about $300.00/month on transportation in the winter, next to nothing in the summer when we cycle everywhere. Friends of ours in the suburbs spend about $1500/month owning and operating two cars. People think we’re crazy but we are healthier for it, and will probably have our mortgage paid off in less than 10 years. And the more people tell us “oh, you’ll get a car once you have kids,” the more determined we are to NOT buy a car if we have children.

    • Retired at 50.
    • December 23, 2013

    We’ve been doing this sort of stuff all our lives. It works.

  3. Reply

    Not a bad list. I think for a lot of consumers, avoiding credit card use is a no brainer if you are just getting started saving for a home. For someone who’s gaming the system and getting 1 or 2% on their spending, sure, go get those cash rewards. But you’d have to spend $50 or $100 on the card to get a buck back…you could also just avoid spending a dollar. Many roads lead to Rome.

    As for tips for saving, I am a fan of trying to live on one partner’s salary and saving the rest. It’s mental accounting, sure, but it works.

  4. Well, I have 1, 2, 6,7,8,9 all down. Nice to know I do more than half of these things already!

    • cj
    • December 23, 2013

    Jacob!!!! Most of us are far too dogmatic to consider #1 OR #3 (pun originally unintended then on second thought intended). It is refreshing to see these listed here. Alternatively, imagine what all that money could do in a retirement account or dividend bearing fund. Have a Jolly one!!!

  5. I already cut off my cable subscription and made my own coffee. 🙂 I think stop dining out in a restaurant or food chain will help you us to save money.

  6. Reply

    Those ideas really are brutally honest, but true. All of those things could save significant cash if you are just starting out. I think it’s probably not as relateable to those who may already have kids or pets or perhaps live on the other side of the country from their parents, but even so you could still consider the other ideas.


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