Interesting Ways to Save for the Down Payment on Your Home

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A friend contacted me recently to share that her husband was a contestant on a game show and they were planning to use the winning proceeds on a down payment for their new home.  I met with her and her husband almost a year ago.  At that time, they wanted to talk about their plans to possibly sell their current home and by a larger place.  They also shared that there was a possibility that the game show opportunity would become available.  Although they had no idea if he would be a selected participant, their goal was to use any winning proceeds to fulfill their dream of purchasing a new home.  Over the summer she attended a home buying workshop so she was totally aware and prepared to move forward with their purchase.  They also gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in the fall, which brought further motivation to commit to buying a larger home.  Well needless to say, her husband was selected as a contestant and did quite well on the show.

Here we are almost one year later and what they planned for will shortly become a reality.

Not everyone will be selected to be a contestant on a game show and win big time, but everyone has a windfall of money we did not expect to receive.  Whether it is our tax return, a salary increase, a recipient of a bequest or even a personal gift; if it is unexpected cash, consider it a windfall.  I have met folks who are couponing, signing up for E-bates, checking what their points get them on their credit card accounts, rounding up through Acorn and using gift cards received during the holidays to supplement their savings.

But what is most important is to have a vision and a plan for any excess cash to drive you to achieve your goals.  If the vision is to be in a new home, quantify the goal and set a timeline.  Meet with a realtor to talk about your local market, attend a homebuyers workshop and discuss your finances with a mortgage broker.  Determine how you can and should adjust your lifestyle to help drive you closer to your vision and commit to making it happen. 

I know there are windfalls and there are also ways to alter your lifestyle to save money to support your goal.  I know there are many people ready to learn and try something new.  No better time than the beginning of the new year.

Please share ideas on interesting ways you or someone you know has saved for a large purchase or simply the down payment for their new home.  I'd love to share your story as an example of what is possible.