How We Saved Over $50,000 for a Down Payment

We just hit a very big milestone in saving for our house.  Recently, we reached our original goal of having $50,000 saved for a down payment on our house, and are continuing to save.

saving | down payment | home building

How We Did It

1. We paid for our own wedding, and used wedding gift money to jumpstart our savings.

When we got engaged, we were determined to pay for the wedding ourselves.

To save money, we lived in the basement of my in-laws’ house.  I also took on a second job as a server at a fine dining restaurant to make extra money that year.

After 10 months, we saved enough to pay for our wedding, and were thus able to use the generous wedding gifts from family and friends to jumpstart our savings for our house.

2. We invested in ourselves, and found higher paying jobs.

When we moved back east in 2014, we did not find teaching jobs right away. I subbed and worked as a server, and Mr. Farmhouse Finance worked construction.  After a year of subbing, I decided to sign up for more graduate classes to get another teaching certification to make myself more marketable.

The summer of 2015 may go down in history as my greatest hustle of all time.  I took four graduate classes and planned our wedding, without losing my mind.

The hustle paid off.  I accepted a job offer at the beginning of the summer for my dream job.  Mr. Farmhouse Finance received an excellent job offer at another district a couple months later.

3. We didn’t allow lifestyle inflation to creep in.

When we taught out west, we learned how to budget and live on $30,000 per year salaries.  When we found higher paying jobs, we continued to stay disciplined with our spending and saving.

Our rent right now, is the same as it was when we lived out west.  Since we are making a lot more, we are able to save a good chuck each month to put towards the house.

Each month we spend $950 on rent, and set aside another $1,650 in our house fund.

4. We prioritize our savings and pay ourselves first.

We have prioritized saving for our down payment, and make sure that anytime we have extra money from the health insurance buyout or side hustles, we put it towards that goal.

We transfer money towards our savings goals on the day we get paid, instead of waiting until the end of the month when there is never any money left.

How You Can Do It, Too

Not everyone has the opportunity to find higher paying jobs in their field, but with a little bit of planning, everyone could prioritize their savings.  If you are serious about saving for a house, make that a priority.  Transfer money to your house savings account on the day you get paid, and put a portion of every bonus or windfall towards that goal, as well.

Live modestly, and save the rest.  If you stay focused, you’ll reach your savings goals.

What’s Next

Although we have reached our original goal for saving for our down payment, we have to readjust.  The estimated cost of building our house is much higher than we were originally planning for.  We need to keep saving if we want to put 20% down.

We will continue to contribute the same amount to our house fund from our next few teaching paychecks, and will contribute a portion of what we make from summer jobs, as well.

saving | down payment | home building

Illusion of Scarcity Worksheet (PDF)

Screen shot 2017 05 29 at 12.58.38 pm

Download this free worksheet and start paying yourself first.

  • Budget for financial obligations and recurring expenses
  • Prioritize your financial goals
  • Make all your transfers on payday
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