12 surefire ways to save for a home down-payment |
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12 surefire ways to save for a home down-payment

by Jillian CariolaPublished: February 26, 2015Updated: September 4, 2017

Planning to buy a house but having a hard time raising the down-payment? Here are a few simple but effective methods of putting together that 20 percent


Renting forever isn’t something that appeals to everyone. At some point, people still want a place they can fully personalize, raise a family in, and retire to, basically something to call their own. But if you’re not earning a lot, do you need to keep putting your dream on hold? Not necessarily. Banks are making it easier for you to apply for a home loan, which is immediately a load off your mind. But what about that first major expense: the down payment?

A good rule of thumb when coming up with a down-payment is 20 percent for most cases, but it’s still a hefty amount if you don’t have the paycheck of a celebrity or a CEO. Here are 12 tips for putting away enough money to finally make your dream of homeownership come true.

1. Create a monthly budget

Seeing what you spend on and how much you spend on it every month is an easy way to keep track of your expenses. It’ll give you a better idea of where you can scrimp a little more without coming up short on the more important things. Once you have a new, downgraded budget, try your best to stick to it so you save as much money as possible.

2. Open an automatic deposit account

The minute payday rolls around, it’s often too tempting to keep spending rather than saving a portion of your salary. To stay on track, consider opening an automatic deposit account, wherein a specific amount is automatically transferred from your main account to a second one every month on a preselected date. This way, you don’t have to worry about neglecting to add to your savings whether by mistake or on purpose. Another benefit of having an automatic deposit account is that it earns interest as well, which is great as you will need every advantage you can get to reach your goal faster.

3. Cut down on your spending

Expenses that seem small now can add up in the long run, so scaling back on your morning latte runs and nightly restaurant dinners in favor of home preparations will do wonders in boosting your funds. Downgrade your cable plan by sacrificing a few channels. Cancel the gym membership you barely use and exercise at home. This isn’t to say you’re not allowed to enjoy yourself at all; you just need to spend less whenever you can. For instance, instead of flying out of the country for your yearly summer vacation, why not travel by bus to a Philippine destination you haven’t gone to before? You’ll have the same amount of fun for way less money.

Tips on saving money for a down-payment for a home MyProperty Philippines woman calculating budget
Be sure to follow the budget you create. Photo via Depositphotos

4. Save any windfall

When someone suddenly pays you back for a loan, or you get a bonus from your boss or win some money from the office party raffle, your impulse might be to spend it. You have a payday coming up anyway, so why not use this now? Don’t look at this as extra money; since you already have a monthly budget you can follow, why not stick to it and put this money toward your down-payment? This can shorten the amount of time you need to save money as long as you keep up with your monthly saving on top of that.

5. Move to a cheaper rental

If you’re living in a two-bedroom home right now and you’re not really using the other bedroom, downgrade to a one-bedroom apartment. Or even a studio-type unit, if you can get by with the limited space. If you can’t break your lease, talk to your landlord about getting a housemate who’ll split the costs with you.

6. Hold a yard/online sale

Anything you think you don’t need anymore—clothes, appliances, kitchen ware, you name it—put a price tag on it and let it go. Aside from earning money, it’ll give you more floor space if you do decide to move to a smaller place. When you’re done purging your home of sellable things, go to your family and friends and find out if they’re willing to donate any items they don’t need anymore that you can sell and keep the profits for.

7. Sell your vehicle

Think you can get by without a car for a while? Aside from getting a hefty sum you can use to buy a house, you’re also freeing yourself of financial obligations that come with owning a vehicle, like gas money and maintenance work. Once you’re financially comfortable again, you can look into getting another vehicle.

Tips on saving money for a down-payment for a home MyProperty Philippines man selling car to woman
Selling your car can help you save a chunk of money for your down payment. Photo via Depositphotos

8.  Get a sideline

Are you skilled with that DSLR you’ve been playing with for years? Are you an avid blogger who writes about anything? Why not get paying gigs with your skills? If you think you don’t have the time for a second full-time job, that’s OK. Getting paid per-project would be a big help, so start by asking friends and family if they know of any freelance jobs or by looking for ones online.

9. Ask family and friends for help

This doesn’t mean asking for handouts, if you’re too proud to beg. But if you’re getting married soon, or if you have a birthday coming up and people ask you what you want, tell them a monetary gift will do nicely because you’re saving up for a house. These days, requesting cash as a gift (when you’re asked, that is) is no longer really tacky, it’s just practical.

10. Learn to say “no”

Do you and your friends go out for dinner and drinks as soon as you leave the office to unwind? Or do you often find yourself going along with everyone whenever they go to Starbucks? If you’re feeling pressured to go with them every time they ask you out, let them know that you’re saving up for a house so they will know why you are often skipping your weekly nights out. Besides, there are ways to spend time together without racking up a bill at a club, like holing up at someone’s house and cooking a meal together.

11. …but splurge once in a while

People on a diet are well aware of the repercussion of severely depriving one’s self of all good food: when the levee breaks, they’ll end up binge-eating, which they could have avoided had they indulged a bit in the first place. Weaning yourself off of indiscriminate spending to save on a house is difficult, so it’s OK to reward yourself on occasion. If you’re in the habit of going out of town every month, motivate yourself to regularly save money by making your trips every two or three months instead. Or scrap the monthly full-blown shopping spree and buy just one item, then lay off the spending until the next month.

Tips on saving money for a down-payment for a home MyProperty Philippines woman on beach vacation
Even if you're on a budget, it's OK to spend once in a while. Photo via Depositphotos

12. Save less for retirement

Got a special fund you’re religiously adding to for your golden years? Why not lessen the amount you’re putting in there? This would make sense especially if part of your spending plans when you hit 65 is to buy a home where you can retire anyway.

If you’re serious about saving up for that property, here’s a fair warning: it’s going to require quite a sacrifice, but don’t all major decisions require some compromise? Before you know it, the keys to your new home will be in your hands.


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Main photo via Shutterstock

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