The idea of goal setting involves establishing specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-targeted (S.M.A.R.T) goals. On a personal level, setting goals helps people work towards their own objectives.
So how does that relate to your down payment? It's no different than setting a goal to lose weight or get a college degree or excel at your job. They all take determination. But when it comes to buying a home and getting together the money required, there are tricks and tips you can use to make it easier and make that goal achievable.
1. Make a plan and write it down Get out a piece of paper or type into your phone/computer a definitive statement that encapsulates your down payment goal - as long as it's in a place you can easily access it. Then break down that goal by the amount you need to save weekly or monthly and a goal date for being able to buy that house. The simple act of putting your plan down on paper (or on screen) makes it real. Take out the piece of paper or pull up the email you wrote to yourself whenever you need a pick-me-up. 2. Cook your dinner Eat out five nights a week now? Cut back to two. If you're not a fan of cooking, sub in easy-to-make or already-made meals on the other three nights. Grab a roasted chicken from the supermarket plus a bagged salad, or a ready-to-nuke meal from a specialty market like Trader Joe's or Costco. 3. Don't become a hermit Cutting back doesn't have to mean locking yourself in your house, never using any gas, never going to any movies or seeing your friends socially. Remember to make sure your friends and family know about your plan so they can support you while you're saving. And you can involve them in your plan by enlisting their help to plan fun and free (or cheap) get-togethers. 4. Stay positive By simply staying positive, you can keep on keeping on. If you believe at all in the power of positive thinking, this is the time to act on it. And if you don't, fake it! 5. Keep your eye on the prize When everyone runs off to the Caribbean for their summer vacation, you're probably going to want to chuck it all. But remember that the Caribbean isn't going anywhere. You can luxuriate on an island with turquoise water lapping at your feet while you drink something frothy out of a pineapple next year - after you've closed escrow.