With mortgage rates low and home prices coming down in some key areas across the country, more and more people are considering making the transition to homeownership. But while they may be ready emotionally and circumstantially, how about financially?
Being able to buy a home now or having to hit pause often comes down to how much money you have saved for a down payment and closing costs. If your savings account is a little light, there are several easy ways you can pump it up to get you over the hump.
Get a side hustle as a driver
With companies like Lyft and Uber, it’s never been easier to make a little money on the side. “Uber claims that their drivers take home $25 per hour and Lyft claims that drivers can earn as much as $35 per hour,” said Ridester.
Sell some stuff
You can always go the garage sale route, but beware that while you may make some decent money cumulatively, bargain-seekers will be looking for major deals, which can mean selling that $200 dress for a dollar. Put it on Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace instead for a better upside.
Have any designer bags, belts, or clothes you no longer need? There are several sites that can help you turn them into dollars.
Play with doggies
Sites like Rover.com have made it easy to find a dog walker or dog sitter, or to BE a dog walker or dog sitter. Pet sitting is a huge growth industry, and that means there is a substantial need for this type of service.
The best part is you get to hang out with dogs, and get paid for it. “If you love animals and would like a way to earn some extra money on the side, pet sitting might just be the perfect fit for you,” said The Simple Dollar. “After all, no extensive training or certifications are required. The main qualifications to be a pet sitter are simply loving animals, being reliable, and caring for them in a safe, loving environment.”
According to the site, “Sitters that treat Rover like a part-time job and take two or three dogs for two weeks out of the month earn an average of $1,000 per month. Meanwhile, those that treat Rover like a full-time job, working 4 weeks out of the month and taking 2-3 dogs at a time, earn an average of $3,300/month.”
Maybe people are more your thing. Offer your babysitting services on Nextdoor or register on Care.com. The average hourly rate across the country is $13.49 per hour; this may not be as much as you make at your full-time job, but, as supplemental income for a few hours here and there, it can add up.
Turn on the fan
While a ceiling fan won’t lower the temperature in your home, it circulates the air to make the space feel more comfortable. That means you can give your air conditioning a break to save a few bucks. Every little bit helps!
Comparison shop for car insurance
Are you the type that sticks with the same company year after year and doesn’t think twice about looking around? (We’re guilty of that over here, too). It could be costing you money.
“Insurance companies are always competing to win your business, but if you turn a blind eye and keep the same policy in place for a long period of time, your rates might have increased,” said Your PennySaver. “By checking rates, drivers saved an average of $531 per year with a new policy.”
You can load in some basic info here and get multiple quotes.
Go through your bank statements with a fine-tooth comb
When you really look at your expenditures, you’re sure to find a bunch of ways to save money, like cutting back on eating out and limiting your Starbucks runs, for starters. You may also find some surprises in there, like gym memberships or subscriptions you thought you had cancelled but are being charged for every month.