5 Ways to Save Money to Reach Your Goal of Home Ownership

Reblogger Patricia Kennedy
Real Estate Agent with RLAH Real Estate AB95346

Saving isn't always easy, and here are some great ideas from Lise Howe to make you or your clients at least temporarily frugal!

Original content by Lise Howe DC AB15253

Saving for a downpayment on a new home? Focus on your spending!

Even if you are incredibly disciplined, frugal, and budget-conscious, it is still hard to reach a big savings goal. Long-term goals can quickly be taken over by a short term gratification.

Whether the goal is a down payment on a new condo or just paying off credit card debt to boost your credit score, reaching any dollar amount requires more than setting a numerical goal and establishing a timeline. It requires a careful look at spending habits that can slip under the radar, undetected.

Look carefully at those habits that seem harmless in the moment but can really undercut your savings habit when tallied up together. Use these five tips to reduce your spending habits and give your savings goals a little positive reinforcement.

1. Change your routine

Do you meet friends at Starbucks a few times a week? Replace those meetings with a pleasant stroll or an at-home kaffeeklatsch. (Take turns hosting) Do you and your spouse give in to the “early bird special” too often? Instead, look for new recipes and prepare them together. You don’t have to give up good times—you just have to re-imagine them.

Before you nix the daily deli stops or cut back on lattes, be sure to replace your old routine with something new. If you deprive yourself of your favorite sandwich shop, you’ll need to replace that old routine with a new one to counteract that habit. This might mean establishing a time over the weekend or every morning to hit the grocery store and fix an easy lunch or dinner ahead of time, or making sure your favorite coffee is ground and ready for your home coffee maker. You may find that you enjoy your homemade sandwiches better than the ones from the deli next door! Change your routine, and mindless spending can be curbed in the process.

2. Notice your spending triggers

When you head to a big-box store armed with a list of needs, it’s easy to walk out with a dozen other impulse purchases in your cart -- because you know you save money at those stores.  Look at all the money you are saving - so there is room to add afew treats to your cart! You’re not necessarily off the hook if you avoid those big-box stores either: maybe you’re a little overzealous with online shopping or stocking up on food from specialty (read: expensive) grocery stores.

Maybe your spending trends aren’t location-based but emotion-based instead. A bad day at the office leads to going out for drinks and dinner.  You deserve it after a miserable day - right? Maybe you are lonely sitting at home so you make a trip to the mall. We all know that hunger can influence spending habits. You buy more food items if you are hungry when you go to the grocery store.  But did you know that hungry subjects spend on average, 60% more even on nonfood items than their full-tummy counterparts.

Try keeping a spending diary to help pinpoint your spending triggers; it will allow you to anticipate these cravings and find more affordable (and healthier) ways to overcome them.

3. Beat Your Budget Busters

While fixed expenses — like a mortgage or car payments — probably consume most of your budget, variable expenses can be a huge drain as well - and you may not even see them. Here are three common ones to consider.

  • Subscription services: From monthly sample boxes to cable add-ons and everything in between, it’s possible that hundreds of dollars a month disappear from your account in small increments. Find the ones you can give up and see if things like your cable and internet can be slimmed down. Once you decide exactly which services you absolutely need, comparison-shop and see if switching providers could save you money.
  • Fees: If you frequent out-of-network ATMs, you could shell out more than $4 per transaction after paying the managing bank’s fees as well as your bank’s fee. Throw in things like checking and overdraft fees, and you could be throwing away more than you realize. Look carefully at where your financial accounts are sitting and find a better, low, or no-fee option.
  • Energy usage: Think your energy bill is too high? Try these tricks: Use a power strip with electronics to stop the use of phantom power when they aren’t being used, get a programmable thermostat and use it, and reset your water heater to 120 degrees to lessen the energy used to heat the tank.

4. Go digital

If saving isn't natural for you, there are plenty of apps to make the process more automatic. Pulling out your phone and checking your bank account may be the extra incentive you need to stop an impulse purchase. Otherwise, check out these apps!

  • Digit: Digit can monitor your spending habits and make small, weekly transfers of money into your savings account when it won’t impact your checking account in a noticeable way.
  • Acorns: After rounding up your purchases to the next dollar, Acorns will take your spare change and invest it for you in a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds.
  • Simple: Simple is a bank and a spending app. With your input and the debit card it comes with, the system can keep track of what is “safe to spend” after taking your bills and savings goals into consideration.

5. Symbolize Your Savings

Suppose you plan to buy a home in 2017. Transfer $20.17 cents into savings every week. If you are planning a big vacation in June 2017, set aside $23 (six plus 17) every month/week to help defray the cost.

By taking care of the physical and mental stumbling blocks that make you spend, you can clear your path to the experiences and lifestyle you crave.

Believe You Can! 

No matter what tricks you use or how much money you can dig up, you won’t hit a savings goal if you don’t believe you can do it.


If you are looking for a home in the DC metro area, you know there is more to the process than just picking a property and making an offer. You need to find the best location for your wants and needs, get a great price, and work with a lender who will make your life easier - not harder.  Trust your search with a Realtor who is licensed in DC, MD and VA and really knows the city and all its secret neighborhoods.

Start your search with the Lise Howe Group, Washington Natives who love the city and all its quirkiness! If you are moving or relocating to Washington DC, be sure to ask for our relocation guide. Call us at 240-401-5577 to schedule an appointment or email us at lise@lisehowe.com.  Too excited to wait to talk to us about a great home? Just click here to start that home search.

If you want to see what is for sale in Washington DC, Chevy Chase and Bethesda, check out these links below:

Bethesda Condos for Sale

Chevy Chase Condos for Sale

Bethesda Single Family Luxury Homes


Chevy Chase Single Family Luxury Homes

Luxury Single Family Washington DC Homes

Washington DC Single Family Homes Under $1 Million


Washington DC Condos


Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties
240-401-5577 (24 hour direct)
Licensed in DC, MD, and VA
Associate Broker, GRI, ABR, CRS
The Lise Howe Group
Howe Real Estate Should Be!









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Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Thanks for rebologging this and getting it out to more people!

Dec 24, 2016 03:44 AM #1
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

What a great reblog, a message every would be buyer should read Patricia Kennedy . Merry Christmas to you and your family

Dec 24, 2016 06:01 AM #2
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Patricia Kennedy, What a great reblog I missed it the first time around.


Dec 24, 2016 09:18 AM #3
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Sheri, Lise writes a lot of terrific stuff, and I often run across great re-blogs among her posts. 

Dec 24, 2016 12:06 PM #4
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Scott, these are great points to share with out buyers when they are at the very early stages.

Dec 24, 2016 12:07 PM #5
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Will, well this is your chance!  Thanks for stopping by.

Dec 24, 2016 12:07 PM #6
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Patricia Kennedy

Home in the Capital
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