The Money management tips that allowed us, at 24 years old, to buy our first home.
Becoming homeowners at age 24, has become one of my most favourite accomplishments! Here I teach you what we had to do.
When my boyfriend and I started dating three years ago, it was made abundantly clear that our life goals were aligned. We both wanted a future of financial independence, and we also wanted to become homeowners.
Little background knowledge : I’ve been renting since I was 18 years old. Living on your own comes with a set of responsibilities that you have to learn QUICKLY in order to survive. With lots of trial and error, I managed to create a lifestyle and mindset around money that allowed me to live comfortably so that I could save for my future, and still provide a roof over my head.
As a result, when my boyfriend, Cam, and I decided to move in together – we compiled our joint knowledge in money saving in order to start saving for our future – and it worked !
Here are a few money management tips that truly made becoming homeowners at such a young age not just a dream but a reality!
No one accomplished anything in life completely alone.
This is your very big (and exciting) step in your life. If you need help in any way shape or form – it is OKAY.
I am 100% okay with knowing that I called my mom and Cams mom about 200 times for advice. It is okay that I read blogs, books, listened to podcasts about buying a house. I had to ask 100000 questions to our mortgage broker, Kevin, and again, I am OKAY with that.
It’s okay because it is necessary. You are going to need help in some sort of way – and there is no shame for that. It’s eliminating the amount of risk and mistakes and it makes it possible for you to learn the RIGHT way. Heck, even reading this post right now is allowing you to learn and gain knowledge from MY experiences.
Sacrifices have to be made
Our lifestyle was VERY different compared to our age group, meaning we had to take a lot of sacrifices in order to save our money and push ourselves forward.
Some things that we sacrificed :
- Going out for drinks after work
- Not going out for dinner dates
- Skipping expensive get togethers with friends
- Not buying any gifts for special occasions
- Packing our lunches for work instead of buying
Just because you sacrifice things DOES NOT mean you need to stop living your life
There are PLENTY of things you could do instead of spending your hard earned cash. 100% you can still live a joyful, fun life while saving your money!
Here are some examples :
- Host a game night! Can be with just you and your partner, or invite some friends/family over!
- Plan a romantic, dim-lit dinner for you and your partner. OR you can make it fun, dress in your pajamas, watch some funny movies in the living room with blankets and snacks!
- Do activities with your friends instead of needing an expensive venue to do it. Go for a bike ride, picnic, have them over for a BBQ! Potluck is one of my most favourite saving money tips when you still want to see your friends! Have everyone bring one item to share so that you can all have a giant feast while enjoying each other’s company!
- When planning gifts – instead plan experiences. I am a big advocate for experiences instead of material things.
- Make cooking food together a fun experience! It does not have to be a chore and can be VERY rewarding – AND yummy!
Go into it with as little debt as you can
From my experience – this tip was greatly needed, and VERY rewarding once it was all taken care of.
I also need to note that there is a huge difference between long term and short term debt. Not everyone can pay off ALL of their debt before buying a house. My advice is to pay off those debts that you CAN.
Cam and I did not have that much debt (thankfully) to begin with, but he did have some money to be paid off on his credit card and I had money left to pay on my car loan. We were advised by our mortgage broker to pay these off before we submitted our application. THANKFULLY, we did.
Was this nerve-racking? YES.
Did we want to keep our emergency fund looking BIG and JUICY before the move? Also, YES.
But this was the reality:
After paying off this debt, we still had a good amount of emergency fund backing us up.
Paying this off would get us looking REALLY good for the banks
The best and most important takeaway, was that, we didn’t have to worry about these debts after the move.
Think about it! We paid it off so now that it was taken care of, all we had to focus on was the HOUSE and.. like, survival.
It was the biggest push forward because there was nothing there holding us back except for the mortgage itself.
Keep in mind, we had saved for a year or so before this so we were able to have an emergency fund and our savings behind us even AFTER paying for our downpayment.
Keep the big picture in mind
There were times when Cam and I wanted to throw in the towel. It’s scary to say that now, but it is so true!
Buying a house can be really hard mentally. There is a lot that goes into the process between the money, lawyers, inspections, and so much more – but just remember –
It is possible. People do it ALL the time. It can be done, and you can do this.
Final thoughts on becoming homeowners
Becoming a homeowner at such a young age has truly taught me that if you SET your mind to something – do NOT stop until you get it. As long as you keep trying, you will get it. Whether this be now, or later in life – as long as you don’t stop, your dream will not stop getting closer.