Houses are one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make. If you are a first-time home buyer, it can seem daunting and unachievable, but with the right planning and some money-saving strategies, your home-owning dreams can become reality.

The first thing you should do to kickstart your savings is to prioritize your spending. Make a list of all of your monthly expenses such as your current rent, food, travel, electricity, phone, etc. Add these monthly expenses and figure out what you have left over. Once you have determined this cost you will know how much is left to work with. Depending on how strict you want to be, determine how you will use this money. Create a budget and follow it strictly. Don’t forget to determine a target for yourself and have an amount to work toward.

We all have those things that we love to buy and experience. Perhaps you love buying new clothes regularly or love to buy the newest gadgets. Think of all of the ways that you can save in these areas. Try eliminating these purchases altogether during your saving period or try thrift and bargain shopping instead. Instead of eating out, learn a new recipe and make dinner in your own place. Another great way to save is to look for free community events to enjoy. Look online for fun things for you and your family and friends to enjoy.

Create a savings plan with a professional. There are so many ways to save more money that your financial advisor can suggest. It’s a great idea to book an appointment to take with a professional on how you can save more money, possibly investing it first for greater return.

If you have extra and unused things laying around your house, sell them! People love getting a good deal. Plan a day to have a garage sale and sell your things to friends and neighbours. Children’s toys, clothing, kitchenware, and furniture are great selling options. There are even many social media pages specifically for buying and selling items in the community.

If you have the time, another great savings option is to get a second job or start a side-gig. There are many part-time jobs out there that can work around your current schedules. Maybe you can pick up evening or weekend shits at a local restaurant, or if you’ve got a hobby, find a ways to use it to make some extra cash! Painting, teaching, writing…see what opportunities exist!

The best way to save is to stay focused on your goal and to make sure you are following the savings plan you made for yourself. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to saving enough for the purchase of a new home.