How to save for a down payment - without losing your mind!

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Down payment? Done.

It’s not as scary as you might think!

Step one: Do your homework.

Determine how much you need to save. Traditional lenders on a conventional loan will typically expect a down payment of around 20%, but there are options for whom that amount is unrealistic, especially if you’re in a time crunch. Do your research and find out what type of loan is best for you. There are programs that require little to no down payment, just be aware that this may end up costing you more in the long run.

Step two: Target acquired.

Set a deadline for when you would like to hit your savings goal, then make a plan. (See Goal Setting 101)

Step three: Trim the fat.

Sit down and audit the last few months of your spending habits. What items stand out? Do you subscribe to 4 video streaming services but find yourself using the same two every week? Do you grab a breakfast burrito every morning when there’s a perfectly good box of cereal in your pantry? Chances are there are a few guilty pleasures that you can cut back on without significantly impacting your quality of life.

Step four: Set it and forget it.

There are several options when it comes to automated savings plans. Allocate a portion of your paycheck to your savings account. Much like a 401k, you won’t see this money on payday, so you’ll be less tempted to spend it. If you make multiple purchases a day, find an automated savings service that takes your change and squirrels it away - think of it as a virtual coin jar. Once you set up these systems, put your blinders on. Many savings accounts will allow you to withdraw up to 6x per month before they charge a fee, but try your best not to dip into these funds at all. You’ll be amazed by how quickly your stash will grow if you let it be!

Step five: Re-gift to yourself.

Gather up those gift cards and transfer the balance to your savings. Bonus at work? Transfer to savings. Tax return? Transfer to savings. Consider anything above and beyond your usual paycheck to be a step towards your goal of home-ownership. As much fun as it sounds to go on a bonus-fueled shopping spree, a thousand dollars from your tax return can shave months off of the savings process.

Step six: Expect the unexpected.

It never fails. The moment you feel like you have a handle on your savings, an unexpected expense will slam on the breaks. Consider creating an entirely separate account for these occasions. If you can make it through your next car repair without dipping into your down payment fund, you’ll be less likely to get discouraged or lose motivation.

Step seven: Keep going.

Congratulations! You’ve saved your heart out and have purchased your dream home. Now keep saving. Yep, that’s right! There will always be expenses related to home-ownership, and now that you’ve mastered the art of saving, you’ll be better prepared to roll with the punches. Remember, home-ownership is a marathon, not a sprint, so lace up those sneakers and hit the ground running!

Goal Setting 101

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A goal with out a plan is just a wish.

Goal Setting 101

Identify your  W’s

  • What is your goal? - BE SPECIFIC!

  • Why is your goal important to you? If your answer is “Just because” it’s time to go back to the drawing board, my friend!

  • Who will be positively impacted if (ahem - WHEN) you achieve your goal? Family, friends, pets, coworkers… these can all be incredible motivators when you’re in a slump.

  • When will you meet your goal? - Set a deadline, then work backwards to develop a clear plan of attack. Break your goal down into milestones (with their own deadlines) so you’re not overwhelmed from the start.

Account for accountability

  • Set yourself up for success with an accountability partner who is either working towards a similar goal, or has already achieved what you’ve set out to accomplish.

  • Align yourself with people you admire - They will be a valuable source of support and input throughout the process

  • Track your progress - there are countless project planning and accountability apps at your disposal. Do your homework, find one that vibes with you, and stick with it!

Know Thyself

  • What motivates you when nothing else does? If you’re competitive, make it a competition! If you’re reward oriented, dangle a carrot or two along the way. Example: Saving to buy your first home - Once you’ve saved your first $1k, treat yourself to a nice new wallet, or customized debit card. Every time you spend money, you’ll be reminded of your goal and re-think that 3am Instagram-fueled online shopping spree.

  • What has held you back from achieving your goals in the past? You know your weaknesses. Shine a spotlight on them now, so you’re aware when they will inevitably creep in next time.

  • Give yourself a break. There will likely be setbacks along the way to meeting your goal. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back at it. Remember your why you started!

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Chair Roundup

The right chair in a room can really elevate a space. How are you supposed to find the perfect match though with so many styles and choices out there?

We've rounded up a few of our favorites to help you narrow it down. There's a little bit for every design personality, whether you're more traditional, more concerned about comfort or want to represent your modern or, perhaps, masculine taste. 

subtle stripes | vintage desk + chair | purple velvet | floral
leather | orange | geometric | stripes + molding

HOME DECOR TRENDS: Black Painted Walls

So this trend is kind of crazy right? Or is it crazy amazing? One thing that really works for all of the spaces above is that there are elements of wood (adding warmth), a break in the color (the white fireplace, the white subway tiles, the white brick wall) and texture. It's a daring trend that is perfectly adaptable to many styles out there. We like this article by Country Living that shares more tips on how to incorporate any bold wall color in your home!

living room | bathroom | bedroom