We live in a world of convenience and endless choices. To watch a TV show, you can find it on cable, Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, and more. Sometimes, all of these options make it easy to spend more than necessary on monthly services.

If you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future, one way to save a bit more each month is to cut corners wherever possible.

In today’s post, I’m going to cover some tips that will help you start saving toward the down payment on your first home.

Cutting down on monthly services

They’re enticing, the myriad of entertainment services that we can now take advantage of. For a seemingly low monthly cost you can have hundreds of channels through cable. However, many cable users have noticed that their cable bill keeps creeping up each year and the service doesn’t get any better.

One way to start saving more each month is to ditch cable altogether. For news and the weather, there are many websites available. And, some local news stations stream live on their websites for free.

But, what about watching your favorite TV shows and movies? One of the world’s best kept secrets is that of interlibrary loans. Most public libraries are part of a system that allows you to get books, games, movies, and TV shows shipped to your local library for free. You simply reserve the latest season of Game of Thrones and wait for an email from your library.

Another issue many people have with monthly entertainment services is their tendency to add up. Reassess your monthly bills. If you’re paying for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, do you really need all three?

Be smart about your savings

To save effectively, make sure your savings account is seeing a high return on its interest rate. Online banks tend to have higher returns than their brick & mortar counterparts, and most people don’t need to make regular visits to a bank anymore anyway.

Similarly, for credit cards, choose one with cashback rewards. Only use your credit card for necessities, like groceries and gas. Then, pay off each statement in full each month. Once you get your rewards, use them for more groceries and gas or put them in your down payment savings account, if possible.

Don’t forget about CDs (certificates of deposit)

One of the most effective ways of saving for a down payment is a certificate of deposit. CDs are perfect for down payments because you aren’t able to withdraw from them until they have matured–i.e., until you’ve reached your savings goal. They can be set for 6 months, a year, or more, and they tend to have higher returns than savings accounts.

Using a combination of these methods will help you start saving more each month so you can achieve your dream of owning a home sooner.

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