Can You Buy a House by Packing Your Lunch for a Year?
Today is National Pack Your Lunch Day! That got us thinking here at Dupuis Team - if someone packed their lunch for work everyday, would it make enough of a difference in their financial position, to buy a house?
Obviously, everyone's circumstances are unique: how much other savings they already had, how much house they are trying to buy, how expensive their eat-out lunches are, and so on.
We found an infographic with some likely numbers, and it really gives you food for thought:
So, that's about $1,200 you could squirrel away for a down payment and closing costs on your own home, just by packing your lunch instead of eating out. And frankly, we think this is conservative. We think someone motivated to get into their own home can easily beat their $6.30/day average in cost, which puts a lot more in the bank.
...the truth is, most of us found ourselves doing EXACTLY this sort of belt tightening when we decided to become homeowners. It can feel like pulling together every penny you've got, that first time. Towards that end - YES! Pack your lunch! Also: no takeout coffee, no meeting friends for drinks, no vacations, and drop the fancy gym memberships. Hit the thrift stores for personal needs, clip coupons . . . dive into thrifty living, and pinch those extra pennies. These sorts of habits will compound the packed-lunch savings into an even bigger down payment for your home.
It may feel like a lifestyle adjustment, if you've been sort of enjoying everything you earn until now. Keep your morale up with inexpensive substitutes: use the time to ramp up your game in the kitchen, since you aren't eating out anymore - and instead of meeting friends for drinks and dinners out, have them over to your place. The socializing is the same, but the tab is much better at the end of the evening. Instead of using a gym, take yourself out for hikes and walks. Do some volunteer gardening to get in some muscle work! The skills will come in handy when you've got a yard of your own.
As a side note to packing lunches, at Dupuis Team, we've taken an unusual approach to eating lunch in the office - we've decided not to have junk food in the office, at all! No bringing donuts to meetings, and so on. It's been SO interesting to see the great food people bring in - we find our downtime chat gets filled with a LOT of Healthy Eating talk, actually! It's been a really neat, and unexpected, side effect of thinking hard about how to handle food & work.
We encourage everyone to do what they can to meet financial goals, including buying their own homes. It very well may start with packing your own lunch! Give us a call at Dupuis Team, if we can help make your real estate dreams come true!