Now, in 2020, there are more single parents than ever before. And, of course, while saving up for a new home, it’s even more challenging for single moms and dads! Here are some tips for a single parent who wants to try and save up for a new house…
Facing The Lows As A Single Parent
In case you did not know, single parenting has been on the rise in America. In fact, last year, in 2019, Pew Research released a study showing that the United States “has the world’s highest rate of children living in single-parent households” and that the rate of single moms and dads has risen starkly since the 1960s. Believe it or not, almost a quarter of U.S. children, 23%, live with one parent and no other adults.
All parents want the best for their children. However, while single parenting can be a rewarding experience, single mothers and fathers often sing it challenging to save for a house, where many want to raise their kids. It’s certainly not easy, but it is possible! The first step is saving where you can.
Ways To Spend Less
Of course, you first need to know approximately how much you’d like to spend on a home. From there, you can begin budgeting to save for a good down payment. “A solid down payment (usually at least 5%, and ideally 20%) will make your mortgage payment much more manageable. It’s also essential to have an emergency fund and a little extra for random repairs and the move,” said Chelsea Hoffer, a single mom who recently bought her first house.
Spending less and saving always begins with the same first step: budgeting. Once you know how your money is coming and going every month, whether in a notebook or app, learn to maintain a weekly or monthly budget and put money aside. Here are some easy tips to save on that monthly budget! First, groceries and clothes drain most budgets, so see where you can save in these areas. Next, see what subscriptions you can cut. Finally, take a look at apps like Acorns that not only save you money, but also invest it, helping you earn a little on the side.
Paying Off Loans
With a budget in hand, most single parents will find it highly beneficial to pay off their debts before taking the plunge into homeownership. After all, it’s hard to pay off multiple bills each month.
After that, make sure you do your research before choosing a mortgage lender. “Start by doing research and getting advice. I went straight to the Portland Housing Center, which is a local non-profit that offers loans, homebuyer education, credit counseling, and other home-buying resources. There’s probably a similar organization near you—take a look around,” stated single mom Hoffer. “With their help, I learned that paying off my student loans and saving up for a substantial down payment would dramatically increase my price range.”
“Saving up for a house is only part of the battle. Buying a house is really stressful, and it takes a lot of patience and endurance,” added Hoffer. But you’re not alone in that battle as a single parent!