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  How To Save For A Home - Back
Tired trying to save for a new home without making progress? Put your money where your mouth is. Most people literally eat up their savings by dining or ordering out, or indulging in other spendthrift habits. Here's how to save for a home.

"The cardinal rule is to make saving automatic," says Richard Roll, president of American Homeowners Association (AHA). "Consider enrolling in an automatic savings plan to make sure it's deducted from your paycheck.

The problem is, most people have no idea what they're spending. If you really want to get serious, do a self-audit. Take a whole month and record everything you bought, especially with cash. It's easy to track bills on your check register or credit card statement but harder to track cash. All you have is a bundle of ATM receipts but no idea where the money went. You'll need to write down every cash purchase somewhere.

Congratulations, you just took the first step to conquering your spending addiction. Surprised? Didn't notice you were eating lunch out everyday? Do the math and you'll be shocked by how much that costs you, around $1,500 a year! Start packing your lunch. If anyone snickers at your brown bag, just invite him or her to a barbecue at your sprawling, new home.

Your eating and entertainment expenses will become painfully obvious. $60 here for concert tickets, $20 there for pizza delivery... you don't need to give up fun entirely, just the expensive kinds. Try a barbecue instead of eating dinner out, or replace that concert with a bargain matinee movie. Clothes, big vacations, sporting goods, computer equipment--put those purchases off for a year. Set a maximum monthly spending limit for eating and entertainment and stick to it.

Do some preliminary home shopping. Find what's in your price range and divide that by about 10%. That's your total savings goal.

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