We live in a stressful time. Many people are struggling to make ends meet because their jobs were furloughed. Even if they were able to work from home, they may still be struggling to find the time to devote to their work, especially if they are trying to school their children at the same time. Even if their children are younger, they don't have anyone to watch their children so they can focus on getting their work done.
Because of that, most people don't think about this being a good time to even think about buying a house, let alone doing so. However, that couldn't be farther from the truth.
Here are some reasons why you should start saving for a home right now.
Because you are spending more time at home, you aren't wasting money on other things. Instead of going out to eat, the bars, or even just shopping, you could easily put that money aside for a down payment for a home. You may be saving money on taking care of yourself (haircut, nails, etc.) that you could put toward the home buying process.
You also are saving money on gas. Gas is the lowest that it has been in years. Even if you are still driving to work, you aren't going to pay as much to fill up your tank every week (or whenever it gets low). For others, they aren't spending any money on gas because they aren't leaving the safety of their home. All of this money adds up.
Though it may be tight financially, there are many incentives out there to help Americans get through this difficult time. If you are applying for unemployment compensation, you may be eligible to receive some extra cash with each payment. Most Americans are waiting for their stimulus checks, which could bring some extra cash into your hands. Instead of spending this money, you should use what you need and save for the rest.
If you already have a home (or even if you don't), you should think about building up your emergency fund. Here are some reasons why you need to be better prepared for the future.
Many Americans were unprepared financially for this. COVID-19 brought a lot of people to their knees. They don't have any money saved up to help them through lean times. Many rely on credit cards and take on debt just to get by. Losing a job for even a few days could really hurt them financially. For this reason, you need to make sure that you have a good emergency fund. Most people recommend having at least three months of expenses saved in case you lose your job for a few weeks or even months.
Emergency funds have other uses. You can use your emergency fund for other emergencies. If your car breaks down, you have the money to fix it (instead of relying on credit). If your roof needs to be replaced, the money is there. Something else needs to be fixed? You don't have to reach for your credit cards or take out a loan. You have the means of taking care of the problem.
If you are serious about buying a home in the near future, start today. Use this time to get yourself off on a better foot financially. Even if you aren't ready to buy a home, start saving as much money as you can so that you will have a good emergency fund to get you through the lean times. Then, you can stay home and enjoy this time, instead of worrying about how you are going to pay the bills for the month.