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If you’re a Millennial who has been putting off buying a home because of a less-than-stellar financial history, you’re not alone.

Nearly 60 percent of Millennials own homes, and that many who don’t yet own are delaying the process because they believe that they aren’t in a position to buy, according to Scotsman Guide. Specifically, 26 percent of respondents reported that they lack the necessary savings, 24 percent believed they lack the necessary income, 10 percent cited large amounts of student debt and five percent attributed “overwhelming” amounts of credit card debt.

Whether you’re a Millennial or not, you’ll want to be sure to remedy any financial difficulties you’re experiencing before you start down the path to homeownership and the first step is to have a solid plan in place to reduce debt.

There are many ways to start tackling debt and saving money – here are five:

1. Treat yourself: This may seem counterintuitive to saving, but setting up small milestones can go a long way in motivating you to save. An easy way to do this is to allocate a small budget to treating yourself each month and setting that money aside in an envelope. When you reach a personal financial milestones, such as making it to payday with extra money in the bank, give yourself permission to tap into the celebration fund.

2. Create a budget: Give every dollar that you earn a job, and then put it to work! Tracking your income and expenses can be eye-opening, helping you identify areas that you can easily cut back in and encouraging you to give more thought to how you spend your money.

3. Say goodbye to credit cards: It can be easy to start to rely on credit cards as a safety net when you’re trying to stretch your paycheck, but this will only get you further from your goal. If you truly need a line of credit in case of emergency, hold yourself accountable by handing over your cards to someone you trust. The act of having to ask for it back may give you the pause you need to reconsider if it’s really necessary.

4. Don’t get tempted by convenience: When you’re shopping online, it can be tempting to store your financial information to avoid having to input it the next time. Spending is more convenient than ever these days, but this also makes it easy for us to spend even more. The next time you’re at the checkout screen, avoid the temptation of convenience.

5. Don’t splurge with unplanned money: If you get an unexpected lump sum of cash, no matter how big or small, put that money toward decreasing your debt instead of blowing it on unnecessary items. This may not be the most fun option, but you’ll thank yourself later when you see your balance shrink.

We often meet buyers who think that they aren’t in an ideal position to buy, but there are many programs available today for a wide array of unique financial situations. If you’re looking to purchase in the Fort Collins area and need help with planning your financial future, don’t hesitate to contact our team!

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