Planning on saving for your dream house, what you need to know

Eric Rutabana, an independent personal finance investment advisor. / Courtesy.

Most people’s ideal future involves owning a home. However, it can easier said than done especially for salaried people who often have to budget their income and earnings. The good news is that you can still construct or own your dream house, when you learn the right savings culture according to financial experts.

According to Eric Rutabana, an independent personal finance investment advisor, saving for your dream home requires you to have a disciplined, and frugal lifestyle. Set a target budget and timeline.

 

“It always works best if you aim at achieving a predetermined goal. If you have a budget to attain by a specific date, you will always be motivated to work towards it. Similarly, assessing your achievement against a set target, will allow you to take further measures along the way to adjust toward the goal,” he explained.

 

He added that with a budget, it will be easier for one to determine how much they can save on a monthly basis to meet their target. 

 

“Live within or below your means.  For instance, saving money for your dream home requires you to spend less than you earn. This may require you to live in a smaller house, postponing your decision to buy a car, eating out very infrequently, avoiding comparing your lifestyle to someone else’s one, among others,” he said.

Rutabana also noted that, these painful decisions will allow one to accumulate more money over time to start their housing project, either by starting construction or raising the required deposit for their preferred mortgage option.

He encouraged those with plans to own their own homes to keep their saving in a restrictive interest earning savings account. “It is one thing to save, but another, to ensure that the money you save is actually generating some return for you,” he added.

The investment advisor added that the power of compound interest will ensure your savings grow over time. Further, a restrictive savings account (where you are penalized for withdrawing funds before a specific period of time), will help you get relieved of the temptation to get the money out of the account. This will allow your savings to grow faster overtime.

“You can get some passive income. If you can find something else to do that earns you some out-of-work income, good for you. This will allow you to accumulate your savings much faster”

“This could be part-time consultancy, using a skill like training, others in sports or even farming. This supplementary income will allow you to increase your savings and associated returns, but also to keep within a decent lifestyle,” he said.

Rutabana pointed the importance of paying for purchases, as it avoids the temptation to buy on credit is one way to live a disciplined, economical life.

“Taking credit means that you are spending your future earnings, thereby affecting your ability to live within your means in future. If you stick to paying cash for what you need, you will only buy what you need,” he said.

He stressed out that to take advantage of market opportunities, whether it is a new home ownership product in the market or any other opportunity in the market that would allow you to attain your home ownership objective faster, it is important to review them and assess against the existing plan that you have.

“You could ask for advice before deciding from a real estate agency, a financial adviser or someone you think is more experienced than you. There are always opportunities available in the market that are worth considering as you work towards your dream home,” Rutabana said.

He added that you should know your worth in the market. Finally, but very importantly, many people who work for a monthly salary tend to become easily satisfied with what they earn at an early age.

In fact, many times, you can only know your true value by always looking out for opportunities in the market and asking the market to value you, he added.

If you do, you limit your ability to improve both in terms of knowledge, experience and earnings. Medium term job changes and sometimes risk taking are essential for you to determine your true worth. This will improve your earnings and increase your ability to save for your home, the investment investor added.

For Dr. Canisius Bihira, a Business Management Consultant and an Economist, saving for a dream house is among the most ideal ways to own one.

He said that, saving is very important because days, months and years are not the same in earning money, even when one are a hard worker. Saving, he said enable one to survive during the period of disease or when they are jobless.

Bihira said that someone should save enough money for construction of his or her own house as they need to take a decision of low expenses and higher saving in a bank account. It’s very important to keep money in a bank to be sure one will get credit, when they begin their project.

“Without savings, it is difficult to make any investment. The reason why one must develop a saving culture and a discipline to use earnings or salary. Normally, it could take between five to 10 years to save to complete a full house,” the economist enlightened.

Other options to building a home include buying an apartment in a big building.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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