Life Hacks

3 Fun Steps to Buying a House

Buying a house can be a fun game, and 2023 will be the first good year in a series in which to buy one.

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Boy Garçon buying a house

Types of Financial Accounts You’ll Need for Buying a House and for Life in General

  1. Checking account. You’ll need one. This will be your primary account for all your income and the payment source for your savings and debt (credit card, mortgage, etc.). Make sure it’s connected to all your other accounts to make savings and paying off your credit cards easy.
  2. Individual Retirement account (IRA). You’ll need one. If your job doesn’t offer a 401K or similar plan, this is a must for anyone who will want to eventually retire.
  3. Savings accounts. You’ll need two, one for saving money for you and one for saving money for your house. More on this later.
  4. Credit Card accounts. You’ll need two. A primary account that you use to pay for everything–it makes budgeting and tax season much easier if you use one. Use a secondary account as a backup in case of a technical issue with your primary account–use this account twice a year to ensure everything is in working order, and the account remains active.

Buying a House by Saving Your Money

Make a habit of saving with these steps. For every paycheck you receive, make deposits and payments in this order (at this point, the amount doesn’t matter):

  1. Checking account.
  2. IRA.
  3. Savings account for You. Make sure you pay yourself what my grandfather calls “an allowance.” Spend it without guilt when you have money available, or save over a series of paychecks for something more expensive.
  4. Savings account for Your House. When buying a house, your goal is to make the most significant downpayment on the home that’s possible. Click to read my article about why this is important.
  5. Credit Cards. It’s important to not carry a balance from month-to-month. If you’re carrying debt at today’s interest rates, your interest payments will become huge. The solution to achieving a debt-free life is by either spending less or increasing your pay. By debt-free, I mean no debt except for the possible exception of a mortgage for buying your house because owning a home will likely build up equity and open new financial doors for you. A quick word about buying a car with a loan: don’t. Instead, buy an affordable used car with cash. One of the other benefits of having a couple of credit cards and paying them off completely each month is you’re likely to increase your credit score, which will help you to qualify for a mortgage.

3 Fun Steps to Buying a House

If you read my earlier life hack about why 2023 marks the first good year in a while to buy a house, then you know it’s also a great way to evaluate your relationship. How does all of the above and evaluating your relationship become fun?

  1. Mutual Goals. When you’ve found the right person for you, mutual goals will bring your relationship to the next level. It’s a game you play together: the two of you versus the world. Does buying a house together sound like too much? Start by saving $1,000 together and splurge on a great mini-vacation.
  2. Planning. When we’re honest with ourselves, even those of us who are the most anti-planning, do-things-at-the-last-minute men do find that planning for something fun and big will result in big fun!
  3. Retail Therapy. This is usually associated with women, but retail therapy is just as fun for men. Think of the last electronic thing or game that you purchased. Just don’t go too far and let it become an addiction that blows up your savings system.