You don’t necessarily have to be rich to purchase another property—cutting back on unnecessary spending can help you achieve any major financial goal. Here’s how.

By Joni Sweet
Updated August 01, 2018
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Buying a second home is a dream for many families. Perhaps you want a weekend home, a familiar place to stay at your favorite vacation spot, or a local house you can rent out for extra income. Whatever the reason, investing in real estate can make a positive impact on both your financial portfolio and your lifestyle.

But what stops many people from making the dream of owning a second home come true is the cost. How can you come up with enough money to make the down payment on an additional property, while still managing the expenses of your first home? In short, it requires careful planning and stashing away extra cash as often as you can. Here are six little ways you can save for your second home every day.

1
Take a Close Look at Your Checking and Savings Accounts

Where you put your money can make all the difference when it comes to reaching your savings goals.

For starters you want to be sure that your checking account isn't costing you money. Paying bank fees is like pouring money down the drain—and a lot of people do it, says Andrea Woroch, a nationally-recognized money-saving expert. "The average rate is around $15 a month,” she adds.

If you are currently paying fees, ask your bank about ways to waive them (such as with a direct deposit) or switch to a free account somewhere else, advises Woroch.

It's also important to make sure you're earning a decent interest rate on your savings account. Most of the big banks offer less than .1 percent interest on your savings, which amounts to a pittance at the end of the year.

“If you’re not earning at least 1 percent on your savings, you’re leaving money on the table,” says Woroch. “Opening a high-yield savings account at an online bank can help you earn money every day.”

Compare savings account interest rates on Bankrate or NerdWallet to find a bank that will make your money work for you.

2
Avoid Impulse Purchases, Then Bank the Savings

It happens to everyone—you see an item you have no intention of buying, but it ends up in your shopping cart anyway. While impulse purchases offer a momentary thrill, they make it so much harder to hit a savings goal.

To avoid the temptation of impulse buying, Woroch suggests deleting your payment and shipping info from online stores, turning off pop-up notifications from deal apps, and waiting a couple of days before you complete a purchase.

Every time you dodge an impulse purchase, put the money you would have spent into your savings. It’ll be a little reward and help you afford your second home that much sooner.

3
Monitor Sales and Promotions

Typical shoppers don’t go back and check the price of an item again after they’ve completed a purchase. But stores change their prices all the time, and most of them will give you a partial refund if an item goes on sale shortly after you’ve bought it.

“You can sign up to Paribus, which will review prices of recent purchases linked to your email and get money back for you if the item goes on sale within the online store’s price adjustment period,” says Woroch.

Don’t forget to look for coupon codes before completing any online purchase.

“Sites like CouponCause.com not only offer money-saving deals at thousands of online and in-store merchants, but they also donate a portion of profits to charities, so you’re doing something good while saving money,” she says.

As with other savings strategies, put the difference between what you originally planned to spend and the final cost toward your second home.

4
Get a Side Hustle

Cutting corners might not be enough to hit a major financial milestone in a reasonable amount of time. You might also need to boost your income.

“You probably don’t want to get a formal part-time job that takes you away from your family every night and weekend, but there are other ways to make money on the side,” says Woroch.

Pet-sitting and dog-walking are great ways to earn some extra cash to put toward your second home.

“Sites like Rover.com can connect you with good opportunities in your area,” says Woroch. “You can make up to $1,000 per month, depending on how much you’re pet-sitting.”

If animals aren’t your thing, you could do odd jobs in your community through TaskRabbit. People are willing to pay for everything from gardening assistance and cleaning to help setting up furniture and packing boxes for a move.

“You can pick a single Saturday a month to take advantage of money-making opportunities that suit your skills and interests,” she says.

5
Round Up Your Purchases

When something costs $19.95, you probably think of it as a $20 purchase. Use that mindset to your advantage by saving the difference (in this case, a nickel).

Doing this manually can be tedious—use an app like Acorns, or a banking feature, such as Bank of America’s Keep the Change, to automate the savings. Your spare change can add up to a nice savings boost throughout the year.

“You set it and forget it," says Woroch. It really helps people save without thinking about it."

6
Quit Dining Out for Lunch

Going out to lunch is a daily ritual for many office workers. While you know that packing food from home can help cut costs, it can be a struggle to get organized. Find smaller ways to cut back in the meantime.

“If you always buy pricey sides and drinks to go with your lunch, keep a big bottle of your favorite beverage and some snacks, like chips or grapes, in your office," suggests Woroch. "That can save you $3 to $4 a day.”

Then, commit to brown bagging your lunch at least once a week.

“Small steps can help you get into the habit of doing it every day,” says Woroch.

Putting away a few dollars here and there might not seem like a lot at first, but it adds up over time. And watching the balance on your savings account climb higher each week will make your dream of owning a second home seem even more like reality.