My husband and I were lucky enough to have purchased our first home at a fairly young age. We were both 25 when we signed the, what felt like, thousand pages of paper that gave us our first nest (and mortgage)! This first house was never meant to be our forever home, but we grew to love it so much! From the love we put into decorating and updating it, to bringing home our second baby, this small starter home was our sanctuary and almost like a family member on its own. There seemed to be something keeping us there. Though we started to outgrow it slightly, we stayed not wanting to break the bond we had with it. But that "outgrowing slightly" is all too quickly turning into "outgrowing A LOT" and so the time has come to start thinking about moving into a bigger home. We also want to move to an area of town renowned for their good schools for our kids.
Neither of us are natural savers, but knew it was important to cut back on frivolous spending in order to make the move into a bigger home and better neighborhood for schools. We decided to begin taking the little things we sell or do on the side for money and put it into savings. I sell my nicer, used clothing on an app called Poshmark. I get a lot more money for each piece of clothing than I would at a garage sale or flea market. My husband is a soccer coach and does freelance private coaching on the side. We also kept having our semi-annual garage sale or flea market booth to get rid of extra junk that we knew we didn't need or want to move into a new house. All these small earnings added up. We decided on a higher interest savings account that gave us a tiny bump each month in savings that seemed to say, "You're doing great! Keep saving!" With our particular savings account, it allows you to set goals and will keep you updated on how you're doing. It was nice to have and good incentive to keep up with savings.
Along with saving, we also cut back on little things that we knew we wouldn't miss for a while, until we got into our new house in a year or so. We went down to basic cable, moved our data plan to the cheapest available, extended the life of our clothing by "shopping our closets" for interesting and new outfits. For Halloween, we made our own costumes from what we had around the house and from previous Halloweens. We usually buy a new costume for our girls each year. This kept a cool $100+ in our pockets! We cut back on going out to eat to once a month as well. We love to eat out at family restaurants. As 2 working parents, it's a nice reprieve from cooking and cleaning up! But, to be honest, the eating out less often makes it more special when we do go out! We will probably keep this up!
When we look at the extras we usually have in our lives, we don't really miss them and have realized it would be nice to keep saving even after we make our big move. It is said a lot, but it is so true that the little things add up and make a big difference to saving!