creative down payment ideas

5 Creative Ways to Save For Your Down Payment


Saving enough money for a down payment to buy a home in Ottawa can be a challenge. Sometimes, it can require you to think outside of the box to collect the amount that you need. To help you achieve that goal, here are five creative ways to save for your down payment and get that much closer to buying a home:

Pay Off Debt

Paying off your debt is imperative. Trying to save while having to dish out money each month towards your debt and interest can make it feel next to impossible to save anything. Start with high-interest payments first, like credit cards. Then pay off your car loan or any personal loans. Zap accumulating interest first, then you can start to build up a nest egg.

Prioritize Your Spending

Saving for your down payment needs to be your top priority. That means other non-essential expenditures like entertainment, dining out, and shopping need to be lower on the list. A romantic dinner at a swanky restaurant or going to see the last blockbuster at the cineplex costs money that could be going toward your down payment. Just because you’re not spending excessively doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, though. Have a date night at home with homemade pizza and Netflix. Make coffee at home before heading out to work. Batch prep lunches on the weekend so you don’t waste money on buying takeout lunches every day. Don’t deprive yourself, but don’t spend money needlessly, either. Every Frappucino sets you one step back from reaching your savings goal.

Create a Budget

Creating a budget can be beneficial for saving while helping to stick to the priority list. Once you tally up what you need to save, how much income you earn, and what all of the important necessary expenses are (such as utility bills and rent), then create a budget to help keep your spending habits on track.

Open a Tax-Free Savings Account

Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) are a great vehicle for placing money into save and grow. Not having to pay tax on the money you earn can be a major benefit when you’re trying to accomplish your down payment goal. You can even automate payments to pull directly from your chequing account each pay period.

Sell Your Car

If you’re really determined to reach the amount you need, maybe it’s worth looking at your mode of transportation. If you have two cars, or even just one, selling it could be a sacrifice worth taking. Ottawa has a robust public transportation system, plus a large network of bike paths for use in the mild months. Of course, you can even walk to work if you live close enough. You’ll save money, and it’s healthier!

If saving for a down payment is important to you, then this needs to be reflected in all financial areas of your life. It has to be your priority that comes first before any unnecessary expenditure. And if you have debt, stay focused on paying it off so that your hard-earned money can be put towards buying a home instead of paying off that high interest.