A new study released by the Pew Research Center reveals that more Americans are renting now than in any other time period in recent history. Over the past 10 years there’s been a five percent increase in renters across all demographics—including different racial and socio-economic groups.
There are plenty of reasons. Home ownership is pricey. Folks are saddled with student loans and consumer debt, limiting their ability to save. And let’s not forget that Blacks, and other minority groups already, significantly lag whites in financial stability, so they are less likely to receive large cash gifts from their parents and grandparents for down payments.
SAVE THOSE TAX REFUNDS
If you’ve decided to maximize your deductions and get a hefty return at the top of the year, resist the urge to “ball out” when you get the check. Put at least a third away for your “house fund” and utilize an account you won’t touch. Make saving easy by placing the money in the bank account without a debit card that you’ll roll over each year…after increasing the balance.
INVEST IN YOUR RETIREMENT
Some retirement funds allow you to withdraw money for a down payment on your home. If you are currently investing in one of these accounts, increase your monthly deductions by 2.5 percent for three months and see if you can live with the budget change. If so, push it up again by an additional 2.5 percent. Keep repeating until you hit the ceiling in deductions or you realize it’s the max you can save. Then dial your deduction back by 2.5 percent and coast.
ASK YOUR PARENTS
Few people have your back more than good parents. Let your mom and dad (or stepparents and the aunties and uncles that are really in your corner) that you’re working on saving for a house and you want to start a fund. Invite them to share any tips they have…and give donations to help kick things off the next time they’re in a gifting mood. Remind them that any support is appreciated. Show your gratitude with thank you cards and periodic updates on how you’re progressing with your goal.
SKIP ONE VACATION EACH YEAR
Yes, travel is important but so is having a little financial stability. If you’re going wheels up on the tarmac three or four times annually—think meetups with the crew and baecations—pass on one and use the excuse that you’re saving for your crib.
ASK FOR CASH GIFTS
Whether it’s your birthday or the holidays, there are times when your loved ones are still likely to give you a present, even if it’s small. Let folks know that you’re doing some longterm saving for a home and that you’d love a donation to the fund in lieu of well, anything else. Sign up for sites like Tendr that allow folks to give cash remotely, eliminating the potential awkwardness of giving and receiving cash.
Switch It Up! Advice From People Who’ve Changed Their Careers (PHOTOS)
1. Andrea On Concrete Loop: “I accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish in the 6 months that I was there. I realized in that time that I love interviewing people. Specifically musicians. I was there and I was trying to think of all the artists I wanted to interview and I did it.”1 of 8
2. On Jumping Careers: “I was in fashion first. I studied the music industry & fashion in school, so it’s cool to me that at this point in my life that’s making sense. I’m in those worlds inadvertently. What I really wanted to do was work for a label…and the dream of working for your own label, right?!”2 of 8
3. On Putting Your Pride Aside: “I know I’m strong. I’m aware of that. I know I’m brave and I’m able. And when I’m not, I’m also aware of that and in those moments I do ask for help. There’s no way I’d be here today without help, without someone looking out.”3 of 8
4. On Self Awareness: “I’m a new person for lots of loss in a short amount of time. I am who I am today because I lost all those jobs and many family members between 2012 and now. People ask me if i’m making a living, I’m like, ‘No, but I’m happy doing what I’m doing, so yeah.'”4 of 8
5. Hollis On Teaching Yoga At 48: “I can get my leg behind my head, I can do backbends, I can do all kinds of things I used to think people at my age couldn’t do. Only because I stopped holding on to what people’s expectations of me should be.”5 of 8
6. On Loving Yoga: “Your breath is the only thing that stays with you your entire life, nothing else does. When you start to honor your breath, you’ll honor yourself. Watch what will happen.”6 of 8
7. On Finding Your Calling: “It’s easier to conform your career around your lifestyle than it is to have your lifestyle conformed around your career. It’s hard in the beginning, but the things that you truly love and actively go after, it won’t be work.”7 of 8
8. On Having Multiple Goals: “You may have a goal, but sometimes you may need to release when you’re in the middle of doing what you need to do because if you’re so fixated on one thing, you might miss that avenue or the beauty or those other things that are just waiting there for you to touch it.”8 of 8