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Most Canadians dream of being able to afford the home of their dreams one day. With a bit of forethought and planning, you may be able to make that dream come true sooner than you think.

Have a look at these wise money decisions that you can implement now so that you can get your dream home faster:

Map out a money-saving plan. It’s not only important to have a plan in place for saving money, but you need to actually implement that plan. The more you can save for a down payment, the better. Good budgeting means balancing your income with your expenses to make sure you have money in your savings account at the end of every month. It may seem overwhelming at first, but there are a lot of ways you can cut costs. Making yourself a coffee at home every work morning means saving at least $60 a month on that alone. As you see your bank account getting healthier, it’ll become easier.

Set up auto debit for bills. If you set it up so that your bills are automatically paid each month, you know that they’ll be paid. It’s easy to miss one or two, and you can get into hot water that way. So, how can doing this help you save? Those bills you miss paying can pull more money out of your pocket since many companies charge late fees, some of which are substantial. Your money is better in your pocket than theirs.

Pay yourself. Add yourself to your bill-paying list. You might want to consider opening a separate account and call it something like “dream home.” You can have funds e-transferred into it. You’re not withholding the money from yourself, you’re saving it for the lovely home that’ll be yours sooner rather than later.

Reduce that dirty debt. If you’ve been carrying a significant debt load, work on paying it down. It’s best to apply for a mortgage with a clean slate. If you’re anything like the average Canadian, you’re carrying about $8,500 in consumer debt with a high interest rate. Once you eliminate that, or at least cut it down, you’ll be able to concentrate more on socking away money for your down payment.

It’s the little things. Small things when added up can equal big-time savings. You can save by cutting down on food waste or eating out less. If you’re in a place where you have to pay for heating and electricity, try more frugal settings. Shut off lights that you aren’t using and turn the heat down a bit. You can always snuggle up under a blanket or add some layers to your clothing. It’ll all be worth it in the end when you’re lounging on your sofa in your dream home.

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