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Debt can make it difficult to save enough money for a down payment, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you’re strategic and focused, you can make your dream of owning a home a reality.

Estimate How Much You’ll Need and When You Want to Buy a House
If you know where you would like to live, research current home prices. Look into various types of mortgages and their down payment requirements to figure out approximately how much you will have to save. If you know when you want to buy a house, you can calculate how much you’ll need to put aside for a down payment each month.

Look for Ways to Boost Your Income
Increasing the amount of money you have coming in can help you achieve your goal of owning a home faster. If you have been at your job for a while and have consistently performed well, your boss may be willing to give you a raise if you ask for one. 

If you’re currently working in a position that has low pay and you don’t think you will be able to get a substantial raise, you may want to look for a new full-time job. Moving to a new position with a different company may give you a significant boost in salary.

Another option is to take a part-time job or start a side hustle to bring in some extra money. Even if you only work a few hours per week, and you put all your additional earnings toward a down payment, it can add up quickly.

Find Ways to Cut Expenses
Keep track of everything you spend money on for at least one month to determine areas where you can cut back financially. Many people don’t realize how much they spend on entertainment, takeout, coffee and unused subscriptions until they add up all their expenditures. 

You may be able to lower some of your monthly bills. If you have cable, switching to a cheaper package or getting rid of cable altogether may help you save a lot. Cooking at home more often, switching car insurance companies and transferring credit card balances to a card with low or no interest may help you save money without drastically changing your lifestyle.

Look into ways to pay off your student loans ahead of schedule. Refinancing or switching to an income-based repayment plan can lower your bills. Your employer may offer assistance, or you may qualify for a federal or state program or loan forgiveness for borrowers who work in certain fields. 

Make Saving a Part of Your Budget
Many people find that automatically transferring money to a separate savings account each time they get paid helps them stay focused on long-term goals. You can also resolve to put any extra money that you get from a tax refund, bonus or gifts toward your down payment fund. 

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