Would You Try This Extreme Down Payment Savings Strategy?

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I read this story about a couple that went to the extreme to save up for a down payment, and I can’t get it out of my head.

They moved out of their house to save $10,000 for a down payment on a house.

They lived in a tent. For a year. In Iowa.

Now they have a house.

I don’t know, doesn’t that seem a little extreme?

I mean, I’m no stranger to saving large sums of money. I paid off over $20,000 in debt in just over two years. But I still lived in a home.

The story made me realize a few things:

  • People see saving money as a huge obstacle that requires drastic measures (same goes for getting out of debt)
  • There are people out there willing to give up more than I am to jump start their goals
  • I’ve really come a long way in my saving attitude.

The last point is why the story sticks with me. In July of 2012, I realized I’d paid off nearly $12,000 in eleven months. So when I read this article, I thought, “how is it that two people, who work, have to move into a tent to save only $10,000?”

It’s not that their strategy was ineffective — far from it, in fact! It worked, and they were able to save for a down payment.

It’s just that there are far easier ways to save that kind of money. We’ll get into those in another post, but for now, think of it this way.

  • $10,000
  • divided by two people
  • over 12 months
  • = $417 a month, each

It’s a car payment (okay, a nice car payment). I just can’t imagine that two working adults can’t find ways to save under $450 a month, each. Even if they just started small, like having a garage sale, or putting the things that they’re not using in their house on Craigslist, or heck! Picked up a newspaper route or a second job in retail!

Maybe I’m just so firmly anti-camping-for-a-year that their way won’t work for me. Call me fancy, but I sure like living in a home, sheltered from the elements.

I suppose it’s all about perspective, isn’t it? And maybe, it’s all about the end goal.If you want something bad enough, you’ll do what you have to do to get it.

Here’s the moral of this story: if I can pay off as much debt as I did (and my salary in 2012 was $33,000, which was much higher than the previous year) in as short of time as possible, then you can save money using far less extreme measures.

How would you save $10,000 in a year? What’s your extreme down payment savings strategy?

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