Keeping your family safe and comfortable means being able to afford a home when you want. Buying a home is a costly and major purchase. Without adopting the right financial strategies, you can end up spending more on products and services and lose the time needed to buy a home. Still interested? No worries. Here’s how to keep your finances healthy enough to buy a home.

Shop at Discount Stores

You might think otherwise, but discount and dollar stores will provide you with products that are similar to those you buy at full price. When shopping, consider whether the purchases you need to make can be bought at a discount store to save you a few bucks per product. Take, for example, household products and cleaning supplies which can still be effective if you buy them at a discount store. Buying your products at full price will quickly deplete your bank account. In the end, you’ll have fewer funds available for buying a house, meaning your dreams of homeownership will take longer to accomplish. Still having doubts about homeownership? Remember, about 78% of recently surveyed buyers found their real estate agent to be helpful. So, as long as you have the money, you don’t need to worry.

Keep Your Credit Score Healthy

Your credit score can improve or worsen depending on how good you are at making your monthly payments on time. While keeping a low credit utilization rate might be helpful, your credit score depends on a variety of responsible financial decisions, all of which will impress lenders and increase your borrowing power in the long run. Having credit today will make it easier to afford to renovate your home once you do commit to buying a house. Remember, if all goes wrong and you have to file for bankruptcy, your exempted assets will be seized and sold. After all, you still have to cover the financial obligations you still owe. Want to be debt-free? Don’t wait until you’re discharged from bankruptcy to be debt-free. Instead, develop a payment schedule that allows you to make smaller payments on your credit cards and loans over time.

Spend Less, Earn More

Have you ever made a major purchase and wondered if it was really worth it? What about a string of smaller purchases that don’t seem to help in some way? Spending less means living within your means. If you know you only have so much money, spending more than you earn will quickly deplete the resources you need to buy a home. Earning more might mean taking on an extra job or starting a side hustle. From freelance writing to garage sales to working as a virtual assistant, opportunities to make money are available. It’s up to you and your family to gain financial literacy so you can spend less, earn more, and ultimately, accomplish your dream of owning a house much sooner.

Keep an Emergency Fund

Having money set aside will prevent you from having to pull money from your checking account. Most often, your checking account contains the money you want to use now, so starting an emergency fund will give you a source to draw money from so you can keep the funds you need for buying and improving your home. While you might not like using savings to pay for immediate needs, the alternative is using the money you intend to use to buy your home. The longer you have to spend money that you need, the further off the day will be when you can finally buy a home.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get from buying your first home. That said, it’s going to take time to get there. Time and responsible financial decisions. If you want to buy a home today, remember to keep an emergency fund for your emergency expenses and take good care of your credit. The opportunities to buy the home of your dreams are out there as long as you have the money available.