21 Creative Ways to Save for a Down Payment

How much do you have saved for a down payment on a home? For many would-be homebuyers, saving up enough funds to cover a down payment and closing costs often feels like a monumental task. Luckily, you may be able to purchase a home with far less money down than you thought.


A down payment for a home purchase generally ranges from 3% up to 20% of the price of the home, but there are first time home buyer loan programs available with zero down payment requirements, as well.


You may not realize that some loan programs allow you to use gift funds for a down payment. So, here is idea #1.


1. Consider Gift Funds


Some specialty programs at American Pacific Mortgage allow you to use gift funds for your down payment. If you have a family member, business partner, or employer who wants to gift you a down payment, gift fund programs can help you use that gift to get into your new home.


Supplementing Your Income


Looking for ways to save up more money faster? If you are looking for creative ways to increase your income, here are some money-making ideas that don’t involve getting a second (or third) job.


2. Become a billboard.


If you don’t mind having your car transformed into a billboard, FreeCarMedia will pay you up to $400 a month if you wrap the entire thing with an advertisement. More subtle back window advertising can pay around $50 a month.


3. Leverage your social network.


Are you a social media influencer? Wingsplay will pay you to share videos on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog. Every time one of your followers watches the video you’ve shared, you get paid.


4. Make money online.


One of the most legitimate ways of making money online is to offer your services as a virtual assistant (VA). If you have a reliable internet connection, you could pick up jobs ranging from writing, graphic design, researching, editing, transcription, data entry, and more. VA jobs can be found at Elance, Upwork, and Guru. A few hours online on the weekend could help you earn some extra cash fast.


5. Sell your photos.


Stock photo companies such as Shutterstock, iStockPhoto, and 123RF will pay you for your images. If you love taking pictures, follow the submission guidelines and you could get paid every time one of your images is downloaded.


6. Sell your stuff.


You know what they say… one man’s junk really can be another’s treasure. It’s time to get rid of the unwanted or unneeded items you have collecting dust throughout your home. Have a yard sale, or list unwanted items on Craigslist or eBay. Clothing and furniture can be sold through your local consignment store. You can even sell unused electronics and even gift cards for some extra cash.


7. Get behind the wheel.


Your car may be a big money-making asset for you. If you have a good driving record and insurance, you could get paid to drive passengers with a rideshare company such as Uber, Lyft, or Wridely, or Shuddle.


8. Monetize your hobbies.


What’s your favorite hobby? You may be surprised to find it may be something you can monetize. You can sell handmade items on Etsy, such as knitted scarves, crocheted baby blankets, or handsewn clothing. For the not-so crafty, consider catering your friend’s baby showers or parties, or offering tutoring or music lessons to the neighbor kids.


9. Go treasure hunting.


If you like to spend your weekends at garage sales and flea markets, start looking for something other than antiques. Scrap metals, such as copper, brass, aluminum, and steel, can be exchanged at scrap yards for cash. Take a magnet with you; it won’t stick to the more valuable metals such as copper and brass. If someone is literally giving away an ugly pair of brass bookends, take that br