It’s a sad reality that most people in their late 20’s are still struggling to pay off their student loans and rent, so buying a house before their 30th tends to be out of the question. However, it isn’t impossible to change this reality at all.

But why do so many people struggle to save money, in the first place? The root cause is highly likely the fact that only 19 states in the U.S. require schools to teach about personal finances, and that one in three millennials is never taught good financial habits by their parents.

Although there’s nothing wrong about not having your own house yet at 30, being able to buy one by that age still puts you at an advantage because you can build up your equity earlier. If you’re already past 30 and still eager to buy your first home soon, these money habits will apply to you, too, so let’s get started.

  1. Planning a budget

Having a certain budget directs you where to spend your money. When you create a budget, you should compute how much you want to save, rather than how much you want to spend. By doing so, you can determine what you can afford based on how much you’re saving.

Every month, prioritize your mandatory expenses — such as rent and student loans — then see how much you have left. Spend as little of that as possible to increase your monthly budget.

  1. Improving your credit

If you max out your credit cards and only make minimum payments every month, then you’re not helping your credit score. Instead of doing this, keep your balances low, and don’t be tempted to open too many credit accounts at once. Remember that if you can’t pay for a purchase in cash, it means you can’t afford it. Control your urges to shop, and check your credit periodically to stay focused.

  1. Setting financial goals

If you’re fond of making yearly goals in the form of a bucket list, consider making one for your finances, too. With future financial plans, you’ll be more motivated to save money.

Set both long- and short-term financial goals. Long-term goals are essential for your future plans, like having kids and retiring, while short-term goals are important for helping you make purchasing decisions in the present.

  1. Be financially independent

A study revealed that around half of millennials still receive financial support from their parents after moving out. If you also tend to depend on your parents to increase your savings, then you’ll only grow more dependent on them, even if you’re already more than capable of handling your own finances. Thus, learn to get by without their aid, and you’ll realize how much more in-control and put-together you’ll feel.

On Buying Your First Home

Once you already achieved your financial goal of saving up for a mortgage down payment, get pre-approved, and increase your likelihood of being granted a highly favorable home loan deal. Narrow your options to houses you can afford, preferably in thriving cities.

When you’re ready to put an offer, prepare the documents that’ll verify your finances on the mortgage application. This may include bank statements, tax returns, and etc., depending on your employment type.

During the mortgage process, you also need to secure homeowner’s insurance. This will cover the losses you may incur in case an accident occurs in your home, or an asset of yours gets damaged while in the property.

Mastering better money habits and going through the mortgage process may not be easy, but every sacrifice you’ll make will definitely pay off. Whether or not you end up owning a home before 30, what’s more important is finally being wholly financially-independent and stable.