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Newlywed cost cutting measures

Those that eat at home, and not out, save money.

Once they have walked down the aisle and returned from their honeymoon, the next step many newlyweds look forward to is buying their own home together. Though there are deals to be had in any real estate market, the cost of home ownership is something many newly married couples cannot instantly afford. That's especially true for the increasing number of couples who pay for their weddings without any help from family.

Such couples still harbor the dream of home ownership, but realizing that dream can seem like a daunting task. But the task grows easier when couples begin to exercise some financial restraint. There are many cost-cutting measures newlyweds can take that will help them save money for whatever their next big purchase might be.

*Learn to cook. Learning to cook is not only a rewarding lesson, but also one that can help newlyweds save a significant amount of money. Contrary to popular belief, cooking isn't terribly difficult. Gourmet meals might require some natural culinary inclination, but more standard fare can be as simple as following a recipe. For those who have never stepped foot in a kitchen, it might be a good idea to take cooking lessons. Such lessons are typically inexpensive, and the cost of the lessons will be recouped once couples start cooking for themselves and stop relying on costly meals out on the town. Couples who learn to cook together might also find it strengthens their relationship.

*Downgrade the apartment. Non-married couples who live together commonly prefer two-bedroom apartments, using the second bedroom as a guest bedroom/home office. The cost of a two bedroom is more than a one bedroom, but nonmarried couples often feel it's worth the extra money. No matter how negligible that extra cost is, newlyweds saving for a home should consider downgrading to a one bedroom (unless one person works from home). This can help save some money on a monthly basis, enabling newlyweds to inch closer to the day when they will have enough money saved to make a down payment on their own home, which can then have as many rooms as couples prefer.

*Furnish the home piecemeal. One advantage today's newlyweds have over those of yesteryear is that many live together before walking down the aisle. This means they're not really starting from scratch once they get married. A typical modern couple already has enough furniture and other household items to get by once they have moved into their new home. For those concerned about how they're going to furnish a home once they've signed on the dotted line, one way to cut those costs is to hang on to what you currently have, and steadily buy new items one-by-one after you've moved in. Rather than facing the hefty bill couples can expect if they buy everything at once, newlyweds who go the piecemeal route will find it's much less stressful to furnish a home piece-by-piece.

*Find ways to make home ownership work. First time home buyers are typically shocked at the cost of home ownership. However, communities might offer a class that explains the home-buying process and how best to navigate it. Some lenders even offer a lower interest rate to prospective buyers who have completed such a class. Such a discount can save couples a significant amount of money over the course of the mortgage, and the classes can give couples a better understanding of what they're getting into by buying a home.

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