holisticbabe : I feel you! I just bought my house at 30. Years and years of roommates and crappy apartments in bad neighborhoods.
My biggest peice of advice, if possible, is to only have as many expenses as you can afford on one income. When we would go out on a date, it would be a picnic, or we would eat and drink a bit before going out on date. That way, we where only hungry enough to split and appetizer and order one drink each. I often bring flasks with me when we go out with friends (I have a handy one that looks like sunscreen). I’ll order one drink, and then refil it under the table with my flask. I still leave a nice tip for the bartenders though. If you wantto go on a vacation consider camping. Get some basic gear, and then it’s just the cost of gas, campsite and food. If you go with friends, cost on all three goes down.
When cooking at home, soups are your best friend. That and rice. I would always buy things on sale, and at the farmers market I would get discounts on food that looked odd. Make a big batch, freeze half, and have the other half for when you don;t feel like cooking. Always make leftovers, and bring those in to lunch.
Also roommates. It sucks, and they can be a bit annoying. But I’ve tried to live like a broke college student for as long as I can. When times got financially tough, we rented out our living room. Now that we have a house, we’re renting out 2 of our bedrooms to friends. “rent” is a loose term. Our friends get WAY below market rent in exhange for helping us renovate our fixer. I have other friends who make a killing renting out rooms on Air bnb. Fiance and I jsut don’t like the idea of strangers in our house.
Also, any bonus or tax return, we kept 1/3 for ours selves, and the rest got poured into student loans. Whenever we got raises, we would bump up our student loan payment by half of whatever the increase was (if not more). Keep an eye out for refinance options. We use cards with points to pay for flights to visit family. If we aren’t camping for vacations, we crash with friends. Or road trip, but those are more expensive lol. Also, our side hustle is doing focus groups for money. It can take a bit of work, but the extra 300 dollars every now and again really helps.
Also, trust, most mid twenty somethings aren’t buying houses. Most of m cousins and siblings are older, and I’m the first one to buy a detached house. The other 2 in townhomes bought the same year I did. All in our 30’s.
Also, renting isn’t all bad. HAving a mortgage locks you into place. As a renter, you have freedom to move easily if a better job oppurtunity arises. Also, a lot of people who are buying later skip the started home and just go straight into their forever home. If you focus on your careers, and live frugally, you can do it.