SOURCE: BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris Bank

January 10, 2013 14:12 ET

BMO Harris Bank Financial Tip of the Week: Saving for a Down Payment

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Jan 10, 2013) - As part of BMO Harris Bank's ongoing commitment to financial literacy and Making Money Make Sense, BMO Harris is providing weekly financial tips. This week's tip provides ways to start saving for a home.

The start of a new year prompts many people to start thinking about changes they can make in their lives. For some people, this may mean settling down and buying a home. The first step to achieving this goal is saving for a down payment.

To start building your savings for a down payment, BMO Harris Bank recommends the following strategies:

Open a separate savings account. You can then link this account to your checking account and use a program like Auto Save, which allows you to transfer a fixed amount of money from your checking to savings account on a predetermined day(s) of the month.

Find a way to reduce your current rent. This may be as simple as negotiating a lower rent with your landlord. Another option is finding a roommate or cheaper housing. As a final resort, you may consider moving home with your family for awhile. By using one of these options, you can transfer the savings to your down payment savings account.

Review your budget for additional ways to save. Many people are surprised to see how much they actually spend after laying out their monthly expenses on paper. You need to prioritize how you spend your money and maybe make some small cutbacks.

Put yourself in a comfortable place and get started with helpful steps.

The Learning Center is brought to you by BMO Harris Bank, WGN, CLTV, WGN AM 1070, Chicago Tribune, RedEye and Hoy.

About BMO Harris Bank

Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris BankSM is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion.

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