6 Alternatives to Saving Up for a Home Down Payment

If you need a chunk of cash for a down payment but can’t save enough, it’s time to think about your alternative options. If you’re short on cash right now, here are some creative ways to raise money for a down payment you need:

Monetize Your Hobbies

If you have a favorite hobby, you might be surprised at the potential of making money from it. You can make handmade knitted scarves, crocheted baby blankets, and even hand-sewn clothing on many online stores if you like handicrafts. If you aren’t that good with handcrafted items, then you can consider catering, tutoring, or teaching music lessons to children.

Use Gift Funds

Some specialty programs allow the use of gift funds for a down payment. You’d be lucky if you have a family member, employer, or business partner who is willing to give you a down payment since these gift fund programs can be used for a down payment.

Sell Your Photos

Various stock photo companies, including Shutterstock, 123RF, and iStockPhoto all pay for images from independent photographers. So, if you love taking photos, you can simply follow the submission guidelines and get paid for every time your pictures get downloaded.

File Your Taxes

A huge portion of Americans receive an average tax refund of about $3,000 from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which can be very helpful if you need a down payment. That’s a good amount of money to put right into your savings account, which will go to your down payment and closing costs.

Work Freelance

One of the best ways to earn money is to offer your services online, such as being a virtual assistant (VA). If you do have a reliable internet connection, you can simply pick from different jobs, including writing, researching, transcription, graphic design, editing, data entry, and more. 

VA jobs can be found in most freelance sites, such as Upwork, Guru, and Elance. Allocating a few hours on the weekend for your freelance job can help you earn extra cash for a down payment.

Make Your Own Cleaning Products

Instead of purchasing cleaning products of every kind, you can look for cost-friendly alternatives. For instance, vinegar can be used to replace numerous cleaning products in a household. It’s an effective glass and window cleaner and laundry softener, and mixing it with a few drops of dish soap makes for a good all-purpose cleaner for countertops and floors.

Adding a few more drops of essential oil to the mixture gives you a citrusy or pine-scented cleaner comparable to more expensive cleaners. Doing these alternatives lets you save money, which you can add to your down payment. 


It can be challenging when you don’t have enough to pay for a down payment in your savings account. Still, there are many ways to go around this. You can take any of the tips we provided above to how you can make or save money so that you can allocate those to your down payment instead. 

Sam Lends Money is led by Sam Okenyi Jr., a veteran in the mortgage and real estate industry. Sam, alongside a team of highly experienced loan officers, helps borrowers in Central California to achieve their dreams of homeownership. We specialize in numerous home financing products so we can provide you with the perfect solution to your individual needs. Get in touch with us and get pre-approved for a loan today!