Wondering how to save for the down payment on a home loan?

Down payment definition: an initial amount deposited at the time of purchase to the lender, from gifts, savings, or other means, which reduces the balance of the loan.

If you are a U.S. military veteran, National Guard or military reservist, lenders do not require a down payment.

If you don’t have enough money, here are 17 great suggestions:

1. Research state and local county programs for down payment assistance loan offerings, providing grants or subsidies.

2. Ask family members, such as parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, siblings, etc., for a gift or ask to borrow it with interest, and pay it back in installments or after you sell the home.

3. Withdraw or borrow against your investment account(s), such as an IRA, annuity, life insurance policy, etc.

4. Create a plan to save money over time and deposit to a specific account designated for the down payment. The best way is through automatic transfer into the account, so you never “see” the money. Another idea is to put loose change from your pockets into a jar every day. It does add up after a while!

5. Sell assets, such as boats, jewelry, cars, etc., to generate cash. Maybe you have exercise equipment not being used or something else of value to sell on eBay.

6. Get a second part-time job, such as selling something.

7. Get a third job, such as a baby sitter, weekend employment, etc.

8. Before you spend it, drop your tax refund into the account you created in #4 that is specifically earmarked for the down payment.

9. Reduce expenses. Cancel your gym membership and workout at home watching free TV shows or online videos. Lower costs on utilities by turning off lights. Change mobile phone plans. Bring a sack lunch to work (saving $100 per week or $1,200 per year). Reduce your coffee purchases at stores to a treat once a week. Shop sales. Eat at home.

10. Barter for services instead of paying cash for them.

11. Offer to family, friends and anyone you know to work odd jobs, such as baby sitting, helping people move, dog walking, car washing, helping them complete their chores, etc.

12. If the place you’re renting has a garage or extra bedroom, offer to rent it to a neighbor that needs the space or friend that needs a room.

13. Include a family member or friend on the loan, or add a roommate to save rent money.

14. Ask for a cash advance from work or other source, but not a credit card.

15. Pawn jewelry or other valuable items, until you can buy them back.

16. Borrow books, movies and music from the library, rather than buying.

17. Buy used goods at outlet stores, online at Craig’s list or other websites, or shop at garage sales.

Buying a home will probably be the best investment you’ll ever make. If you want it, be creative and start immediately!