Most of us do not just wake up one morning and decide to buy a house today. It takes a lot of planning and preparation to assure your financial health and happiness. Your first step should be to check your credit, find out where you stand, verify accuracy of all information and dispute whats not. Take advantage of your free annual credit reports and educate yourself about the FICO score lenders use. If you havent kept book about your finances, theres never a better time than now. It doesnt matter which way you do it, just as long as you do. I, personally, prefer the old-school method of book and pen and it has been working well for me. Track your income and expenses for awhile and scrutinize your findings. Are you spending more than you should? Is there anything you could possibly cut back on? Do you really need that second car or can you make do with one for awhile? Is there anything in your home just collecting dust? Is a yard sale in order? Find some ways to cash in on items you don't use and apply that to paying off debt or to kick-start your saving.