Getting Your Finances In Order (Part 1)

In preparing to purchase a home, getting your finances in order is very important. Below are some steps to help you plan for the purchase of that home you’ve been wanting.

  1. Develop a family budget. Instead of budgeting what you’d like to spend, use receipts to create a budget for what you actually spent over the last six months. One advantage of this approach is that it factors in unexpected expenses, such as car repairs, illnesses, etc., as well as predictable costs such as rent.
  2. Reduce your debt. Generally speaking, lenders look for a total debt load (aka debt to income) of no more than 36 percent of income. Since this figure includes your mortgage, which typically ranges between 25 percent and 28 percent of income, you need to get the rest of installment debt—car loans, student loans, revolving balances on credit cards—down to between 8 percent and 10 percent of your total income.
  3. Get a handle on expenses. You probably know how much you spend on rent and utilities, but little expenses add up. Try writing down everything you spend for one month. You’ll probably see some great ways to save.
  4. Increase your income. It may be necessary to take on a second, part-time job to get your income at a high-enough level to qualify for the home you want or certainly save enough money for a great downpayment.

Even if you’re not in the market to purchase a home, these are excellent steps to a more stable financial lifestyle.

Dwayne

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