Over my years working with new and first-time home buyers, I’ve learned quite a bit about budgeting to buy a new home.
And now I’m going to share my knowledge with you. Here are 5 budgeting tips that will keep you from overextending yourself when buying a new home.
1. Track your spending. Before you can set a budget, you need to get honest about what you’re spending every month and what you’re spending it on. This means digging into your credit card statements, too.
2. Establish a budget. After you have a better idea of where your money is going, it’s time to set a budget. I’ll be real with you. Nobody likes setting and sticking to a budget. But if you want to keep your finances on track, you have to decide what you’re willing to give up so you can set aside money for a down payment, home improvements, or closing costs.
3. Save. A cool trick about saving I learned a while back is to make “pre-mortgage” payments. Basically, you just head over to a basic mortgage calculator and figure out how much your monthly mortgage might be. From there, you’d deposit that amount into your savings account (minus your current mortgage or rent amount). You’ll quickly find out if your new mortgage amount is feasible and, if it works, you’ll be saving money in the process!
4. Optimize your credit score. You can get a free copy of your credit report every year, and you’d better believe it’s worth it. On your report, you’ll find your payment history, how much credit you’re using compared to what you have available, your credit history, and more. Look through the report carefully and make sure it’s accurate.
5. Automate! One of the best ways to reach your financial and savings goals is to automate as much as possible. You can easily set up automatic transfers to move money from checking to savings after you get paid (or set your direct deposit to split it before it even gets to your bank). And once you do, there are tons of apps that will track your spending, budget, and goals automatically!
Ready to buy a home? I have some recommendations for great lenders. Let’s chat!