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Budgeting Tips for Home Buyers

By Cathy Pieroz

Buying your own home is a long-term commitment that requires sound, consistent management of your financial affairs over a period of many years.

Budgeting is the best way to keep you focused on your personal housing and financial goals.  Although it may seem a tedious business, the discipline will pay off in the long run.

The first step is to ensure your expenses do not exceed your income.  While it is usually a straightforward matter for wage and salary earners to calculate their total income, it is not so easy to make a realistic assessment of total expenses, which should include an allowance for savings and contingencies.

Make sure that your account for all the irregular bills, such as the annual insurance renewals of your home insurance and car registration.  Convert these expenses to weekly amounts that should be put aside so you don’t get caught out when the bills fall due.

A good discipline is to eliminate impulse buying.  Plan all your purchases, from buying a new car right down to your weekly visit to the supermarket – those few extra treats can end up costing you several hundred dollars a year.

Remember to include an allocation for pleasure activities.  While buying a home will certainly involve sacrifices for most people, be careful not to over commit and make sure it is achievable.

With a sensible and realistic budget, you’re laying a sound foundation for home ownership and financial security.

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