Guest Author - Rose Mary
You should never look at home ownership as only a financial decision. Home ownership provides many benefits far beyond financial growth. It is a place you can make your own; raise a family; share precious moments; and, feel safe and secure.
The road to home ownership is a process, which includes preparing yourself both emotionally and financially. There are numerous considerations on your road to home ownership, so let us take a ride and coast into home ownership?
EVALUATING YOUR FINANCIAL HEALTH
Once you've decided home ownership should be in your future, there are a few things you need to do to prepare for it. The first step is to develop a budget. To many people, this is a daunting task. Not because it is so hard to do, but rather, because it may force you to look at your spending habits. We all despise giving up the things we love to do or habits we've developed, but the benefits will surprise you. Evaluation is an important step in the process.
Set up a spreadsheet if you are comfortable using an application such as Excel by Microsoft or similar. However, it is just as effective to take a single sheet of paper and write down your income on one side and your expenses on the other.
This process will be very enlightening. Most people find out they waste a lot of money each month on stuff that really does not add anything to our lives. For instance, I write a new budget each year. Every time I force myself to sit down and look at my spending habits, I find out I spend a significant amount of money on nothing.
One is buying coffee outside the home. Yes, I love the coffee, too, but I also enjoy coffee made at home in my own coffee pot. By cutting out the store-bought cup of coffee, I shave about $8.00 per week from my budget. That translates to $416.00 per year. I may be able to overlook $8, but I can't discount the value of $416.00 added to my budget.
Another biggie is eating lunch out. Check it out and see how much your family spends on eating lunch, or any meal out. Consider the additional calories consumed and you will realize a big savings in both your life and waistline if you eat more meals at home.
Another bad habit I have is paying for a car wash. It can cost $6-$8 or more to wash your car? That's $24-$32 per month or $288-$384 per year.
Sit down and write out your budget and, I promise, you will be surprised at all the little things you can do to make your self financially healthier and simply more aware of your money. This will lead to making decisions which put you on the road to attaining home ownership without sacrificing much. As a matter of fact, you will probably lose some habits you would like to drop anyway.
Instead of paying your landlords mortgage each month, you can begin to make your money work for you by saving for a down payment on your own home.