The development of a household budget is a must activity both before you build a home as well as during your ownership of that home. By preparing a budget you can better focus on mortgage payment goals and how the new house will affect your total expenses. Maintaining a budget during the time you own the home can help to prevent potential financial disasters as well as point you in a money saving direction so you have more funds available for those things that you need or want.
You will need a little time to develop your budget but it should not take longer than a few hours if you gather the necessary information first. Get everyone who will be involved in spending involved in developing the budget.
Some of the items and information you will need to develop your budget are:
- All current monthly loan payments.
- All other monthly expenses (such as child care, dues, etc.).
- Records of variable expenses (for example, utilities, food and car repair) from the last 12 months. This will give you an estimate of your monthly expenditures.
- Records of annual or semi-annual expenses (such as insurance and taxes).
- An estimate of what your new mortgage payment will be.
- Records of other non-fixed expenses (for example, medical expenditures) for the last year. This will give you an estimate of average expenses of this type.
- Records or an estimate of personal expenses (entertainment, travel, etc.)
- Having a current copy of your credit report can be very helpful. Not only will it reveal any inaccuracies in your credit history, it will also give you a clear picture your monthly obligations. You can get a free copy of your Credit Report.
Be realistic in your budget assessment. Make provisions for possible increases in some items (for example, school tuitions, insurance and taxes). Then, look for ways to get (and maintain) control over your budget.
Most People Spend 10% More Than They Make! You probably know how much money you made last month, but do you know how much money you spent? Or do you know how much money you have left to spend this month? If you don't you're not alone, most people have no idea. The fact is most of us spend 10% more per month than we make.