Wealth-Building Starts with a Budget
Wealth can only happen through intentional spending… and saving.
We’re going to cover the basics of budgeting, and how you can pinpoint a payment that’s a blessing not a burden.
Determine How Much House You Can Buy (Without Going Broke)
Remember that a budget is just a plan dealing with two things: income and spending. Since spending and income rarely stay the same year-round, you’ll want to make a budget every month.
Making a budget is easy…
- List all your income
Make sure to record your take-home pay, not gross income. Include money from any part-time or seasonal jobs.
- Jot down your expenses It’s also a good idea to put them into categories, such as utilities, debt, savings, etc. Subtract your expenses from your income.
- Make sure everything adds up to zero
The idea here is to track all your spending, so income minus expenses should equal zero.
- The Down Payment-Maker
If you finish your budget and have money left over, use it to pay off some debt or move it to savings (down payment, anybody?).
By the way, if you don’t want to do all of this in Excel or on a yellow pad, we recommend everydollar® to help you build a monthly budget. Click Here
Industry guidelines suggest up to 43% of your gross monthly income to go toward your mortgage. But just because the industry says it’s okay, that doesn’t mean you should let your mortgage eat up that much of your take-home pay.
If you follow Dave Ramsey’s advice closely, you’ll know that he recommends that no more than 25% of your net monthly income go towards your mortgage.
We find that most people can live really well if their mortgage is around 25% of net monthly take-home pay, but that decision is up to you and will be dictated based upon your unique situation.
Give Your Mortgage a Test-Drive
If you want to see what your mortgage amount means for your lifestyle, we recommend you give it a try…
Think about your current rent or mortgage amount. If your new mortgage amount is going to be higher, put the difference into savings on the first of the month to simulate your new mortgage payment.
Once you’ve test-driven your estimated payment, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you able to make the payment work?
- Are you sacrificing anything to make the payment?
- Could you make that sacrifice long-term?
- Do you have enough money left over to enjoy your home and lifestyle?
If you’re good to go, then congratulations! You know you can handle the payment without any issues, and you’re ready for your new mortgage.
Now that Your Budget Is Set, It’s Time to Plan
What Do You Want to Put Down?
How much you decide to use for a down payment makes some loans a better fit for you than others.
There’s a wide variety of mortgage loans out there that each fits different needs, and your desired down payment will help your Home Loan Specialist find you the best fit for your situation.
Have Fun With the Numbers
Use our free tools and calculators to play around with the numbers. After you’ve plugged in a few scenarios and taken a test drive of your proposed budget, you can move forward with confidence.
Time to Get Started?
Our Home Loan Specialists are devoted to guiding you through the home loan process so you are comfortable on each step of the journey. If the time is right for you to buy a new home, Click Here to find your guide and talk to a Home Loan Specialist.