Budget-Building for First-Time Homeowners

Moving into a new home is exciting, but it also often means big changes to your budget. For first-time homeowners, these changes can be especially drastic when you buy a home for the first time. Your home mortgage loan is only one facet of the budgetary changes you will face when you move into a new home. There are other costs of homeownership that exist outside of the loan that you will have manage as well. Fortunately, with a little planning, you take control of your budget and prevent unexpected expenses from catching you by surprise. These tips will help.

Know Your Numbers

You can’t manage your budget if you don’t have a clear picture of your financial situation. Figure out how much money you have coming in each month. Then, calculate your usual monthly expenses. This should include your home mortgage loan payments, home insurance, HOA fees, landscaping costs, as well as auto loan and credit card payments, utility bills, and other money you spend on a monthly basis. If you’re not sure, a good place to start is your credit union checking account. Add up things like grocery store bills to get an idea of how much you can spend.

Set Aside Money for Home Repairs

Even if you have a brand new home, maintenance and repair costs are still something you should include in your budget. Try setting aside money each month in a savings account that you will tap for these expenses as they occur. You can also get estimates from maintenance companies in your area, such as pest control companies and HVAC maintenance teams, to get an idea of what your costs will be.

Look for Ways to Cut Back

Even with the best planning, when you own a new home, new expenses can creep up out of nowhere. Look for areas in which you can cut back so that you’re ready for these surprise expenses. For example, drinking coffee in your new home instead of your local coffee shop could help you save enough money to fix your fridge when it goes down.

GCS Credit Union is here to help you manage everything from saving for a down payment to choosing a home mortgage loan in O’Fallon and adjusting to life as a homeowner. For more information, call our credit union at (618) 797-7993.

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