How to Get Your Finances in Order After Buying Your First Home
Homeownership is something many individuals, couples, and families aspire to. If you just bought your first house, congratulations! Your money is now going toward building equity instead of lining a landlord’s pockets.
Still, you may need a little time to recover your finances after funding a down payment, paying closing costs, and renting a moving truck. Here’s how to get your money situation back in order now that you’re a homeowner.
Update the Household Budget
Revising your budget isn’t as simple as changing “rent” to “mortgage.” You have many other new expenses to plan for as well, such as property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, private mortgage insurance, HOA fees, and higher utility bills. Be prepared to cut back in other areas, at least initially, until your savings account recovers.
Keep Saving for Retirement
Yes, you have some new expenses to juggle now, but don’t forget to continue funding your retirement. If you already have a 401(k) through your employer, you’re on the right track. If not, consider opening an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). You don’t receive an employer match, but you benefit from competitive dividends above standard savings account rates and deferred taxes.
Check Your Credit Score
You probably kept a close eye on your credit score before buying a home, but don’t stop monitoring it just because you were approved for a home loan. Now the task is to recover from the dip that occurred after taking out a mortgage so you can qualify for low interest rates on a new car, credit card, or personal loan you might need in the near future.
Wait for Coupons in the Mail Before Furnishing Your Home
Many new homebuyers are “house poor” for a little while. To help you furnish your new space and complete home improvement projects without breaking the bank, wait for valuable moving coupons to arrive in the mail. These trigger automatically when you submit a change of address to the post office.
Get a Homeowner Discount on Your Car Insurance
Owning a home can qualify you for a discount on your car insurance, especially if you obtain homeowner’s insurance from the same company. However, don’t simply tack this new coverage onto your existing policy—take an afternoon to shop around and compare rates. You might be surprised by how much you can save.
Set New Financial Goals
You just checked off a huge milestone from your financial bucket list, but buying a home shouldn’t be your only investment. Once your bank account is used to this change, start exploring other ways to invest your money. Working with a financial advisor is the best way to learn about your options and garner tips to meet your short- and long-term financial goals.
GCS Credit Union offers banking solutions to help get your finances in order after buying your first home. Contact us at (618) 797-7993 to learn how we can help you save, invest, and fund purchases for your new home.