We probably all have our list things to do for to make sure our spring cleaning gets done around our home on Lake Nacimiento. Whether you’re freshening up the interior of your home or have a few outdoor projects, this time of year is great for clearing away traces of winter and gearing up for the summer months on our beautiful lake.
While we all see the benefits of our yearly spring cleaning, we oftentimes don’t think to take that same approach to our finances. We should consider getting in the habit of taking on spring cleaning for our personal finances in order to organize, clear up any issues and make sure we’re on the right path for another year.
I recently came across an article by Gabriela Islas, financial writer for Quicken Loans, and thought these were great tips for approaching your personal finances. If you are considering buying a home in Oak Shores or Heritage Ranch on Lake Nacimiento, these tips will help you get organized before you begin the home buying process.
1. Check your credit report and fix any errors
By law, consumers have the right to a free annual credit report. Sites like Quizzle.com will allow you to get a free credit report, no string attached! Take advantage of getting a free credit report, but always be sure to check out its accuracy. Many times, there are errors or may contain outdated information, which could affect your score negatively. If you do find a mistake, make sure you contact the corresponding credit bureau in order to dispute the errors.
2. Review your budget
It’s helpful to make time to sit down and check your monthly budget. If you are saving to buy a house, for example, periodically reviewing your budget will help you get rid of unnecessary expenses allowing you to save more.
3. Review your monthly withholdings
There is no reason for you to give an interest-free loan to Uncle Sam! By reviewing your monthly withholdings you may be able to put more money in your pocket or savings account every month. Of course, consult with your tax advisor before making any changes to your withholdings in order to avoid owing money to the IRS at the end of the year.
4. Review your financial emergency plan
Planning for unexpected events can give you peace of mind. A good rule of thumb is to have six months worth of expenses saved in an emergency fund. Think about your monthly expenses (like rent or mortgage payments, utilities, car payments, insurance, credit card payments, etc.) and figure out how much you would need to have in a savings account in order to pay for these items for six months. Don’t get discouraged if it takes time to build up your emergency fund, ANY amount is better than no savings at all. Also, make sure that if you become incapacitated, there is someone you trust to handle your finances.
5. Sign up for paperless statements
Signing up for paperless statements and paying your bills online will help keep your mail under control while saving trees at the same time. A lot of banks and credit unions offer online bill pay services for free. Take advantage of this and join the “green” movement.
6. Consolidate accounts
When you’re budgeting, sometimes it’s helpful to separate accounts. For example, if you are trying to save for a special purchase or an emergency fund, you may have your employer deposit a portion of your paycheck directly into your savings account. But having many accounts can make keeping track of them difficult. When that becomes the case, it’s time to consolidate your accounts. Before making this decision, check with your financial institution to make sure there aren’t any penalties or fees for canceling an account.
I hope you take the time to do a little spring cleaning for your personal finances if you haven’t yet this year! If you are hoping to buy a home on Lake Nacimiento this spring, you’ll want to make sure you have everything in order first. As a Lake Nacimiento Real Estate agent, I have seen what a difference it can make when home buyers’ finances are in order. The process runs much more smoothly and there is less guess work and frustration when you know exactly where you’re at with your budget, credit and have everything organized.
If you have any questions about buying a home on Lake Nacimiento, about the Lake Nacimiento Real Estate market, or are ready to get started, please let me know! I’d be happy to answer your questions and help you along each step of finding and buying your ideal Lake Naicmiento home. I look forward to hearing from you!
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