Wednesday, February 27, 2013

5 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Finances

Last week, I talked about the current North Shore Real Estate market and the fact that it’s steadily improving!  Buyers looking to jump into the home buying process this spring shouldn’t hesitate and should begin to prepare through the tips I offered.

As a North Shore Real Estate agent, it’s my goal to help buyers be as prepared as possible to ensure a smooth home buying process.  Today, I wanted to highlight ways you can spring clean your finances.  Having things organized and knowing exactly where you are with your finances can make a large difference in buying a North Shore home.

The spring market will quickly be crowded with buyers and having your financials in order will mean you can act on the North Shore home of your dreams in a timely manner.  Here are a few things you can do to clean up your finances and be ready to buy when the time comes! 

1. Review your budget- It’s helpful to make time to sit down and check your monthly budget. This will help you determine exactly how much you’re able to spend on a North Shore home.  Also, if you are saving to buy a house, periodically reviewing your budget will help you get rid of unnecessary expenses allowing you to save more.

2. 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. 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.

3. Check your credit report and fix any errors- Banks are paying close attention to credit scores and, by law, consumers have the right to a free annual credit report. 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 Many times, there are errors or may contain outdated information, which could affect your score negatively.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.

4. 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 you’ll also be helping to care for the environment!

5. Consolidate accounts- When you’re budgeting, sometimes it’s helpful to separate accounts. 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.

Taking these steps to spring clean your finances can help you know exactly what you have to work with and will make you feel better prepared to buy a North Shore home.

If you’re interested in learning more about buying a North Shore home this spring, or are interested in seeing some of the homes currently on the North Shore Real Estate market; please contact me!

I would love to help you throughout the home buying process!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert

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