From buying a home to buying the groceries, every purchase you make in your life has the power to improve your financial situation or increase your debt. However, there are little-known secrets that you can commit to memory that will make these decisions about money a lot easier to navigate. Read ahead to find out what they are.
One of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make is when — and how — to buy a home. Becoming a homeowner is a rite of passage for many yet knowing where to start isn’t so common. If you want to find the best mortgage rates, a little financial preparation can go a long way.
Before looking for a mortgage, you should take a look at your credit score. This will not only tell you where you stand as a hopeful home loan recipient, but it will also let you know if there are any discrepancies in your credit history that you should dispute. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can also take the guesswork out of searching for a new home.
And one of the least-known secrets of home buying is that the home loan deal that you eventually sign depends largely on your power of persuasion.
It may look like the details are set in stone when the lender presents you with a contract, but you can often mould them to fit your financial goals. For example, you may be able to persuade the lender to reduce some fees associated with the closing process, or you could negotiate a deal with the seller in which you accept a few thousand dollars towards your interest rate points instead of asking them to lower their price.
Once you get into the home, however, your money-saving efforts will be even more important as you work to stay ahead of your mortgage payments and save for home improvements.
One way that you can make sure you have more than enough in your budget to maintain a comfortable home is to save on your other expenses. You can cut down on your grocery bill by taking on coupon clipping as a hobby, and you could call your energy company to see if you can get a better price for your electricity and natural gas service.
Bundling is also an effective budgeting tool because many companies are willing to customers a discount if they rely on them for more than one product or service.
And while you’re trying to balance your budget, remember to use your credit cards wisely. Try to keep your credit card debt within 30 percent of your total credit limit so that you don’t harm your credit score.
Also, using cash to make day-to-day purchases can help you keep your card balance in check as well as give you a realistic idea of how much money you are spending long before the monthly statement comes in.
Overall, making the right money decisions comes down to a little planning and a lot of practice. If you can break down your long-term financial goals into short-term practices, you’ll be on the right track in no time.