Are You Financially Prepared to Own a Home?

So you think you’re ready to purchase your first home? Lots of people reach a point where they want to be homeowners, but many end up failing at it because they simply weren’t prepared. You see, there’s a lot that goes into owning a house that you may not have been aware of. Beyond making payments to the mortgage company, you’ll also be responsible for a lot of other expenses. If you haven’t effectively planned for those expenses, your dream home can quickly become the start of your financial demise.

own a homeImage source: Pixabay

How does one know when they’re financially prepared to purchase a property? Start by learning what it costs to own a home (beyond the basics) and compare it to your budget. If the costs are greater than your income, you’re better off waiting. If, however, your income exceeds your household expenses, then you’re ready to embark on the process of buying your new house.

Below is a look at some of the common expenses you’ll need to determine the true cost of homeownership:


When you make a purchase as large as a house you have to protect it at all costs. Part of doing this means securing a property insurance policy. Depending on where you live, the company you choose, and how much insurance you’d like, it could add up to several thousand dollars a year. Fortunately, most homeowners insurance companies offer the option to pay the insurance in monthly installments for easier budgeting.


Property taxes are mandated by most states. If you own a real estate property, you’ll be required to pay several thousand dollars per year in taxes. This bill is generally required on a bi-annual or annual basis.


You can talk to any homeowner and they’ll tell you that household emergencies always tend to pop up. If it’s not one thing that needs to be fixed, it’s another. Plumbing leaks, electrical problems, HVAC malfunctions, and more could set you back several hundred dollars if not more. It is best to create emergency savings to cover these costs, but if you’re really in a bind there are also opportunities like Maxlend fast cash personal loans to tide you over. You can apply online and receive as much as $1250 to handle your emergency and then repay the loan within the required time frame.

Maintenance and Repairs

Not every household problem will be an emergency, but if you want your house to remain intact, safe, and comfortable, you’ll need to budget for routine maintenance and periodic repairs. Some service providers you may need to call on include the plumber, electrician, HVAC technician, home appliance repairman, landscaper, pest control, and more. Many contractors offer annual service contracts to help you save a bit of money.


You can’t very well live safely in a home without clean water, gas, and electricity so don’t forget to factor these into your household costs.

Solutions to Help Cover the Cost of Homeownership

Quite a bit of things you’ll need to afford huh? Fortunately, there are solutions to make owning a home a lot more affordable:

Buy within your means – You should never spend more on a home than you have. In fact, experts say that housing should only account for approximately 30% of your income. Anything beyond that is beyond your means.

Create a budget – Budgeting can help you get a real understanding as to what’s going on with your finances. It can help you to reduce spending, cut down on debt, increase your savings, and more importantly, stretch your income further so you have the money you need to afford the above-mentioned expenses.

Build emergency savings – Whether you can afford to buy a home right now or not, you need a nest egg to fall back on. A rainy day account or emergency savings provide you with the cushion you need. How much you save is up to you, but having at least 3 to 6 months worth of monthly expenses in an account can really come in handy.

Borrow as needed – Sometimes, there are things going on in your house that you simply can’t afford to deal with on your own. In those instances, borrowing from a trusted lender is your best bet.

A lot of money goes into owning a home. Likely more than you imagined. Before you decide to buy your first home, be sure that you’re financially prepared. If it turns out you have to wait, it’s a lot better than investing in something you can’t afford and ruining your finances in the process. Start working to boost your savings, build your credit, and increasing your income so that in a few years you’ll be ready to buy the home you want.

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Top Tips on Saving to Scale up On Your Next House

The prices of property in the UK have skyrocketed over the years, and this has made it even harder for people to upgrade their houses. Buying a bigger and better house will obviously cost you a lot of money, so you should prepare to save up some money and alter your lifestyle. Here are some tips to help you realize your goal:

1. Use the Help to Buy ISA Offer

Saving up for your deposit can be tough. You can easily get demotivated on the way, and that is why you should take all the help you can get. The government, through the Help to Buy ISA offer, will give you 25p for every £1 you save. You will have to open an ISA account in order to access this offer. There is, however, a monthly limit of £200. This means you can access an extra £50 every month from the government.

2. Consider Cheaper Living Options

Living with people may not be the most comfortable experience, but it can help you lower the cost of living. If you have an extra room in your house, you can find a friend or family member to occupy it. That way, you will be able to split bills in the house, including the cost of food.

3. Carpool to Work

If you live near one of your co-workers, you can save a good amount of money by choosing to carpool. This will help you save some money on gas and parking. You can even go a step further and sell your own vehicle. Insurance costs a lot of money, and selling your car can help get rid of this expense. It would even be better for you to use public transportation and car-sharing services such as Uber.

4. Make a Long-term Investment with a Robo Advisor

Robo advisors can help you passively invest your money while keeping your financial management costs very low. For example, the well-known Moneyfarm charges its clients about £16 per month. These services are affordable because of the low overheads. Robo advisors are particularly important to people who have busy schedules and lack sufficient knowledge in finance and investment. The robots will work with little human intervention to invest your money in a diverse portfolio.

It is important to invest your money for the long-term since it will otherwise lose value. Interest rates offered by banks are barely enough to cover for inflation. A good investment will help grow your money significantly and buy a house even faster.


Most people cannot directly pay the deposit on a new home. In order to upgrade to a better house, you may have to save and invest some money. To increase your savings, you can reduce your luxuries by, for example, selling your car. You can even find a friend to live with you. You should also make a long-term investment with robo-advisors as this will allow you to grow your money passively.

Image courtesy of Nattanan @Pixabay

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A Brighter Future- 5 Smart Tips for Achieving Financial Health

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Feel the gap widening? You’re not alone. The chasm between rich and poor is getting greater. For lower-income families, growing inequality can be crippling to bear. However, there is still plenty of hope. With smart planning, fiscal discipline and a bit of ingenuity, struggling households can fight their way out of trouble and achieve a more stable economic existence. Here are five tips for securing a brighter financial future:

1. No Way to Payday Lenders:

Payday lenders are bad news. They prey upon those who are in difficult economic circumstances and only make things worse. Avoid the promises of a quick fix that may leave you struggling to recover indefinitely. If you do find yourself in desperate need of short-term cash, there is a growing number of not-for-profit lenders actively working to help lower-income families achieve a brighter financial future through small fast loans. Their motives aren’t hazy. These not-for-profit lenders want to help people attain financial security and a less stressful financial future by providing tools and services that will set them up for long-term stability.

2. A Little Can Go a Long Way:

Being on a lower income isn’t easy, and it can often feel like money is continually draining out of your bank account, leaving you with no savings. But, a little can go a long way. At the end of each week, set aside a small sum to transfer to your savings account. $5. $10. It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s something. At the end of each month, you will see the savings starting to build, slowly but surely. Saving is a skill that, once acquired, becomes a habit. Start working on that habit today and you will thank yourself in years to come.

3. Cut Out the Fat:

Much of our spending is based on habit. Make a thorough assessment of all your expenditures, and you will be surprised at how many regular items can be comfortably eliminated, freeing up cash for more pressing concerns or savings. Eliminate unhealthy items like cigarettes and alcohol. Make your own coffee in the morning and pack a lunch to work instead of forking out every day. Small measures such as these can add up to big money over the course of a year.

4. Avoid the Credit Card Trap:

The lure of the credit card can be hard to resist. It tempts you with its convenience and shiny ‘benefits’, such as frequent flyer points or gift vouchers as a ‘reward’ for spending a certain amount in a month. However, these “rewards” can quickly morph into punishment. For less affluent families, saying no to the lure of the credit card is a big step in taking back financial control and avoiding the trap of credit card debt. After all, they’re just pieces of shiny plastic.

5. Catch Sneaky Costs:

Bills can have sneaky costs in them that hope not to be discovered, like an extra charge on a heating bill or internet plan. it’s crucial to be aware of these hidden charges and catch them in the act. If you see an item on a bill that doesn’t look right, speak up. Don’t automatically pay it. Contact your provider and ask what the charge is for. Don’t let sneaky costs build up and impact your financial future.

Times are tough for many families all over the country. By taking control of your finances, you can ensure that you and your family are set up for a better future.

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Financial Follies – 5 Economic Pitfalls for Families and How to Avoid Them

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In an ideal world, putting away a little bit of money from each paycheck and watching your savings grow would be enough to guarantee financial stability for your future. Unfortunately, today’s harsh economic climate means that this is far from reality – with the cost of living rising each year significantly, today’s young professionals are at an enormous disadvantage when it comes to personal finance compared to their forebears.

To enjoy financial freedom later in life, it’s vital to have a sound understanding of how to effectively manage your money. Here, we outline 5 common mistakes that many young couples and families make with their finances, and what you can do to avoid them.

Overreliance on Credit Cards

A credit card can feel like a blessing if you need a quick solution for unexpected costs. However, while you may have paid off your immediate expenses, the staggering interest rates and hidden fees may plunge you further into debt. If you’re in urgent need of money, a growing number of microfinance lenders are offering small, fast loans online with lower interest rates. This allows you to pay off your emergency expenses without putting yourself at increased financial risk.

Not Having a Backup Fund

Many young professionals are guilty of believing that having a reliable source of income guarantees their financial security. When considering your future, it’s always best to plan ahead, and envisage what you would do in an unforeseen situation that may threaten your financial stability. In case you become injured, unwell or lose your job unexpectedly, it’s a good idea to have a safety net upon which to fall. This may mean obtaining insurance or starting an emergency savings account with at least three months’ income set aside.


Frivolous Spending

When you start earning enough to have discretionary income, it’s easy to order takeout every night and not check your bank balance as much as you should. While it’s important to treat yourself occasionally, living beyond your means adds up faster than you think. You can take control of this by reducing how much money you spend on non-essential items. This can be as simple as limiting takeaway coffee to once a week, which can save you as much as $1,000 a year.

Not Considering Retirement

Even though you may have just entered the workforce as a young professional, it’s never too early to start thinking about your retirement fund. In fact, the earlier you start investing in your fund, the more time you’ll have to make the most of compound interest. It’s all too common for people to reach retirement age only to realize that they have nowhere near enough on which to survive. Through adequate planning, you can spend your retirement years stress-free.

Failing to Plan

One of the biggest mistakes any young professional can make is being complacent about their income. While you may have enough to survive on comfortably now, it’s crucial to think about how your current financial decisions may impact you in the future. Paving the way to security requires planning, and a great way of achieving this is by setting goals. Whether they’re short-term or long-term, having targets to work towards can help you keep your spending in check and give you a sense of direction for the future.

When it comes to ensuring your financial stability, every bit you do makes a difference. Taking control of your finances now brings you one step closer to living your best life in the future.

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Who Needs an EIN? Does Everybody?

Employer Identification Number or EIN is typically used for people who are starting a business and have plans to file taxes on that business. While that is the most prominent reason, it is not the only. Some people choose to use their EIN number in different ways, but anybody can apply for EIN.


Not a Business?

Not every person who has a tax-ID number has a business or has plans to start one. Some people choose to use an EIN number in lieu of their social security number. There are commercials everywhere about the “dark web” and the wrong people getting their hands on your social security number. This has led people to get tax-ID’s and use those on job applications, government applications, and other random places that may require a social security number.

You do not have to have an EIN number, but if you want one you can certainly get one.

North Carolina

Although the EIN numbers do come from the federal government, there are some state governments that require you to use a certain process or go through the state process to receive your ID number. The state of North Carolina is one of those states. Filing through the North Carolina government websites can be a bit of a headache. An EIN number NC may not be the easiest process, but it can be done.

Many times it helps to seek a website who can simplify the IRS-EIN-Tax-ID process. There is no longer a reason to spend hours attempting to understand the jargon and often times confusing language. Speaking with and allowing an agency who understands North Carolina EIN regulations and procedures to help you through this process will save you a lot of time and will ensure that you have completed the process correctly.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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