Planning for Homeownership

Tips and Tricks to Good Values and Savings

The first in our series of classes with a focus on savings and credit, our “tips and tricks” session introduces some easy ways to get your financial house in order. We believe that spending discipline and savings go hand in hand. That’s why we see getting a “good value” as a good value to have.

This course goes over the basics of how to pay attention to your budget, and set aside some of your income for savings. We cover topics like:

  • Getting a good deal on everyday items
  • Building your income over time
  • Establishing the savings habit

After this session, you’ll be equipped with the fundamentals for saving that will lead you down the path of homeownership.

Getting a Good Deal on Everyday Items

The easiest way to find more money in your paycheck is by getting more mileage out of each dollar. With a small amount of effort, you can realize large savings. While you won’t be able to squeeze every purchase, there are several everyday items that can be deeply discounted if you know what to do. We will review:

  • Strategies for saving money on food shopping
  • Ways to negotiate expenses like vehicles, mattresses, and auto repair
  • Coupon clipping for big ticket and online items
  • Name-brand vs. store-brand debates
  • Cash payment discounts

As you start to see the extra dollars in your account, we’ll help you track and measure your progress.

Building Your Income Over Time

When you apply for a mortgage, the underwriters will look at how much money you make every year. Your income is a very important factor in your loan amount. In general, the higher your income, the greater the loan. This can influence the type of home you decide to purchase or where you choose to live. We work with you to develop strategies to build your income to a point where you can qualify for a mortgage and assistance.

We cover topics like:

  • Maintaining long-term employment
  • How employment income and self-employment income differs
  • Ways to ask for a raise
  • The impact of debt on your income power

We will also focus on other areas that can impact income performance, such as job keeping skills and thrift habits. Over the course of several weeks, we’ll surround you with resources to help you understand where you are today, and where you’ll be when you purchase a home.

Establishing a Savings Habit

Saving money, like exercise or eating your vegetables, doesn’t always feel good at the beginning, but it quickly becomes addictive. Since buying a home is a multi-year process that can put your discipline to the test, having a healthy savings habit is crucial to your success. We’ll cover a few ways to lock in the good feelings, such as:

  • Setting up an automatic draft to your savings account
  • Measuring your progress with your family
  • Rewarding yourself for achieving milestones

As soon as you get started, we work to reinforce the healthy psychology of setting and achieving savings goals.