Have you been procrastinating about buying your first home? Wait no longer. Now is an ideal time to begin getting your financial life in order for that big purchase, the one that could completely change the trajectory of your life. What needs to be done? Only you can answer that question, but there are a few good places to begin. Consider checking in on your financial health, dealing with outstanding debt, taking on a few extra work hours, creating a detailed savings strategy, and tidying up your credit score. It sounds like a lot, and it is, but don’t expect to spend more than one or two years getting all those ducks in a row. Many have done it, and so can you. Here are some specific actions to take if you want to dive in right now and begin:
You don’t need to pay anyone to get your three major credit bureau scores. You can even speak with your bank or credit card companies and see if they can reveal one or two of the scores to your right away. Typically, people discover that they need to contact one of the bureaus and request the free annual report. The point is to find out where you stand and see what areas need work. With all three bureau reports in front of you, take the time to list every negative piece of information and make a plan to deal with it. If you find any mistakes, contact the agencies as soon as possible. Catch up on any late payments, reduce the amount of outstanding credit, and dispute negative items that are incorrect.
If you want to find out how much money you can save on your monthly bills, use an online student loan calculator to check out your school debt situation. There’s no need to be a math whiz, either. Simply input all your basic data and the calculator will show you exactly how student loan refinancing can chop some serious money off your recurring expenses. Of all the ways to remove fat from your monthly budget, this is perhaps the fastest and most effective. If you decide to refinance, expect to see the savings within a matter of weeks.
Consider adding five to ten hours at your current job or taking on a micro-job to boost your monthly income. When aiming for a major purchase like a house, every little bit helps. Think of it like this, if you work 10 extra hours per week for 18 months, you could expect to sock away an additional $8,000 even at a modest wage.
Be sure to put all your goals on paper and check on your progress every week or two. Spending time now to create a detailed savings battle plan will help keep your spirits high and your motivation level where it needs to be. It’s difficult to save money unless you know precisely how much you want to save and how long you think it will take you to reach the target.