Are you creating a home budget? Or do you need help sticking to one? Check out these eight Kelowna real estate agent-approved tips.
After weeks, or maybe just days, of touring through homes with your Kelowna real estate agent, you’ve finally found your dream home. It’s in a great neighborhood. It’s got just the right amount of room. It called your name. And then you made the calculations. It might be tight, but with a solid ‘I’m going to stick to this’ budget, you think you can do it.
Before taking the steps to qualify for a mortgage, it’s a good idea to get your finances in order by building up a monthly budget. As a rule of thumb, financial institutions have determined that no more than 30 percent of your gross annual income should go towards your mortgage expenses. This includes:
- Property taxes
- Heating costs
- Strata fees
Now that you’ve got your budget all set up, here are some tips that’ll keep you on the right budget-maintaining track.
1. Keep and review receipts weekly.
This is a great way to figure out exactly how much money you’re spending each week and where it’s going.
2. Make meal plans a routine.
Dining out a couple of times every week can be a huge expense. Make a meal plan every Sunday and do your shopping based on the meals you’ve scheduled. This will eliminate food waste and stop you from heading to your favorite restaurant when you can’t decide on what to make for dinner, or from over-spending on multiple trips to the grocery store every week.
3. Set attainable goals.
If you’ve been struggling to pay more than just the interest on your credit card balance, setting a goal with a reasonable amount of time attached to it can help you relieve financial burdens.
4. Save for a rainy day.
Always allocate a set amount each pay period to your savings. Consider it a bill, and don’t skimp out! You can even set up a timed direct deposit that will funnel money right into your savings account.
5. Include a weekly allowance.
You work hard for your money, so make sure you set aside a little ‘fun’ money each week. Just be careful: If you spend it all on a Monday, you might be scrounging for change for the rest of the week.
6. Overestimate your necessary monthly expenses.
Like clockwork, groceries, car fuel, and utility bills need to be paid each month. Any Kelowna realtor will tell you to tack on an extra 10 percent for each expense when drawing up a budget. The difference can act as a safety net if one bill gets a little carried away.
7. Get everyone involved.
If you’re drawing up a budget, make sure your partner has access to it. If your kids are old enough, let them in on it too. Not only can everyone work together to make sure spending stays within the boundaries of the budget, but everyone will also be held accountable for their purchases.
8. Utilize online software and free apps.
If you’re always on the go and the idea of punching every expense into a budget seems unattainable, download a budgeting app straight to your smartphone. That way, you can update it whenever you’ve got a few minutes to spare regardless of where you are. And it’ll seem like less of a chore. Kelowna real estate agents swear by the Mint personal budget app.
Now that you’ve mastered your monthly finances, master the art of tidying up your home by checking out our previous post: The Magic of Tidying-Up Kelowna Houses for Sale.
If you’re looking for the perfect house that’s also the perfect fit to your budget, the friendly and professional Kelowna real estate team at Quincy Vrecko & Associates can help. We can show you some of the best budget-friendly listings in Kelowna that will meet your financial requirements. Call 1-778-760-2860.