Budgeting: how to plan ahead before buying a house

I’ll keep this short and sweet, but as a personal user of Mint.com I have to tell you a few things:

  1. It’s important to be able to simply look in one single place to know what your assets are, as well as your liabilities.
  2. Whether your monthly income is always the same, or whether it varies widely budgeting is very important. My income varies drastically month-to-month, and I find it especially important that someone like me has a basic plan, and can see trends over time as to what I can expect over time.
  3. Mint.com advertises to for services that you might or might not want/need based on your current financial situation. I pretty much ignore all of the advertising, and I personally recommend that you use their services and plan to do the same.
  4. People are terrified to talk to lenders about their own financial status, and it seems sometimes that’s because they don’t even know their own. Don’t let the mystery of your finances pile up on you.
  5. Mint can allow you to do multiple things that you should absolutely utilize
    1. BUDGET: You can adjust your budget anytime that you’d like, but make a budget if you don’t have one – it doesn’t have to be perfect but you need to start somewhere.
    2. GOALS: If you want to make large purchases, or have investment goals, or simply build up a rainy day fund you can do that very manageably by opening savings accounts, and then dedicate those accounts to your specific goals on Mint. These can help you plan on how much money to put away each month, and they can be adjusted pretty much anytime. *Setting this part of can be a little tricky, but it’s not too tricky and I’d be more than happy to help you figure it out if you are interested in doing it.
    3. CATEGORIZE: Every few days, or at least once each week you should find a few minutes to go through and make sure that your recent transactions are put into the appropriate categories so that you can better analyze how you spend your money. This can also help you figure out if you’ve had fraud on your account.

I have been using Mint for a few years, and it has truly changed my life. Don’t forget that the ads are not what you’re there for. If you find something from an ad that you like that’s great, but you want to get your financial house in order with these free tools!

If you find yourself feeling stuck you are more than welcome to contact me. I will leave a field below so that you can contact me, but I promise it is not for spammy purposes – I mean it! Feel free to contact me however you’d like.

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Lic. #160723

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