Preparing for Big Financial Goals
Now-a-days, prices in general are rising in just about every sector of our lives. However; home ownership is still the biggest financial investment of your life outside of secondary school (i.e., college). In my Home Ownership YouTube video, I focused on the costs and issues when purchasing that most people overlook because they are so excited. Here, I want to talk a little about how to prepare financially for your big investment. Before you even start to look at any homes, get your credit report and score in order. You should do this before speaking to anyone so you are not surprised when your credit is checked. If you know you have a low score, start working on the areas that need uplifting before you start looking for financing. I know there are some lending companies that will work with you if you have a low score, but that only gets you into the house. Will your habits change to allow you to stay in that home? If you start looking and fall in love with a home, your emotions will run your decisions and then you may find you purchased more home than you could really afford even though you qualified. Prepare early for this big financial goal.
Most people these days have lived in more than one state as they may have had to relocate for whatever reason. If you plan to move, forced or not, there are ways to prepare to help ease the transition. I started saving a set amount every month to beef up savings just for my move in case employment was not attained quickly. I researched and checked out the cost of a rental truck and what were the policies for a one-way trip. I also needed to choose a company that was in both locations so I could return the truck without issue. I wanted to have as much information on actual moving costs so that I could plan the trip financially from departure to arrival. If you are staying with relatives or friends, plan to contribute monetarily to the household, even if not asked. Showing you paid consistent payments when not required may come in handy when needing a letter of reference or recommendation; not all creditors are institutions. It also shows appreciation. Knowing as much foreseen, not unforeseen, expenses as possible beforehand allows you to make sound financial decisions as you move forward. You cannot predict the future, but you can plan for unexpected expenses.
Going Back to School
If you are a late bloomer such as myself and are going back to school to further your education, it is always good, to again, have your credit in order. If you will be needing financial aid, you do not want your credit to be the reason you cannot attend college. You can also check-out the cost of classes at your desired school and plan to save to pay for the classes as you go along. With options like the 529 Plans or any investing period, you can save in a way that helps you now and later on down the road. There are many rules around 529 Plans so be sure to thoroughly investigate before diving into one of these. You can also start investing in mutual funds that provide higher returns to help your money grow quicker. If you have time on your side, then you could also invest in bank CDs for shorter time periods which can be rolled together at maturity for a longer period and will yield a higher interest rate at the new time frame. Whatever your financial goals are in life, there is always a way to achieve them. Do not let lack of knowledge be your deterrent.
Written By: Michelle Alexander
AJM Financial, LLC.