Take Control of Your Finances

by | Nov 4, 2019 | Finances

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Take Control of Your Finances 

Your financial health is just as important as your physical and mental wellbeing. In fact, all of them can go hand in hand feeding one another. Stress about money and finances is no joke and can impact you in a very negative way and spread into other aspects of your life. When you’re thinking about buying a home in California, you need to have control of your finances in order. But what can you do to ensure that you’re financially ready for the big step of buying a home? Here are some expert tips from GoPrime of California to get you started.

Take the First Step

If you’re not sure where to start, it’s helpful to go back to the beginning. You don’t have to do everything at once, but one small step can get you on the right track. What’s surprising is that the first step isn’t really about the money at all. It’s about changing your mindset around money.

We live in a culture that’s wrapped up in money, how much we earn, how much we spend, and worrying about what others have. At the same time, we are taught not to talk about it. Through those mixed messages, many of us feel shame around the amount of money we have or don’t have.

What’s more important than anything else when it comes to taking control of your money is to track exactly what you have coming in and how much you have going out. It’s okay to spend money on things you want or enjoy, you just have to know where that money is coming from.

Set Goals

Here is where setting goals will help you achieve what you want to accomplish. For example, you may want to get out of debt and be able to buy your dream home in California. But looking at the process starting from zero makes it feel like an impossible hill to climb. So, to do it effectively, you need to set goals with realistic tasks you can perform.

If you want to buy a home, that’s your ultimate goal. What can you do to reach it?

  • Determine exactly how much money you have coming in.
  • Subtract your living expenses, including entertainment.
  • Determine how much you can pay toward your highest interest rate card.
  • Keep doing it.

Give Every Dollar a Job

One popular personal finance plan is what’s often referred to as the envelope system or zero balance budgeting. You don’t have to have literal envelopes to stash your cash. You can use an app to help you or just keep a spreadsheet so you can track your money. In this process, you assign every dollar a job. As soon as you get a paycheck, put money in each category of spending that you have. Living expenses, debt, entertainment, savings, or any other way you want to organize your finances. It helps you stay on track by knowing where your money is and how it’s working for you at all times.

Before you know it, your savings will continue to grow as you’re able to put more and more money into that category. Good planning and organization can help you achieve your goals of buying a California home before too long.

Pay Yourself

Many financial experts feel strongly that you should always pay yourself first. You’ve probably heard people mention this, but what does that really mean? The idea is to determine your income and expenses to specifically decide an amount of money you can set aside in savings for the future. This can go hand-in-hand with zero balance budgeting. 

What it doesn’t mean is that you splurge on things that you can’t otherwise afford just because you decided to pay yourself first. Financial cheat days can continue the cycle of long-term financial problems, so it’s better to know what each dollar can do for you and assign them to categories designed to help you pay off your debt and achieve your goals.

Financial Assistance Programs

GoPrime Mortgage of California knows about organizations around the Bay Area that can help potential homebuyers learn more about budgeting and financial health. While we don’t have specific personal experience with any of these non-profit entities, we wanted to pull together a round up to give you an idea of places to go if you have more questions.

We also want to hear from you. Are there any consumer credit non-profits in and around the Bay Area that have been particularly helpful for you? We want to be a resource for the community and that means understanding the needs of California residents and the opportunities available.

Contact the team at GoPrime Mortgage of California to learn more about buying your next home in the Bay Area. Contact Zachery Adam and the team at GoPrime 

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Zachery@GoPrime.com