Posts Tagged ‘mortgage payment’

Personal Budget Planning

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Budget Budget Budget

Personal budget planning is an important part of keeping a handle on your finances. Because there is so much turmoil in today’s economy, maintaining a healthy personal budget is more vital than ever. Crafting a personal budget begins with determining how money comes in, and how money goes out, but there is a lot more detail that has to go into the personal budget planning process if you want to get the most out of it.

When you consider your income, for example, you should have both a monthly budget amount and a monthly actual amount so you can make sure that you are earning the income that you are expecting. Your income should include not only standard wages and bonuses, but also income from interest, income from investments and income from miscellaneous sources. Budget for all “money in” scenarios, including tax refunds for example.

Because taxes are an important part of your finances, you should also track your income taxes and other taxes in your personal budget planning process. Track your federal income taxes, state income taxes, local income taxes, Medicare taxes and social security taxes by tracking both a budgeted amount and an actual amount each month. These numbers fluctuate, so make sure to track them.

Next, when it comes to tracking your expenses for personal budget planning, there are a lot of categories that you need to consider. You need to consider your mortgage payment or rent, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, property taxes, home repairs, HOA dues, maintenance costs and home improvements, for example. Utilities that need to be considered include electricity, water and sewer, natural gas or oil, cell phone and land line telephone. Food costs should not only include grocery bills, but also snacks, lunches, eating out, and whatever you spend at the vending machine.

There are also family obligations to budget for that may normally be forgotten, such s child support, daycare, baby sitting and alimony payments. If you have to contribute to your health insurance, don’t forget about monthly health, vision and dental premiums. You also need to consider un-reimbursed medical expenses like co-pays.

There are other expenses to include in your budget planning, including transportation costs like car payments, gasoline, auto maintenance and repair fees, oil, auto insurance and other methods of transportation like bus and taxi costs. If you have debt like loans, student loans or credit cards, or you have debt payments, then you need to include these as well.

If you intend on saving a specific amount of money every month, it would be wise to treat it like a bill, making it a mandatory expense every month rather than something that you remember to do at the end of the month when you’re low on cash. Don’t forget occasional expenses in your budget, like entertainment and recreation costs, subscriptions, vacations, pets, clothing and other investments. If you leave something out of your budget during the personal budget planning process you may end up with no money to cover it at the end of the month.

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Originally posted 2020-11-28 05:01:12. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Should You Be Worried About the Economy?

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

If you are worried about gas, try carpooling.

If you follow the news, chances are the state of the economy may have you a little concerned. Bad news is rampant, the housing market is shaky and doom appears to be around every corner. While there are some definite problems with the economy right now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to start panicking. Smart money management is always important, but if you find that you are overly worried about the state of the economy, there are a few steps that you can take to shore up your financial defenses and stop worrying.

The first step is to take a hard look at your mortgage payments, car payments and any other loans that you may have. If they are calculated under a variable rate, now is the time to start allocating a little extra each month to ensure that you have enough to keep up with the payments. If your mortgage payment looks like it is going to be too high, act quickly by negotiating with your bank for either a payment deferment or even a refinance. No one wins in a foreclosure situation and most banks will be willing to work something out with you.

The second step is to think about consolidating your credit card bills if necessary. If you are paying on multiple cards that all have high interest rates, you could be wasting a lot of money each month. Take advantage of a low or no interest card that will allow you to transfer those high balances into one. Just make sure you read the fine print to see how long the interest rate will remain low. Or use Loanio to receive a loan from lenders, this is easy and painless to do. This not only helps you save money on high interest fees, but you can also save time by paying only one bill every month.

Next, you can take a look at what you’re spending and how rising prices are affecting you. For example, the cost of gas right now has many people worried. You may find that you’re spending more to get to work than you may make for the day, or the ratio may have changed dramatically. If this is the case, consider setting up a carpool with other workers to save money, or you may even be able to arrange to telecommute. There are many ways that you can reduce your monthly expenses and free up more money to handle the rising cost of necessities.

This is also a good time to think about setting up an emergency fund. This is a very beneficial type of savings account that can tide you over if you run short during the month, or if you end up with a personal crisis on your hands. When you have the security of a savings account, emergency fund or other means of income, you’ll be in a much better position to weather any economic storm.

While the economy has been better, there is certainly no need to start panicking right now. Simply follow smart money practices, and you’ll be in a position where you can withstand whatever comes.

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Originally posted 2020-10-28 20:01:41. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

With the trouble in the housing market, those that are financially stable are left wondering whether now may be a good time to pay off their mortgages. There are some definite pros and cons to early payment, and this strategy is one that must be carefully considered before taking action. Let’s look at a few of the considerations that should be thought out ahead of time.

What are the pros and cons of paying off the mortgage?

Pros

1. Interest rate fluctuations no longer matter.

For those with variable rate mortgages, the past few months have been incredibly stressful. It’s not easy to put your finances through this kind of wringer and in many cases, for those with high interest rates and burgeoning payments, paying off a mortgage early, or at least paying it down, may have many benefits.

2. Freeing up monthly income.

If your mortgage payment is taking up a large chunk of your monthly finances, paying off that loan early can help free up income that can be used for other things, such as paying down debt, or simple living expenses. For those that are finding it hard to make ends meet, dipping into savings to get rid of that high fee loan may not be a bad idea.

3. Lack of worry.

Once that mortgage is paid off, you never have to worry about interest rate changes or problems with the bank. For many people, this kind of peace of mind is more than worth the extra expense of paying off a mortgage. If you are concerned about financial stability in the future, this course of action can provide some relief.

Cons

1. Loss of tax benefits.

Since you can write off the interest that you pay on your mortgage each year, losing this ability can have a big impact on how much tax you pay. For those in a high tax bracket, this may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Consider carefully the tax implications that you can face by paying off that mortgage early.

2. Initial expense.

Paying off that mortgage, especially if it is still quite large, could mean that savings may have to be used. In addition to that initial expense, you might also have the loss of extra income if that account was earning interest. In most cases, this would be slight, but for those that rely on additional streams of income, this can have an impact.

3. Penalties.

Most banks will charge a penalty fee if you pay off a mortgage early, or even prepay a large chunk of what you owe. Always read the fine print before you decide to pay early to see just how much you will have to end up paying in extra fees. These may be quite large, so it is vital to take this into consideration.

Any major action requires a good deal of thought beforehand and paying off a mortgage early is no exception. Always take the time to read the fine print and ask your financial advisor about any additional implications you may be facing.

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Originally posted 2020-01-06 05:23:11. Republished by Old Post Promoter

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