How to spring clean your budget to buy a home
Buying your dream home is one of the biggest and most exciting purchases you are ever likely to make. Saving the necessary deposit can be difficult without making a few adjustments to your finances. Spring cleaning your budget is an important step in helping make this dream a reality.
Budgeting helps manage your spending and regular outgoings and allows you to direct the surplus into savings. When preparing your budget, it is important to consider your current financial situation by working out your priorities – how much you need for basic living expenses and the little things that you can do without. It is also a perfect time to check your credit report and make sure that any organisations claiming you owe money to them are dealt with.
- Begin your budget by listing all sources of regular income. There are plenty of online resources and templates that you can use to start.
- Collect your bank statements, bills, accounts and other regular expense records to give you an indication of how much you spend each month.
- List your outgoings (with large items first) by breaking them down into two sections: fixed and variable. Fixed expenses don’t change from month to month and include things like: car loans, rent, personal loans repayments etc. Variable expenses change regularly and include groceries, utility bills, eating out and entertainment.
- If you categorise your expenses, you have the flexibility to start by making reductions to the non-essential items in the variable spending before addressing your fixed and more essential items.
- Compare your expenses against your income to and work out where adjustments can be made. If you find that you are not left with as much as you wish, even the smallest changes can make a difference.
- Give yourself a realistic timeline and encourage yourself to stick to your budget. If you have an exciting goal to achieve, the sacrifices are more than worth it.
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