Is It Worth It: Do’s And Don’t Of First Time Home Ownership

As crazy as the idea may seem right now, your child will one day have their own home. Yes, that’s right, your teenager who doesn’t even know what day the trash goes out will one day be a homeowner – possibly running their own home along with a family, too! Therefore it is always worth teaching them what to invest in when it comes to a home, as it will probably be the most expensive thing they ever buy. Regrettably, children are not taught this kind of thing (nor anything about financial responsibility) in schools, so it is up to you to tell them what they need to know. Here are some do’s and don’ts about where their money should go when it comes to their first house.

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DO invest in home security

It might sound silly, but the reason we live in homes rather than all just hanging around outside is because secure homes offer safety and protection. Your child may have found their dream home, but it may require a few updates in terms of home security. By all means take into account the kind of neighborhood the property is based in, but generally speaking, even homes in the nicest areas should have some basic home security features. Encourage your child to check that all their locks – including the locks on windows – are properly fitted and secured. They may need to call a locksmith if they are dubious about the safety of any of these features. It is also always worth having an alarm system fitted – explain to them that although it is expensive, you can’t put a price on being safe in your own home.

DON’T waste loads of money on decor

You know what it’s like when you first move into your own place – it’s tempting to go crazy with decorations and homeware in an effort to make the place your own. There’s no doubt this will happen with your child too, so explain to them that while there’s no harm in buying a few things to spruce the place up, decor is not the most pressing issue at hand in a new property. Making it functional should be their main priority, and they can worry about decor later.

DO make the place comfortable

We tend to take basic things such as heating, water and electricity for granted in our homes. If your child is moving into a place of their own, make them aware that they may need to do some work on functionality. Old properties are at risk of having faulty electrical systems and if the property is brand new, it may not have even been fitted with ventilation systems. Encourage your child to contact a heating and A/C company who will be able to advise them  on what they need in order to make their home a comfortable place to live.

DON’T start renovating immediately

Even if your child wants to buy a  ‘fixer upper’ property, try and make sure they don’t spend lots of money adding an extension or knocking down walls too early on. They are new to the property market and even if their idea gets planning permission, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to increase the value of the home. Encourage them to spend the money elsewhere at first, and to learn more about the market before making any big decisions.

Life’s Costly Emergencies, And How To Deal With Them

While it’s good to have a sunny disposition in some ways, it can occasionally land you in a lot of trouble. This is especially true when it comes to managing our personal finances. When planning out our finances, a lot of people tend to focus on what’s expected or certain. One example is people putting off a set savings plan until they know what they’re saving for. This, of course, leaves out a hugely important part of personal finances: your emergency fund. Emergency expenses can be a pretty broad category, covering pretty much anything and everything you need to pay for, but didn’t see coming. A lot of people don’t consider them until they actually happen, which only makes the issue worse and worse. Here, we’ll look at some of the most common financial emergencies there are, and the best ways to handle them.

Job Loss

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From Flickr

This is among the most obvious financial emergencies a person can encounter. It’s also an exceedingly hard one to deal with, as it usually cuts your main source of income off from one minute to the next. However, there are certain ways you can be prepared for this kind of disaster. The best-case scenario involves having an emergency fund to fall back on. Even if you qualify for state unemployment benefits, these can take a while to actually be approved, and rarely cover all of your lost income. Most financial advisors say you should aim for having three to six months’ worth of typical expenses tucked away in your emergency fund. While a lot of people make a knee-jerk decision to start milking a credit card when they become unemployed, this can be a risky move, and should be avoided if at all possible.

Major Vehicle Issues

When it comes to financial emergencies, unexpected vehicle trouble comes just below job loss in terms of its severity. For a lot of us, having a working vehicle is necessary for getting to and from work every day. Due to this, a sudden major vehicle issue can mean not only a hefty mechanic’s bill, but also an immediate loss of income. Again, the best way to prepare yourself for a disaster like this is having an emergency fund in place. Aside from that, sharing vehicles with your spouse or housemate can be a good way to mitigate the cost, despite its inconveniences. Relying on ridesharing companies like Uber can be an affordable way to get yourself from place to place while you’re waiting for repairs to be completed. While you should always, always have an emergency fund you can fall back on, there are many auto repair shops that run payment plans for people who can’t afford essential work. Shop around a little and take your time comparing if you’re going to need one of these plans. Just bear in mind that while they can be fairly affordable, mechanic’s payment plans are never going to be as cost-effective as paying for the work outright.

Marriage and Divorce

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From Pexels

While a marriage should be a happy occasion, it can be the catalyst to a major financial emergency. This is especially true when you marry into debt. Yes, you should never let money get in the way of being with a person you love. However, if you or your fiancé have been a little irresponsible in the past, you need to get a plan together for an emergency on the horizon. Before you decide on which band to hire for the wedding and the menu you’re going to give your guests, take some time to think about your respective finances! Come up with a plan of how you’re going to pay down any individual debt, and set yourself goals for both the short and long term. These can include things like paying down cards and nurturing your credit scores so that you can get pre-approved for a home. It’s also important to know how to handle the financial impact of a divorce. Very few people plan on divorce, but this kind of emergency is a hard and very real possibility for many couples. The best way to prepare against this is simply taking steps to maintain the relationship! If you simply can’t stay married to someone, then starting and building an emergency fund is the best way to give yourself something to fall back on.

Sickness and Injury

One of the sad facts of life is that a lot of employers don’t offer sick pay, and many more will terminate a contract due to an employee suffering an injury, even if that injury doesn’t have much of an impact on their ability to do the job. Even when your employer does offer sick pay, getting sick or injured can still represent a massive financial problem, depending on your insurance and the severity of the condition. If and when someone who’s a main breadwinner in your household gets ill or suffers an injury, there are a few different ways you can deal with it. One smart move is opening up a health savings account (HSA). These will allow you to divert some of your income into a savings account, which will give you a cushion of pre-tax money you can tap into if any health issues crop up. One of the major benefits of these is their ability to function as general savings vehicles. Any funds you don’t end up using can be drawn on later for retirement. In certain cases, when the injury has been caused by the negligence of another person or party, you may be able to mitigate the cost through litigation. You can learn more at Robins Cloud.

House and General Repairs

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From Pixabay

Technology and household appliances have come a long way in recent years. While this certainly has its upsides, this has also increased most people’s risk for a financial disaster. Washing machines can stop working, refrigerators break down, and smartphones and tablets can get damaged in all kinds of ways. Your personal property can go from being perfectly functional to requiring a lot of expensive work in the blink of an eye, and this is one more financial emergency everyone needs to be thinking about. Unfortunately, compared to the other emergencies we’ve listed in this post, the options for dealing with these repairs are somewhat limited. Once again, emergency funds are always a good safety net to have. Aside from that, extended service plans may prove to be a good investment with certain appliances and pieces of tech. Ask most financial planners though, and they’ll tell you an extended service plan is a pointless expense if you’ve got a decent emergency fund.

Natural Disasters

These financial emergencies are the definition of “freak occurrence”. While no one’s exactly likely to be impacted by a natural disaster, it may be something worth thinking about. If earthquakes, tornadoes or floods are particularly common in your area, you need to keep the possibility in mind when you’re buying homeowner’s insurance or building an emergency fund. Keeping up with the weather, and having a plan to get out with your most valuable possessions, also won’t hurt if you live somewhere that’s particularly prone to disasters. Aside from these practical measures, you can protect your finances through various forms of insurance.

Death

After a death in your household, money obviously isn’t going to be the first thing on your mind. However, this personal tragedy has a financial side to it, which is important to think about for the sake of the people in your home who are still living. For starters, losing someone usually means having to cover funeral costs, which can easily get into the thousands. If it’s the main breadwinner who dies, the lost income also needs to be considered. Whatever the likelihood of a tragedy like this, life insurance is by far the easiest way to prevent any major financial trouble following someone’s death. Spend some time comparing different life insurance policies, and find one that suits your needs. Many policies will cover funeral expenses, and can be a helpful bridge for the family to adjust to a reduced level of income.

Unforeseen Moves

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From Flickr

Usually, we plan moving well in advance, and have a lot of time to get our personal finances in order before such a big change. At other times, however, it can be dropped on us much more suddenly. You or your spouse’s company may transfer you to another office, and may be unable or unwilling to cover the full amount of your moving expenses. You or your partner’s parents may run into medical issues which need tending to. Whatever the reason, moving services, temporary housing and the cost of furnishing a new home can all add up extremely quickly. If you think that one of these surprise moves is even a faint a possibility in the future, it’s essential to make sure you have a cushion for it.

There you have some of the most common financial emergencies which hang over people like you and me. When life throws you a curveball, make sure you’re prepared with an emergency fund and some kind of plan.

Money Mayhem: Don’t Make These Mistakes

Money is great when you have it, but there are still tonnes of mistakes to be made that can either cost you your hard earned cash, or cost you the opportunity to make more. It pays to stay wise where your money is concerned because it can be the difference between your future being bright or bleak. There are certain mistakes that are worse than others, and can really cost you your future happiness. You need to do more than simply hold onto your money by spending wisely. These mistakes should always be avoided, and luckily, it is quite easy to do so.

Over Extending On A Mortgage

Buying a house or apartment is supremely exciting. You get to have your own space and finally put your own stamp on a property by designing it yourself and decorating how you see fit. But don’t take the biggest mortgage you can, because it could prove hard paying it back whilst still maintaining a comfortable way of living. Instead take a reasonable amount that won’t stretch you to breaking point. Remember, when you get a new home you’re likely going to need spare cash to renovate. You may need a new kitchen or bathroom so make sure you have the money there to do that. If you dump it all on a deposit you won’t, sure, you’ll have a great home, but no money to do what you need to do.

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Protect Your Money During Marriage

If you have a decent amount of savings as you go into a marriage it can be a good idea to get a prenuptial agreement drawn up. It may sound harsh asking for such a thing, but it can really save you losing out big time down the line. If you get divorced you’ll have to use the Best Law Firm to ensure you take away the majority of your cash, but if you had a prenup then it could have all been avoided. It may sound like one of those things that only celebrities and millionaires use, but you’ll be surprised by how useful they can be to protect even the smallest of savings. It may hurt your other half, but they’ll ultimately understand, you may not even need to use the agreement, but it is a great precaution to have in place and it will save you thousands.

Not Letting Your Savings Work For You

If you have any kind of savings in the bank then you need to put them to work to earn yourself a passive income. Even if it is moving them over to a bank account which offers better interest rates. These always vary so make sure you keep an eye on them and adjust them as necessary. You can also try checking out the ISA accounts. These are fixed term saving accounts which means you can’t withdraw from them until the time period is over but as a result you can benefit from higher interest rates. You can find some of the best ISA’s here.

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Teaching Your Children to Ask for Financial Help

Children are curious. They’ll stick anything tasty looking into their mouths, they’ll crawl and climb on furniture and they’ll ask questions about generally everything they are unsure about. Why is it then that we lose that sense of curiosity when we grow older? Why is it that as adults, we rarely ever look for help and instead, decide to take matters into our own hands by consulting Google?

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Don’t be ashamed to ask questions

When your children are growing up, they will undoubtedly ask you a myriad of questions. Why’s the sky blue? Why is water wet? Why am I growing taller? All of these questions relate to very fundamental understandings of how the world works. Children are so curious that they won’t even be ashamed to ask a question about grown up topics, such as “how was I born?” or “how do you make babies?”.

It’s only once we’ve become self-aware of our surroundings and how the world works that we understand what it means to be embarrassed or ashamed. You wouldn’t ask someone a basic question about your body because, as a grown-up person, you’re expected to know the answer. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask just to confirm something.

Many people visit a doctor and ask them questions or seek medical advice that is trivial to a doctor. It’s not exactly common knowledge why different parts of your body ache, but you learn those naturally through experiencing those problems. Is your nose runny? Then chances are you have a cold. Are you also getting headaches? Then you might have flu symptoms. These are things we learn as we visit a doctor and ask them questions, so why do we not feel ashamed to ask these basic questions, but we hesitate to ask for financial help?

Getting financial help isn’t embarrassing—it’s normal

If you’re capable of asking your doctor about your body, then you’re capable of asking a financial advisor about your money. There’s no expectation of what you should and shouldn’t know. You go to a financial advisor and you can barrage them with questions no matter how basic or complicated they are because that’s what they are paid to do: advise you.

A Fee Only Planner could be the best option for someone who is concerned about their financial situation. Many other financial advisors will ask for compensation in other forms, such as selling you other financial products and services that may or may not be in your interest. As a result, a fee-only planner is the best option for someone who just wants to pay money for advice and avoid further complications.

Always ask questions

Just like your children, you need to be curious and ask questions whenever needed. Don’t keep yourself in the dark or look for solutions to your problem via Google. Hire professional help whenever possible and don’t forget that you are never alone when you are in a financial crisis or deep debt. Hire an advisor, ask questions, and don’t stop asking until you are satisfied that you understand the answer. Once your children grow older, remind them how they used to be curious and full of questions when they were younger, and they’ll quickly understand that there’s no shame in asking for help.

The New Home Financial: How To Make It Through

Moving into a new home is great, excitement bubbles over as you work where you’re going to move and start thinking about how you’re going to decorate it, but there are financial hurdles to get over along the way that all but the most rich need to spend time deliberating and worrying about. There are ways around this, ways that require perseverance and a willingness to learn. Sure, saving takes some time, and parting with that cash can be tough, but you need to see it as an investment, only then does it make it all worthwhile.

The Mortgage

Getting a mortgage can be an extremely demanding and painful process. You need to stack the card in your favour before going for one, otherwise you could be turned down, which is a stressful process. If you are turned down, there are places that can help and give you more advice such as at 1stukmortgages.co.uk/declined-or-refused-a-mortgage-advice. You should seek all the advice you can prior to the meeting and make sure you have saved up enough of a deposit. This will be the largest outgoing but don’t worry because you aren’t under pressure to save, just save bit by bit and as much as you can. Know what kind of properties you want and save accordingly.

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Government Taxes

Don’t forget there are government taxes you may have to pay too, so don’t put everything into your housing deposit. Remember you are going to have to save up some extra money for this. The tax such as the stamp duty tax is a tax that varies depending on the price of the property. It is an non negotiable fee which you need to pay. You can calculate how much your duty will be here. You need to set this sum aside because you don’t want to be caught out and end up having to pay it out of cash reserves you have set aside for other things, such as renovation.

Renovation

You’ll need spare cash for renovation. There will be many things in your new property that either need fixing up or changing to suit your own needs. Before you purchase the house you should get a building survey done, which will show you any issues that need to be rectified, Don’t be afraid to offer a lower price because of these issues. Or, ask them to sort the issues out before making an offer. They may take the financial hit or pay out for the work to be done themselves. Whatever they decide, it’s win win for you. You don’t want to end up with a property that has severe structural issues. Set aside money for the home, after you’ve viewed it you’ll know roughly how much you’ll need to spend to do what needs to be done. You don’t want to end up in the situation where you have spent all your money on the deposit with nothing left to buy furniture or make the necessary changes.