Affording Your Home | Berstan Homes

Affording Your Home

Saving Money

Savings can help you achieve your financial goals. Whether its for a deposit for a house or a new car or holiday, you can make it happen by saving. Yet if your like most people, you don’t save as much as you would like to or you don’t save at all. Now is a good time to start, with a little forethought and effort, saving money is not only possible, its easy.

Make Saving a priority

You will be more likely to save money if you make it a priority. Sit down and workout what you would like to save money for a house, a car, a holiday, or even retirement and how much it will cost.

Making a Plan

Set a time frame for when you would like to reach your goal.
Make a breakdown of the savings you require to reach your goal by dividing your goal amount by the number of weeks, months or pay periods between now and your goal date.

Be vigilant by treating your savings payment just like any other must-pay expense, such as rent or your food bill.

Find Money to Save

Keep track of everything you spend your money on each week. You might be surprised what you are buying, and what you can do without.

Make purchases with cash. This can help you stick to a budget and avoid impulse buying. Simply decide before shopping how much you want to spend and then set aside that amount in cash, this will help you not over spend.

Lower your bills. Many creditors will give borrowers a lower interest rate if they are asked. Also, conserving electricity and gas can make a hugh difference.

Rank your nonessential expenses. Keep the ones you like the best and cut the items on the bottom of the list.

Make your own lunch for work and cook more dinners at home. Eating out and fast food can eat up a lot of money that could be saved.

Try shopping for food at  markets such as the Victoria or Preston just to name a couple, your fruit and vegetable bill will significantly lower than your local shopping centres.

Meat buying can be expensive so buy in bulk and freeze in portions keep an eye out for specials then save.

Try getting together with friends and bulk buy, most store holders will give great deals for large purchases of products.  

Beat the Family Budget

Christmas and the Holiday Season

The best place to start making a holiday budget is to look at your spending during last years holiday season. In what areas did you spend more than planned? Next make a list of the holiday purchases and events you plan to spend money on this year. Consider all of your major spending categories presents, entertaining, meals, travel costs then estimate how much you can afford to spend in each category. Knowing your spending limits long before hand will help you stay on track financially as the season approaches.

One way to save money and wow friends and family is to get creative. Buying presents can be expensive but by creating your own you are not only saving money but your gifts are more meaningful. If you feel that your creativity is lacking there are plenty of craft magazines available for your reference.

Accommodation costs vary significantly with location, motel, flat/unit, caravan, tent, length of stay, and booking times are all major factors in cost. Always shop around for who is offering the better deal and get in early, if you leave it till the last minute the better deals will be gone.

While on holiday still try to prepare most of your own meals. Keep an eye out for the best value premises for meal patronage because some venues have holiday surcharges on meals. 

Back to School

  • Set a realistic back to school budget before you get to the shops.
  • Have your children help prepare the budget with you.
  • Take a copy of your budget with you shopping and have your children enter in the costs of each item.
  • Encourage your children to actively follow the budget. Stress that buying a more expensive item may cause them to sacrifice another item.
  • Encourage your children to consider ways to cut costs and manage cash flow like looking for sales or maybe buying items mid year.
  • Teach your children to buy what is really needed not to impulse buy.
  • Try to teach your children to know the difference between needs and wants also encourage them to contribute some of there own pocket money towards the purchase of items.
  • Tell the children that if they come in under budget you will share part of the monies with them.
  • Continue the budgeting lesson by starting children with a monthly budget.
  • Some schools have second hand school uniforms for sale in good condition at a  reasonable price.

Handling the Unexpected

There is nothing harder to plan for than an unexpected event that impacts on your life and finances. Yet losing your job, the death of a loved one, sickness or other unexpected events happen at one time or another in our lives.

The key to successfully surviving these life changing events is to anticipate these times.

Shore up your financial situation before you are hit with an unexpected expense, so you will be covered in the event something happens.

Creating an Emergency Fund

Because we cannot predict when life will throw us an unexpected challenge, it is important for everyone to build and maintain an emergency fund with three to four months worth of living expenses.

The key to building an emergency fund is to set money aside every month, no matter how small the amount.

Financial experts recommend that, unlike retirement funds, emergency savings should be kept fairly liquid, in savings accounts with monies at call for easy access. Hopefully you will never need it. But if you do, you will be glad its there.

Your New Financial Picture

Once the immediate financial items are taken care of after an unexpected life event, it will be time to take a good look at your new financial situation and create a plan for yourself moving forward.

Whether you have faced job loss, divorce, illness or another event, you should create a new budget reflecting your changed situation.

Creating a new budget is the first step towards financial security and rebuilding your emergency fund, which you may have tapped into to manage a financial crisis.

Home Equity

One of the biggest advantages of home ownership is the equity you build in your home. The faster you pay your mortgage and build this equity, the better financial shape you will be in. Equity can be a powerful tool to manage your finances.

Paying Off Your Mortgage

During the first few years you make payments on your mortgage, most of your payment goes toward interest and very little goes toward paying down the principal. The more you owe on the mortgage, the more interest you will pay.

So if you increase the amount you pay, more of the principal will be paid and less interest will be charged. You could finish paying your mortgage several years ahead of time if you just make a couple of extra mortgage payments per year. 


Making Extra Money

Something that is becoming more common of late is the renting out of a bedroom in your home to a student or young professional. Providing lodgings is not a new idea it has been going on for hundreds of years and if you look in your local paper you could be pleasantly surprised as to the going rate  for this service. 

Pet care services such as dog walking, feeding animals when people go on holidays and depending on your animal skills you could include washing and grooming in the service you provide as well.

Cleaning and ironing services are often well sort after in most communities.

Advertising Your Services

Advertising your services could cost a lot of money as most know, but there is a way of marketing your services for little financial one idea is to use flyers. Correct positioning of the flyers is critical as to their effectiveness, by working out where your future clients meet, live, play, and shop will give you the answer as to where the flyers need to be positioned.    

Paid Testing

Many medical companies, cosmetic developers, food companies, and many others pay money to testers to try there products and treatments. For some studies, you might have to meet certain requirements. Also if it is a long study it may take longer for you to get your money so possibly look for shorter studies. You can search on the internet for (paid Medical Studies) and you should find a list of clinics, testing companies and paid focus group opportunities.

In Summary

While an increase in income can ease the way things work in your personal economy, it wont necessarily solve all your problem. You will still need a plan for the wise management of your financial resources.

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