Just Property have recently launched a first-to-market educational campaign that enables them to capitalize on the large number of residential tenants flowing from their expansive letting portfolio – a trait quite unique to their group – allowing them to approach tenants to guide and mentor them towards responsible and sustainable homeownership.
Tenants participating in the Homeownership Journey will have exclusive access to an online portal where they’ll be able to calculate their current credit scores and download a personal credit report document with the results.
The key to any real estate purchase is in effective budgeting. Using a budget doesn’t have to be a chore, and it can have huge benefits. What’s important to remember is that you shouldn’t view a budget as a constraint, but more of an aid to help you spend on what’s important to you. The short-term goal of any budget should be to reduce your spending to 90% or less of your income.
Here are six steps you need to take:
1. Add up your income. Tally up your family’s monthly after-tax income. If what you earn varies depending on how many hours you work, add up your monthly total for a few months so you can calculate an average. But don’t include that which you can’t be sure you’ll receive, such as year-end bonuses or tax refunds.
2. Track your monthly spending. Make a list of all of your regularly occurring expenses: Mortgage or rent, utilities, insurance, child care, groceries, petrol, car payments and access to phone, Internet and TV service are some common ones. Maybe you’re also making payments on outstanding credit card debt, a student loan or a home equity loan. Add them all up to make sure the money coming in is more than what’s going out each month.
3. Don’t forget the little things. You may still do a sizable amount of spending that’s hard to group into large monthly buckets — money, perhaps, that you withdraw at the ATM and spend on day-to-day needs. Start tracking where that cash is going by keeping a journal of expenses for the next four weeks. You can use those results to extrapolate how much cash you’re going through in a typical month.
4. Expect the unexpected. Often, “unexpected” expenses that can derail a budget aren’t really so unexpected. Holiday gifts for your child’s teacher? Getting requests to buy stuff for fundraisers? You know they’re coming. Since you can count on a parade of these recurring one-off expenses, project a conservative estimate for the year and include it in your budget.
5. Look for items to cut. If you’re spending more than you make, creating a budget can help you find places to cut the fat. Maybe you could cancel a monthly subscription to an expensive gym. Wait until things go on sale to buy them, turn your thermostat down in winter and up in summer, and when you pay off your car, don’t immediately trade it in for a new one.
6. Make it a habit. Review your budget at the same time and place every week (or month). If you make this a routine, it’ll be easier to stick with your budget in the long term.
Tenants participating in the Just Property Homeownership Journey will have access to a free mobile budgeting tool to help them in tracking their spending. With the assistance of the app they can create their budget, capture expenses on the go and check on a regular basis if they are living within or beyond their budget.
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