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Early Journey Homebuyers: Tips for Success
Catalina Kaiyoorawongs|Financial Topics|July 06, 2023
Advice for early homebuyers.
- Practice being a prolific saver. It can even be savings for a future spending occurrence - but the power of saving is a muscle that requires development and practice, just like an endurance runner. It doesn’t happen overnight without training and a plan.
- Pay yourself first. In order to be a prolific saver, it means I have to set aside my savings automatically into a separate account that can’t be easily transferred, and then use the remainder to pay your bills. I would challenge myself to move from saving 10% all the way up to 30% of my earnings into my savings account.
- Live below your means. To become a prolific saver, you have to live below your means. If you earn $1,000 a month working a part-time job and you save $300 that you’re able to live on $700 of it. Living below one’s means allows you to practice prolific savings, paying yourself first.
So when I say live below your means, as people earn more, they spend more. Just because you earn more does not mean you have to inflate your lifestyle to an accelerated pace higher than earnings because that's what some people will do, they'll say, “Okay, I now got a raise let me spend every single dollar extra I make plus some”, and they get into credit card debt. So the idea is, to live below your means. Your extra salary, buy yourself a treat of some sort, celebrate, then pretend like you don't have it.
- Track your spending. For me to live below my means, it meant tracking how much I was spending. I did this the first time when I was 17. I was living at home with my parents and just going out with friends, buying coffee, and buying meals when I was in high school. I earned money because I worked a part-time job but I was spending $600 a month. This is without any real bills. And that was when I always thought, oh, you don't spend that much money.
And then when I actually tracked my spending, I realized how much spending I was actually doing. And this is part of understanding how to live below your means is understanding what are you even living on each month. That's a huge system.
- Understand how your decisions today impact your decisions later in life. And then last but not least, our systems are not connected. So if the script is to get an education and you take out debt to get there and this can impact your pathway to buying a home later.
Right away understand the best mortgage product and qualification criteria. Because once you start shopping for a home and try to get a pre-qualification, that’s too late. You have to understand and self-educate ahead of the actual applications. We have a simple calculator to help you and or your borrowers can start to plan now.
These are my 5 tips for success I wish I understood from a younger age.