# Monthly Archives: August 2014

## How To Create A Household Budget!

How To Create A Household Budget!

Step 1: Write down your total take-home monthly income.
This is the easy part! Jot down what you earn. Because many expenses are billed monthly, figuring out how much you have to spend each month is easiest for your plan.

Step 2: Write down your essential expenses. Start with fixed bills like rent, mortgage, car payment, credit card debt and insurance, then factor in other monthly costs that are always the same. These are your essential fixed expenses.

Step 3: List your essential variable expenses.
You know you’ll have these bills, but the amounts vary. Examples are your phones, utilities, food, household expenses, gasoline, medication, public transportation, shoes and clothing. You can assign an estimated amount to each based on past experience, rounding to the closest \$10.

Step 4: List reasonable amounts for nonessential expenses.
This includes entertainment, eating out, hobbies and other ways you spend money on a regular basis.

Step 5: Find the extras.
Go to your current method of tracking your spending (your checkbook register, credit card statements, Quicken reports) to see what expenses you’ve left out. You’ll likely see items for car maintenance and repair, gifts, vacations, Christmas and holidays. For items that do not recur monthly, determine the annual cost, then divide by 12 to see how much you should set aside each month to anticipate that irregular expense.

Step 6: Figure out your totals.
Add up your expenses, then subtract that amount from your income. With luck you’ll come out in the black, with at least a little money left over. But if your expenses exceed your income, you’ll see a negative sum. Don’t panic—this is just the start of an ongoing process.

Step 7: See where you can cut .
If you came up short, go back to your projected monthly expenses and see what you can get rid of. Look first to your nonessential expenses. Which items can you remove altogether for a while (eating out seems like a fine target; perhaps hobby expenses too, for a season)? Keep going through the list, making adjustments until your total expenses are less than your income.

Track your spending every day by posting it on a sheet of paper. Take notes and research ways you’ll be able to do even better next month. At month’s end, add up your actual spending and compare it with what you planned. Use this information to create the next month’s spending plan.

Congratulations—you’ve just elevated yourself from being clueless to financially savvy. You should feel very good about this! As difficult as it might be to see in black and white that your income and expenses are not quite in sync, just knowing where you are is going to make all the difference.

Even if you find yourself in a particularly tight financial position right now, take heart. As you pay off debts and find more ways to cut expenses, you’ll begin to sense a significant loosening of financial pressure. Soon you’ll be ready to add new categories to your spending plan for things like saving for a new car, home improvements or going back to college.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be on your way to reaching financial freedom.

Source: Woman’s Day Magazine

## Should I Rent Or Should I Buy?

To rent…or to own?  That’s a question most people face at some point in their adult lives, and though every situation is different, the primary factor to take into consideration is how long you plan to stay put.   According to Zillow’s recent breakeven horizon analysis, in half of metros in the U.S., buying beats renting after only two years.

Rising rents and low rates on home loans have helped skew the rent vs. buy decision toward buying for those who can afford it, leaving renters wondering why they should renew their leases when they may be able to break even on a home purchase in less time.  Because conditions for buyers and renters can vary dramatically even within cities themselves, Zillow produces breakeven horizons down to the neighborhood level in order to give potential buyers and renters the most insight into local conditions where they’re considering living.

Zillow’s…

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## Take A Virtual Tour Of This Amazing Allen, Texas Home For Sale!

Gorgeous Allen, Texas Home For Sale!

Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
Neighborhood
Market Stats

 \$594,000 Single Family Home Main Features 3 Bedrooms3 Bathrooms1 UnitInterior: 2,611 sqft Location 932 Charles River CourtAllen, TX 75013USA

 Jim Striegel (972) 899.0634JStriegel@Realtor.comhttp://www.JimStriegel.com     Listed by: Jim Striegel Team, Real Estate Connections

## Great Starter or Investment Home For Sale in Fort Worth, Texas!

Great Starter Or Investment Property For Sale in Fort Worth, Texas!

Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
Neighborhood

 \$189,900 Single Family Home Main Features 3 Bedrooms2 Bathrooms1 Partial Bathroom1 UnitInterior: 2,055 sqftLot: 5,489 sqft Location 4608 Golden Yarrow DriveFort Worth, TX 76244USA

 Jim Striegel (972) 899.0634JStriegel@Realtor.comhttp://www.JimStriegel.com     Listed by: Jim Striegel Team, Real Estate Connections