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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.

Step 8: Follow your spending plan as closely as possible.
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 Magazineimages

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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 Bedrooms
2 Bathrooms
1 Partial Bathroom
1 Unit
Interior: 2,055 sqft
Lot: 5,489 sqft
Location
4608 Golden Yarrow Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76244
USA

Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

Listed by: Jim Striegel Team, Real Estate Connections

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Just Listed Southlake, Texas Home For Sale!


Fabulous home on large lot in Lonesome Dove Estates in Southlake, Texas!


Overview
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Description
Neighborhood
Market Stats

$529,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
4 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
1 Partial Bathroom
1 Unit
Interior: 3,727 sqft
Lot: 0.36 acre(s)
Location
1316 Hat Creek Trail
Southlake, TX 76092
USA

Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

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Double Oak, Texas Home For Sale with its own Pond!


Gorgeous home on 2 acre lot with private pond and gazebo in Double Oak, Texas!


Overview
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Description
Neighborhood

$689,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
5 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
1 Partial Bathroom
1 Unit
Interior: 4,488 sqft
Lot: 1.99 acre(s)
Location
309 Highland Court
Double Oak, TX 75077
USA

Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

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Immaculate Flower Mound, Texas Home For Sale! Take A Look…


Immaculate Flower Mound Home For Sale!


Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
Neighborhood
Market Stats

$439,900
Single Family Home
Main Features
4 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
1 Partial Bathroom
1 Unit
Interior: 4,160 sqft
Lot: 0.34 acre(s)
Location
2012 Town View Blvd
Flower Mound, TX 75028
USA

Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

Listed by: Jim Striegel Team, Real Estate Connections

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#flowermoundhomesforsale #flowermound #jimstriegel #flowermoundrealestate

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Homeowner Tax Breaks On The House

Tax Time

Homeowner Tax Breaks On The House

Tax season can make most of us cringe. But, if you’re a homeowner, make certain you meet with experts to see how you may benefit at tax time by owning a home.

Minimizing your tax liability is always the goal. Start first by getting all your paperwork together. Hopefully you’ve kept good, clean records of everything pertaining to your home. Remodeling projects can often be deducted, so go through your files and search for the paid invoices. However, repairs to restore items to their original state usually aren’t tax deductible.

If you haven’t kept good records, now is the time to start. It’ll pay off in 2015 when it comes time to do your taxes. Here are a few tips to get you ready for tax season this year and beyond.

The largest savings is the mortgage interest deduction. Homeowners love this one because, especially in the early years of a loan, it can save tons of money. The deduction can be claimed on both primary and secondary homes. Two requirements: your home is less than a million dollars and you itemize your tax return.

Find your property tax statement for the end of the year. Your property taxes paid are deductible for as long as you own the home. This is another tax savings that you’ll be able to record on your Federal form. Property taxes are taken as an itemized expense.

Improving your home can also be a tax write-off. Maybe you added a room addition, installed a new roof, or made general improvements to increase the value of your home, all of these things can help to reduce your tax liability and they can also increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell.

If you’ve installed energy-efficiency appliances or upgrades, you can offset your tax bill to the IRS, dollar-for-dollar for up to 10 percent of the amount that you spent on specific home energy-efficiency upgrades. That means items such as energy-efficient water heaters or insulation can help you at tax time. However, the cap on this deduction is a mere $500 (there are cases when it’s less. Check with your tax accountant for details).

With so many people working from home, the home (business) office is not only convenient but also a tax write-off. A new 2013 tax deduction allows homeowners who have an office in their house to claim $5 per square foot for up to 300 square feet (a simpler formula than previous tax years). So a room that’s 8×10 can save you $400.

Keep in mind that tax deductions are always on the government’s chopping block and some, like the energy tax credit, are gone after the 2013 tax year and not expected to return for future tax years.

There are many fees and expenses associated with owning a home. Don’t try to guess which things will help lower your tax bill. Instead, compile all of your home’s documents and receipts from the previous year and bring them into your tax accountant for advice. Often there are areas where you can save a little more, but you won’t know until you try.

Note:

Recently, the IRS announced that it has significantly updated “Your Federal Income Tax” forms. According to the IRS, Publication 17 includes important changes to help taxpayers “get the most out of various tax benefits and get a jump on preparing their 2013 federal income tax returns.” This 292-page guide contains thousands of interactive links to help taxpayers quickly get answers to their questions.
Other publications which may assist you include: No. 1, “Your Rights as a Taxpayer;” No. 502, “Medical and Dental Expenses;” No. 504, “Divorced or Separated Individuals;” No. 523, “Selling Your Home;” and No. 530, “Tax Information for First Time Homebuyers.”

A complete list can be found at http://www.irs.gov, click on Forms and Publications.

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Bring On Spring

Your home has weathered a vicious winter this year with winter lasting so long and being so harsh. As the cold retreats and the snow melts, your home deserves some well-earned TLC.

Even though you still might want to hibernate, there’s no better time to prepare your home to Bring On Spring! If you plan and prepare now, you can avoid costly repairs later.

Roof: Inspect the roof for thehe harsh winter weather has been beating on your roof all season. Make sure you inspect your roof for weather-damaged shingles.

Clean the Gutters: Clogged gutters can lead to water damage.

Clean/Replace HVAC Filters: Clean filters keep your system running efficiently and energy costs in check.

Clean Refrigerator Coils: Dirty fridge coils can also increase the electric bill.

Clean and Repair Driveways, Fences, Decks, and Patios: Remove salt, sand, and deicers. Repair cracks, holes, and gaps.

Check Window and Door Seals: Extreme cold can cause weather sealants to crack leaving these areas vulnerable to water damage.

Plan to Paint: Inspect indoor and outdoor areas for paint repair. Choose eco-friendly paints. Try a new color in a room or two for a fresh new look.

Check AC System: Hire a qualified heating and cooling professional to clean and service your AC system.

Replace Batteries in Smoke Detectors: Don’t neglect this lifesaving tip!

Clean and Repair Windows: Now is the time to hire a professional to get the inside and outside of your windows clean and check for any damaged seals.

Chimney Care: Check the exterior of the chimney for damage. Hire a certified chimney sweep to clean and inspect the flue.

Check Lawn Equipment: Make sure lawn mowers are ready for the first spring cut.

My favorite part of spring is the birds chirping and flowers blooming. How about you…What’s your favorite part of spring?

Are you ready for spring?

Are you ready for spring?

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