(These views are the view of the Author and not necessarily the view of Valley News)
Securing a mortgage and getting the keys to your new home is a great moment of optimism and achievement, but once that elation has passed, mortgage payments can become a source of anxiety. When we buy a new property, most of us have little room financially for unforeseen expenses.
Buying a property is the route to financial security but it is not always easily won, so here are some suggestions to help you stay on top of those mortgage payments.
Direct debit is essential
Your mortgage repayments are the most important bill you pay. Ensure that they are paid by direct debit on a date that immediately follows your monthly pay cheque. This gives you peace of mind, knowing that the most important bill is taken care of and allows you to budget for the rest of the month.
If money is tight, pretending that it isn’t and simply spending as you like will only make the situation worse. You need to know exactly what you’ve got coming in and what you’ve got going out and then you can see if there’s an area in which you can make savings. Break your expenditure down into essentials and inessentials. Look closely at your energy consumption and see if reductions can be made.
Pay off existing credit card debt
Credit cards can be very useful, but they are an expensive form of borrowing. Switching to a 0% credit card can help you pay off your current debt by transferring the debt from one or multiple cards that you pay interest on to a new one at a 0% interest rate for a set period of time. It is important to clear the outstanding balances before the interest free period ends; at which time a high rate of interest will come into force.
What if there is simply not enough money coming in?
Firstly, have you really explored all the ways in which you can save money? You can still take healthy exercise without a gym membership. Could you walk or cycle to work instead of the tube or car? Could you save money on your food shop by comparing prices on MySupermarket? Do you take full advantage of sales and discounts? Do you have possessions that you no longer need and could sell on eBay? There are many ways in which we spend more money than we need to, and when you are on a tight budget you need to eliminate them. If making savings still won’t do the trick, then you need to look at ways of increasing your income. If you are in employment which offers overtime, then this is an obvious choice, but in most cases that is not an option and so you need to look at additional income elsewhere. It may be that you could offer a service such as dog walking in your free time or that you could set up an online shop, or explore other ways to make an income online. It isn’t always easy but there is always more money to be made and your house is worth it.