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Map Out Your Financial Strategy

Mapping Out Your Financial Strategy

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When you choose Desert Financial and Tax Services, financial coaches meet with you one-on-one to provide financial guidance and tools to aid you in becoming debt-free. Connect with us today for more info! 928-315-0040 (English) or 928-920-2240 (Spanish)

Guest article provided by Ted

Ted is a contributing author to our site. He is not affiliated with Desert Financial and Tax Services.

Managing your finances can be challenging at any age, and for those who are young, there may be a good bit to learn. It all comes down to identifying your values and priorities and designating your spending, saving, and giving accordingly.

Make some decisions and create a budget

Before you create a monthly budget, think about your priorities. For most of us, having a place to live and food to eat are high on the list. We all want to be safe and comfortable when it’s possible. You may need to designate money to pay for utilities, Wi-Fi, a phone bill, medication, insurance, and any number of recurring expenses.

Begin by making a list of your expenses, as well as all sources of income. Once we get past basic necessities, many of us want education, savings, and entertainment. If you hope to return to college, or send your child someday, this will require some savings. It’s important to have an emergency fund for times when you cannot earn money, or suddenly need extra cash. Whether you’re concerned about unexpected expenses, or saving for a home, car, or retirement, it’s a good idea to steadily build up a savings account separate from your emergency fund. Create a will, indicating how your money should be distributed in the event of your death.

What about buying a home?

Many people wish to own their own house or condo. Buying your own place can be an investment that grows over time, becoming more valuable. Owning your own home has tax benefits, as well as offering you more control over your space. This is likely one of the biggest purchases you will make in your life, so it’s worthwhile to learn about the process in advance.

Before you can buy a house or condo you will have to be approved for a loan. If you have little to no debt and a good credit score, the loan should be no problem. If your credit score is a disappointment, you can improve it by paying down your debts and paying your bills on time. Keeping some lines of credit, even if you’ve paid them off and don’t plan to use them again, can help maintain a good credit score. And once you’ve taken the plunge, made a downpayment and gotten your loan, make sure to pay the mortgage on time every month.

Insurance

At some point, most of us will be purchasing insurance of one kind or another. If you have kids or a spouse who depend on your earnings, you’ll want life insurance. Almost all lenders require you to purchase home insurance in order to get a loan, and many require you to keep it until a certain percentage of your mortgage has been paid off, and you may want to keep it indefinitely, to protect your investment.

Another type of insurance is a home warranty, which can cover major appliances and systems within your home. If so, you’ll be looking at the cost of replacing these, unless you have a home warranty. Yes, the yearly cost is another expense, but it’s important to consider the state of all systems in the home, and what replacing them would cost, while weighing the costs and benefits of a home warranty. If your new home is in a flood-prone area, flood insurance may be required by the lender, or you may want it for your own peace of mind.

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Managing your money can be a challenge. If you go about it in an organized manner, you’re more likely to stick with a budget, be able to save, and purchase a home someday. If the many types of insurance seems daunting, remember that everyone doesn’t need every single type, although having your home and appliances covered can save you a lot of money over the long haul. Determine what your priorities are, sock away some savings, and move forward with your budget, adjusting as needed.

If you’re looking for guidance on how to budget, save money, and pay taxes efficiently, contact Desert Financial and Tax Services, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial guidance and tools to help people live debt free.

Desert Financial and Tax Services provides financial guidance and tools to aid individuals in becoming debt-free. Contact us today for more information! (928) 315-0040.

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