Maureen Giuliano - Classified Realty Group


Classified Realty Group



Posted by Maureen Giuliano on 3/23/2018

If budgeting isn’t your thing, you’ll be glad to discover that it’s quite simple. There’s a way to categorize your spending and save money easily. If you learn the rule, it will become so automatic that you won’t even think about it. If you’re saving money for a home, this practice will be essential. Break your budget down into three categories: 


  • Living expenses
  • Financial goals
  • Personal spending


Half of your budget should go towards living expenses. This number includes all of the essentials like rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, commute costs, and insurances. 


20 percent of your income should go towards other financial goals like savings, investments, or paying down debt. Credit card bills, student loans, and other bills would fall under this category. This category is also where you’d save for your down payment, closing costs, and other expenses. This percentage can be adjustable depending on how much debt you have or how much you need to save for retirement. 


The remaining 30 percent of your income can go towards personal spending. This category includes everything that you use your money for but isn’t a necessity. This percentage is also flexible. If your lifestyle doesn’t require you to use all 30 percent each month, you can indeed save more money.


A Clear Plan 


These categories simplify your budget. Even if you make some adjustments to the numbers, the outline truly makes budgeting easy even for the most scatterbrained among us. It allows you to see where your money goes clearly. It also works no matter what kind of living situation you have.


The great thing about this budgeting plan is that you have some future needs built into it. Many times, when we budget, we think of our immediate needs and our shorter term goals. Saving for any occasion can never happen too early. You are able to not only focus on your current goals and the future.   



Steps


First, determine your monthly income. This number is how much money you take home after taxes. From here, you’ll be able to split your money into categories by percentages. If your income fluctuates frequently, you’ll need to take an average of your monthly income to determine your numbers. 


Next, you should take a look at your spending habits. These include everything from your morning latte to your monthly rent payment. From here you can make adjustments. Perhaps you need to look for a less expensive apartment. Maybe you need to cut down your weekly pizza to a bi-monthly purchase. Whatever you see in your finances, a simple percentage rule gives you the tools you need to become a saver and be well on your way to the purchase of your first home.     





Tags: saving money   budgeting  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Maureen Giuliano on 7/14/2017

Saving money is never an easy task. And saving money for a down payment on a home is especially difficult. Between trying to pay down debt, whether it is student loan or credit card debt, a car loan, insurance, rent, spending money and trying to save for retirement and your emergency fund, how does that leave any money left to save for a down payment? Let’s take a look at a few smart ways to save for a down payment. First things first: how much you are able to spend? This will determine how much you need to save— 20% of the total home cost. Once you have that figured out you can begin to plan what it will take to save that amount. It should be your goal to save 20% or more, although there are ways around that number. Cut expenses: Cutting expenses is one of the ways to start saving more money. First, take a look at the things that you spend money on each month that you don’t necessarily need. Do you buy groceries and then go out to eat 3 or 4 times week? Cutting down to only going out once a week will save you some big bucks at the end of the year. Can you cut down on any of your utilities such as cable and Internet? What about your rent? Could you get roommates to alleviate the cost of rent or move to a lower cost apartment? Invest: Investing your money, smartly, is the quickest way to increase your money and build your down payment amount. Investing, in general, will not make you crazy amounts of money really quickly (unless you’re one of the lucky few) but it does add up faster than money sitting in your savings account or under your bed. Consider opening up a CD, an IRA account (there are restrictions), or investing in the stock market. It will take a couple of years for this to really build, but the returns will be worth the wait. Be sure to read up on the best option for you and keep an eye on the market if you are planning on investing in an IRA account or stocks. Automate Savings: If you have the funds but just aren’t the best saver then the easiest way to save more money is to automate it, either through your work or bank. Automating your savings will make it seem like that money was never there, therefore making it easier to forget about it and keep it in savings. You’d be surprised how quickly your money can add up. Additional Income: If you really want to speed up reaching your savings goal then you may want to consider adding another source of income. There are so many ways to earn more money such as selling your crafts online, blogging, a second job, etc. Saving all of the money you earn will expedite your savings. There are also other sources of income such as a bonus, or tax return that are not a part of your regular income. These types of income should also be saved towards your down payment to reach your goal sooner. If purchasing a home is of utmost importance to you, but you are lacking the down payment then it is extremely important to make saving a priority. As detailed above, there are many ways in which you can accelerate the process of earning and saving more money.





Posted by Maureen Giuliano on 12/27/2013

Times are tough for everyone and saving everytime you go to the store can really add up. Most people don't realize the true value of a coupon, or how to use them to their full advantage. With a little bit of time, on average you could save 20-30% during each grocery shopping trip and 50-100% each time you go to the drug store. The trick with getting more bang for your buck is matching coupons with the weekly sales at the supermarkets and drug stores. For example, shampoo is on sale for buy one get one free, and you have a coupon for $1.00 off 1 item. If the shampoo retails for $5.00 you will get 2 shampoos for $3.00 (2 @ $5.00 - $2 off in coupons). That's a savings of $7.00! This applies to any item you would buy at the supermarket or drug store. And by stocking up on an item when it's sale price plus coupons make it a great deal, help you to avoid running out and having to pay full price. In addition, some stores have additional savings such as doubling the value of a coupon, or in store coupons that you can use with a manufacters coupon. For example: Walgreens has Bonus Rewards were you earn points on products you buy that add up to money off future items. CVS has Extra Bucks which are like cash off your total. Both drug stores have their own in store coupons (CVS prints theirs on the bottom the receipt or from the kiosk in stores, Walgreens has a monthly coupon book) which can be used with a manufacter's coupon. Find a good week, there is potential to use a manfacuter's coupon, an instore coupon and Extra Bucks on a sale item to get it pennies (at CVS for example)!!! There are a variety of websites that can help you get started as well as give you guidance on what coupons you may have to match with the sales. To name a few: www.couponmom.com, www.hip2save.com, and www.coupondivas.com are great places to start. The savings are endless, you just have to reach out and grab them!




Categories: Money Saving Tips  


Posted by Maureen Giuliano on 10/8/2013

RefinancingReason #1: Interest Rates are Forecasted to Rise.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), which is the national organization representing the real estate finance industry is forecasting a rise in interest rates for 2013 and 2014.

Reason#2: Your Adjustable Rate Mortgage Could Adjust Up.

If you find yourself with an ARM, it may be the perfect time to explore your options regarding fixed-rate mortgages. Interest rates fluctuated every month for 2011 and 2012, according to data provided by Informa Research Services, a leading information provider to the financial industry. With interest rates plunging to historic lows over the past few years, there's nowhere left to go but up. Which leads us to...

Reason#3: The Government's Financial Involvement is Expected to End Soon.

Ever since the recession in 2008, the government has been buying up mortgage debt from banks in an effort to stimulate the housing market. This is expected to end in the next two years, and it is anyone's guess when exactly this will take place. Refinancing now is much better than waiting until you start to see the signs of non-involvement, by which time it could be too late.

Reason#4: Cutting Down on Interest.

If you find yourself in a 30-year mortgage, it may be the best time to explore your options regarding a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage. While your monthly payments would be higher, the amount of money you pay for your home would be significantly less. Interest payments on a 30-year mortgage can jack up the price of a home astronomically. While the monthly payments may have looked appealing initially, paying off the principal sooner will leave you much better off financially in the long run.




Categories: Financing  


Posted by Maureen Giuliano on 9/6/2012

Housing prices are low, rates are low but how can you buy a house when your funds are also low?  How can you save money for a house while prices and rates are still good? Saving for a home can be different than just saving because you have save such a large amount of money and you don't know exactly how much you'll need.  Here are some strategies on how to save up: 1. Start with small goals. Try saving for closing costs or another smaller amount and then add another goal. Break the down payment into 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% levels, to help make the savings goal more achievable. 2. Try saving a specific amount of money every month. Instead of saying I want to save $6,000 a year it is easier to say I will save $500 a month. Smaller, more achievable milestones are always good motivators to savings. 3. Ask for help. If people ask what to give you a gift for your wedding, birthday etc. ask them to contribute to your home savings plan. Online sites like SmartyPig make it easy to get other people involved in your savings goals. 4. Create a visual goal graphic. Create a vision board or some kind of graphic that represents what you are saving for. It always helps to see what you are saving for and have a constant reminder. Hopefully, you'll be on your way to a new home in no time.