How to Save the Money for Your First Home

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Buying your first home and getting on the property ladder is a rite of passage that everyone looks forward to. However, it’s not always easy to switch from being a renter or living with family to becoming a homeowner. To make sure you’re financially ready to take the next step, take a look at these useful tips and learn how to save the money for your first home:

1. Calculate how much you’ll need

When you have a vague aim of ‘buying a house’, it’s hard to save a significant amount of cash. If you know exactly how much you need to save and you have a clear goal, however, it’s easier to hold yourself accountable. No matter how high the target is, calculating how much you’ll need and keeping track of the figures will make it easier for you to save the funds you need. 

2. Create a realistic savings plan

Very few people can save money accidentally, so be sure to have a realistic plan in place! By creating a budget and determining how you can reduce your expenditure, you’ll get a firm idea of how much you can afford to save every month. If this isn’t enough to save a down payment in your desired timeframe, you’ll have the chance to start looking for ways to boost your income or reduce your outgoings even further.

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3. Find out what you can borrow

Most people require a mortgage to purchase a property, but this doesn’t mean you have to borrow from high street lenders. There are plenty of loans designed for specific groups, so double-check whether you’re eligible for any particular schemes. If you know how to get a VA loan or a reduced interest mortgage, for example, you might be surprised at how quickly you could buy your first property. This might take a little bit of research but there is plenty of help available, so be sure to make the most of it. 

4. Save extra cash

If you’re currently renting a property and you want to get on the property ladder, you may want to consider moving in with family or living with a roommate in the interim. Although this might feel like a step backwards, cutting your outgoings by a significant amount will enable you to save the money you need much more quickly. Even changing your living situation for six months to a year can have a major impact on your finances, so consider all the options when it comes to reducing your outgoings and saving cash. 

Buying Your First Property

When you’ve saved enough to put down a deposit on a property, you’ll be eager to buy your new home as quickly as possible. However, finding the right property can take time, so don’t be tempted to rush into anything. By scouring the market and viewing various properties, you’re sure to find a home that suits your needs and provides a great opportunity for investment. 

Every Parent Needs A Will: Here’s Why

Parents have a lot to worry about it, from returning to work at the right time, to raising your child to be a great person. One worry that nobody wants to think about is what will happen to your children if something happens to you. It’s important to make a plan for the future of your child and make sure they will be cared for if the worst were to happen to you.

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A will specifies who will inherit your estate after you die. For parents, your will can also be used to ensure that your child is provided for and cared for in the way you want. With a probate attorney, draw up a will that sets out who will care for your children, and designate a trustee to manage their inheritance until they are adults.  

There are some simple ways to make sure your children will be taken care of, whatever happens to you. 

  • Make a separate will for each parent. A joint will might seem sensible, but if one parent dies, the other is bound to the will. This could make things much harder for the surviving parent if they need to change the will to reflect other changes. Each parent should make their own will.  
  • Name your partner as your sole beneficiary. If you’re married, naming your spouse means the courts can’t decide to split your property between your spouse and children. Property that was given to the children would be controlled by a state administrator until they came of age, meaning your partner wouldn’t be able to get at it. Instead, name your spouse as the sole beneficiary, with your children as alternates in case you and your partner die at the same time. 
  • Make it clear that you want your partner or spouse to be the guardian of your children. You might think that this would be obvious, but after your death, it is possible that someone could come forward and dispute custody. Name a guardian, whether your spouse or someone else, to stop this from happening. 
  • Have an alternate guardian named in the will. If you and your spouse are involved in the same accident and were both killed, you need to have an alternate guardian clearly named so the children go to someone you trust. This clause will also help if the other parent is left unable to care for the children for any reason. 
  • Name a trustee. A trustee will manage any property that the children inherit from you until they are legal adults. If you don’t have a named trustee, the court will appoint one. The same person can be a guardian or trustee, or you can choose different people. Both options can work out well, so think carefully about who you choose.
  • Keep it up to date. Check your will every few years to make sure it has been changed to reflect life changes, such as a divorce, more children, a change in your finances, or a new relationship. 

Tips for Stay-at-Home Moms Returning to Work

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After taking a break from your career to be a stay-at-home mom, only the idea of getting back into the workforce can leave you feeling overwhelmed and disoriented. This is understandable especially if it has been years since you took that big break. You see, the world is fast-changing and the job market has not been left behind. Based on that, here are a few tips to make your transition easier.

1. Define Your Why?

Similar to your decision to quit and take a break from work, the decision to return back to work can be conflicting. Examine the reasons why you want to return work. Perhaps, your kids are all grown or you are trying to earn more money to improve your family’s financial situation.

Regardless of the situation, knowing and defining your ‘why’ gives you an idea of the type of jobs to be on the lookout for. If your reason to return is to solve a particular financial situation, you may want to consider contract jobs or part-time work as they are more flexible and easier to create targets around. 

2. Determine What You Want to Do

So, you have defined your why and now it is time to determine what you want to do. Think of areas where you excel and find jobs that need that skillset. Let’s say you’ve realized that during your time as a stay-at-home mom, you have learned new things and developed new interest areas. In that case, there is no need to go back to your previous career path, especially if you are no longer interested in it. 

Rather, research on ways to get your self equipped to excel in terms of this new interest. Let’s say caring for people is something you have come to enjoy, you can consider going back to school to grab one of the specialized nursing degrees out there.

3. Update your Professional and Social Media Profiles

Create a professional online profile that conveys your interests and areas of specialty. This makes you more visible to employers and organizations. In addition, take the time to clean up your social media profiles. Make sure there are no photos or videos of you breaking the law. 

As earlier mentioned, the job market is constantly changing and employers are discovering new ways to ensure they hire the right talent. These days, they go all out looking for individuals that align with their company’s value. One way they go about this is by scouring through a candidates’ social media pages to have a deeper understanding of who they are.

5. Get Your Household In Order

Whether you are looking to get a full-time or part-time job, an important thing you should note is that you will no longer be available round the clock to cater to your home. If you still have toddlers, do some research on good daycares around you and consider taking them there sometimes so they can get used to it. To make this process easier, you can call child care services to get a list of referrals.

Also, you have to up your meal planning game and look into batch cooking for the week. Delegate chores if need be and do not shy away from asking for help if you have a support circle.

Above all these points, remember to be patient. Just because the offers are not flying in as quickly as you expected does not mean there is something wrong with you. Simply ensure you are well prepared and consider volunteering as a way to boost your work experience and network.