Romance & Money
Buying Your First Home
Financial tune-up month
Tami in Wisconsin:
We just got married this past summer and are looking forward to buying
a house next fall after we’ve saved a little more money. I know there
are things we should do to lay a good foundation for our future together. I
just don’t know where to start. Any good advice?
Great question Tami!
October is a good time to get prepared for the upcoming
holidays and the new year by performing a financial tune-up. Since you are
newlyweds, this is a good habit to get into now, and it will provide you with
the foundation you mentioned. It’s like spring cleaning, only in
"Fill what's empty, empty what's
full, and scratch where it itches."
The Duchess of Windsor,
when asked what is the secret of a long
and happy life
Think of it as if you were going on a trip; you need to know
where you are before you can figure out how to get where you want to go.
And then you need to do that tune-up to make certain you arrive safely.
Here are some things you should do annually:
1] Order your credit report (make certain the information reported
about you is accurate. If not, write to the repositories that provided
the erroneous information and have them correct it.) Make sure to order your FICO
score as well. Remember if you are newly wed, your credit reports most likely
are as well.
2] Make certain you are paying the lowest possible
interest rates on all debt. If not, call your creditors and request lower
rates. If they won’t lower
it, shop around (check your Sunday paper).
3] Check on your insurance policies; amounts, coverage, names, beneficiaries,
4] Perform the same check up on all legal documents
and identity (wills, bank statements, real estate deeds, etc.) Sadly, no
matter what your age, tragedy happens. Don’t leave your loved one's
name off your insurance or bank accounts. When that happens, tragedy strikes
5] Finally, if your future plans rely on your ability
to budget today, revise that budget. Make certain both of you are on track with
your commitment to the future so you will arrive safely. If Christmas shopping
will upset your budget, now is a good time to set some limits and get prepared.
If you haven’t
created a livable, formal budget, see our sample budget at
Additional information on this topic:
Read Earlier Articles
Editorial Calendar &
Monthly Budget Worksheet
Important Financial Help
Websites and Phone Numbers