Spring is in full swing here in the Greater Phoenix area, and with nature’s growing activity also comes an active Greater Phoenix Real Estate market.  Of course, as agents in the Greater Phoenix area, we enjoy this time of year with an abundance of new homes going on the market and many being sold as well!  This is an ideal time to buy a home in the Greater Phoenix area as sellers are competing for buyer’s attention and you’re sure to find a home that fits your needs and lifestyle.

Getting your finances in order is a key aspect of buying a Greater Phoenix home.  If you’ve been taking care of spring cleaning around your home, why not take the time to “spring clean” your finances as well?  Even if you aren’t considering buying a Greater Phoenix home anytime soon, it’s a great idea to ensure you have your budget, credit, etc... updated and in great condition just in case an unexpected circumstance arises.

Financial writer Gabriela Islas of Quicken Loans recently pointed out in an article six ways to organize your finances, and we thought these were great tips to share with you!

1. Check your credit report and fix any errors- 
By law, consumers have the right to a free annual credit report. Sites like Quizzle.com will allow you to get a free credit report, no string attached!  Take advantage of getting a free credit report, but always be sure to check out its accuracy. Many times, there are errors or may contain outdated information, which could affect your score negatively. If you do find a mistake, make sure you contact the corresponding credit bureau in order to dispute the errors.

2. Review your budget- 
It’s helpful to make time to sit down and check your monthly budget. If you are saving to buy a house, for example, periodically reviewing your budget will help you get rid of unnecessary expenses allowing you to save more.

3. Review your monthly withholdings - There is no reason for you to give an interest-free loan to Uncle Sam! By reviewing your monthly withholdings you may be able to put more money in your pocket or savings account every month. Of course, consult with your tax advisor before making any changes to your withholdings in order to avoid owing money to the IRS at the end of the year.

4.  Review your financial emergency plan - Planning for unexpected events can give you peace of mind. A good rule of thumb is to have six months worth of expenses saved in an emergency fund. Think about your monthly expenses (like rent or mortgage payments, utilities, car payments, insurance, credit card payments, etc.) and figure out how much you would need to have in a savings account in order to pay for these items for six months. Don’t get discouraged if it takes time to build up your emergency fund, ANY amount is better than no savings at all. Also, make sure that if you become incapacitated, there is someone you trust to handle your finances.

5. Sign up for paperless statements - Signing up for paperless statements and paying your bills online will help keep your mail under control while saving trees at the same time. A lot of banks and credit unions offer online bill pay services for free. Take advantage of this and join the “green” movement.

6.   Consolidate accounts- 
When you’re budgeting, sometimes it’s helpful to separate accounts. For example, if you are trying to save for a special purchase or an emergency fund, you may have your employer deposit a portion of your paycheck directly into your savings account. But having many accounts can make keeping track of them difficult. When that becomes the case, it’s time to consolidate your accounts. Before making this decision, check with your financial institution to make sure there aren’t any penalties or fees for canceling an account.

If you have any questions about these tips or about the Greater Phoenix Real Estate market, please let us know!  We would enjoy the opportunity to discuss your needs and what you’re looking for in a home.  There are many beautiful homes throughout the Greater Phoenix area that are currently available, so we are confident we could help you find your ideal home and will walk with you through each step of the home buying process.  Feel free to contact us today to get started!

The Russo Team
Greater Phoenix Real Estate Experts

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