|Other Homownership Costs
|Annual property tax:
|Annual homeowners insurance:
|Sum of Other Monthly Ownership Expenses:
New Home Buyers
Instructions: Are you looking to buy a home, but you’re not quite sure what you can afford or how long your loan term will be? This calculator can help you determine both the minimum and maximum monthly payments you could pay on a prospective home loan, as well the length of the loan term.
First enter the home price, down payment & the expected interest rate. Then enter other costs of ownership including taxes and insurance. The calculator will then display the monthly payment associated with an interest-only loan in blue. Your minimum and maximum payment ranges need to be higher than this amount for the loan to amortize. As a good rule of thumb add 20% to the blue number for a starting point for your monthly minimum range & set the max affordable monthly payment to whatever you could afford to pay on the house if you were trying to pay it off as fast as you possibly can. The calculator will then show the difference between these two approaches in terms of how long it takes to pay off the loan and how much interest you will pay.
Press “Calculate Loans” and you’ll receive a breakdown of loan terms and associated interest costs for both your minimum and maximum monthly payment amounts.
Instructions: Have you already paid on your mortgage for a period of time but feel like it is amortizing too slowly? If so, you can use this calculator to see how quickly you will pay off your loan by increasing your monthly payment. Input the price of the home on the day you purchased it & then input the difference between that number and your current loan balance in the downpayment field. For example, if your house is worth $250,000 and you currently owe $175,000 on it you would put $75,000 in the downpayment field. Select the interest rate your loan was priced at & enter your other costs of home ownership.
For the closing costs you can enter zero since you are not establishing a new loan & any expenses with closing costs that were rolled into the loan are already reflected in your current remaining loan balance.
Under the minimum and maximum monthly payment fields first put your current mortgage payment & then put the amount you would like to pay each month to pay off your loan faster in the second field.
Press “Calculate Loans” and you’ll receive a breakdown of loan terms and associated interest costs for both the remaining portion of your loan under the current payments & under the revised higher payment plan.
Today's Mortgage Rates
The following table shows current mortgage rates in . Adjust your loan inputs to match your scenario and see what rates you qualify for.
6 Things to Consider When Setting Your Home Budget
Whether you are just starting out or have been in your home for a while, it is always important to have a household budget. Realistic budgets can help you keep from overspending while they allow you to save money. Living within your means grants you the ability to meet financial goals. Important objectives for you could be a down-payment on a new house or saving so that you can retire at a targeted age. Whatever your financial goal, budgeting is the first step to achieving that goal.
Here are a few things to consider when sitting down to plan a budget.
Short-term and Long-term Goals
Before you begin to figure a budget, you must decide your short-term and long-term goals. In the near future, you may want to buy a car. Down the road, you need a down-payment on a home or funding for your retirement so you can retire at 65-years of age.
List all of your short-term goals, and then list all of your long-term goals. Remember to include all present and future needs. If you have an HSA account, you may need to fund it as soon as possible to cover your deductible should you get sick. If you have children, they will need money set aside for college. That would be a long-term goal.
Once you have listed your short-term and long-term goals, estimate the amount needed to see these goals become a reality.
Monitoring Your Spending Patterns
For a month, you and all of your family members will keep a journal of their spending. Even a cup of coffee at the local convenient store is included in the accounting. This is the only way you will be able to understand your spending habits and know where expenses can be shaved from the budget.
If you are like most people, writing down expenses for a month is very revealing. Most people don't realize they spend $45 at Starbucks every month just by ordering a small black coffee.
Once you have a full month of spending logged by all members of your household, you are ready to begin working on a realistic budget.
Calculating Your Income
When figuring your current income, never include money you expect to receive in the future. If you are not already earning the money through wages or investments, it is not calculated into your current income.
Many people make the mistake and include yearly bonuses such as a company bonus into their equation of income. Treat this money as a windfall. If you do receive that company bonus or that birthday check from Aunt Sara, you apply it towards a long-term or short-term goal after depositing it into your bank account.
To calculate your income, include all money you receive on a regular basis each month. If you receive child support or alimony, this money can also be included. If possible, it is better to apply child support and alimony towards long-term and short-term goals so that once that income stops, you do not count on it for living expenses.
Calculating Your Expenses
The most important advice anyone can give about estimating expenses is to be honest. You are not doing your budget any favors by eliminating items you will buy even if not included in the budget. Everyone needs clothing, automobile allowances, and personal expenses such as a haircut. Include all expenses on a spreadsheet.
When logging your expenses, divide them into these four basic categories:
- living expenses
- personal expenses
From there, you will divide your list again. This time you will only divide into fixed expenses and discretionary expenses.
Figure a Budget
Now it's time to get down to business. Take the family worksheets from your month of logging expenses. Also, collect all bank accounts statements so that you accurately account for income and all monthly living expenses. These expenses include cable, other utilities, phone bills, and loan payments. Go through both the bank statements and the spending logs to record any income or expenses for the month.
Once you have everything listed recorded on a spreadsheet, calculate the total income and total expenses. This will give you your income to debt ratio.
At this point, you are either jumping for joy or you are ready to bury yourself in a deep hole. Figuring a realistic budget is sobering and scary. Especially if you have not yet accounted for short-term and long-term goals.
Have no fear, with a bit of give and take on current spending, you can get a budget that will work.
Shaving from the Budget
Eliminating expenses from the budget is where give and take comes in for everybody. Look at the discretionary spending accounts and begin shaving dollars. If you find you spent $100 on clothing, you need to decide if $100 a month is a necessary amount or if maybe $50 would be more realistic.
If you eat lunch out every day, you are probably spending a lot more than you need to spend for a discretionary expense. Wean yourself from lunch out by packing your lunch during the week. Packing more makes lunch out a treat instead of an everyday event and it can save hundreds from a budget.
Also look at transportation costs. Is it possible to carpool or utilize public transportation to save on gas or possibly eliminate an auto altogether?
Be creative when shaving from your budget and be careful. You don't want to take too much away so that you feel deprived. Treating yourself now and then is important and necessary to budget into the equation. Treating yourself to something that can be a discretionary expense too often is where cutting back is useful.
There are many household budget software programs that will help you figure a household budget that can meet your immediate needs, save for short-term expenses and prepare for long-term goals. They include categories for both discretionary expenses as well as fixed living expenses. This allows you to have that night out once in a while.
Most of the better programs operate on the premise of simplicity. They allow you to see your budget as a whole so that you know where you are doing great with your budget, and where you need to improve. Most programs are easy to use and communicate directly with your financial institutions. This means less work for you.
With many of the programs online, people often worry about the security of their personal information. With the technology today, most reputable financial software is as safe, if not safer than carrying a credit card in your wallet. Strong passwords and multi-levels of security has eliminated most of this worry.
Now that you have your budget set, you can watch your progress in saving towards your short-term and long-term goals while living within your means.
That is really the key. Once you understand through seeing it on paper, you better know what you can and cannot afford. This allows for better financial decisions. For example, if your dream house is a $250,000 log home in the woods that is a great long-term goal. But for now, saving a down-payment on a $100,000 home on a small lot might be a more realistic purchase.
As time moves forward, revisit your budget. When you make more money, you can save faster and even add a few extra dollars to the discretionary funds. Re-evaluating your budget will better enable you to understand your financial picture as it changes.
You can feel good about where you have been and where you are headed. You will be in that $250,000 log home in the woods before you know it!
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