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The Braustin Homes
| Braustin Homes Blog
If you are reading this, either you are thinking about buying a mobile home, but you don’t have a ton of cash in the bank, or you love budgets and you are looking for more reasons to keep one. Assuming you are in the first group, we are going to cover eight reason people who hate budgets still want to create a budget to buy a mobile home.
A word of warning. Budgets are just tools; tools that work best if you WANT to use them. Budgets can make you feel good about yourself and your future, but if you don’t see that, it will be harder to get started with budgeting for your new home.
Budgets are just a tool for helping you plan where your money should flow to, nothing more and nothing less. You shouldn’t pound in a nail with a wrench, and you shouldn’t use a budget for anything other than a planning and decision-making tool. Budgets done well are meant to help you enjoy life more. Budgets that make you feel bad are generally getting used in the wrong way.
We will save how to budget for another post, but here are some reasons why you can be excited about starting a budget to buy your mobile home.
Because buying a mobile home is almost always less than paying rent, there are few people that can’t afford to buy a new mobile home. Yet, what if you want to buy your own home, but you don’t see how it is possible? It is frustrating to have a hope that never seems to come true. One mobile home buyer called her empty lot “Never-Never Land” because she almost gave up hope. A good budget helps you to see how long it will take till you are ready to buy a new home.
Hope for the future is a good thing for our lives. It may take 12 months, it may take 6 years, but seeing that it IS possible for your dream to come true is encouraging, and just having hope that you can get your dream home will help you to get there without giving up.
About 65% of your credit score is based on total debt and on-time payments. A good budget gives you a plan for paying your current bills, improving your chances that you will pay on time. A good budget will also ensure you are setting aside some money every month to pay down some of your current debt.
Just paying on-time and paying down some of your debt can significantly improve your credit score. With a good credit score, you have a chance for a lower loan interest rate, and you won’t need as high a down payment as someone with terrible credit.
With your budget, you can also plan to set aside money. Even if you only make enough to pay your bills, if you know your bills are paid, you can set-aside “found” money for a down payment knowing your regular paychecks cover your current bills.
What we mean by “found money” is money outside of your regular monthly paychecks. Most people get an extra paycheck every six months because they are paid every two weeks, not twice a month. That is extra or “found” money. You can take that paycheck and put that in savings. You can also put tax returns, stimulus checks, and other money you receive outside of your normal checks toward the down payment knowing that cash won’t be needed to pay the bills.
One common starter for arguments between couples is disagreements over money. A budget is helpful because you two can get on the same page about money BEFORE the argument. It is not meant to be a competition where there is only one winner, a budget is meant to be a conversation tool so you can make good decisions together.
Are you on your own and don’t have a “significant other?” This point still applies to you. Everyone has a “fun side” and a “responsible side,” and both sides a rarely in the room at the same time. A budget will help both sides sit at the table together and think through whether your money is supporting “both” of you.
In order to create a budget in the first place, you have to go back and talk about your shared and individual life goals, goals like buying a house, having children, retiring early, buying a boat, going to college, pilgrimage to Disney World, or whatever is most important to you. Talking about your goals brings most couples closer together, and you can talk about how to support one-another’s individual goals, a practice of healthy couples (even if there is just one of you). Working on a budget gives you the excuse to come back and talk about the dreams you have together.
After you discuss your life goals together, you can fight your common enemy, the wizard who makes all your money disappear, and you fight that wizard with your trusty budget. As you work out how your income and out-go relate to your goals, the budget helps you get on the same page to achieve those goals together.
Budgeting for priorities is related to the last point, but worth mentioning separately. Once you know your goals, you can make sure your budget sends your money to your priorities.
Seeing you have limited resources on a piece of paper helps you think “what is most important to me?” Knowing there is only so much money to go around, you can “fund” your top priorities and decide what is really not as important to you today. A budget allows you to draw a line in the sand between what is a must have in your life and what is optional at this time.
When you think about your priorities, you may realize you are spending money on things that won’t get you to your goals. Maybe you are spending too much on going out to eat. Maybe you are spending too much on new vehicles. Maybe you are renting a nice place, but it is keeping you from your goals. When you see how these costs are getting in the way of your dreams, it is easier to “cut the fat,” and reduce expenses that are holding you back.
When you work your budget, it is almost amazing. You are more likely to have the money you need to pay your bills and pay them on time. Many people are able to pay down debt and save up a little bit of money when they keep a budget.
When you start seeing how you are gaining financial traction, you feel good about yourself and about your life. You are no longer a pawn and victim of the game of life, always just waiting for the next thing to go wrong. Instead, working your budget allows you to see life is mostly in your control.
What is going on? What makes the budget so magical? What happens is when using a budget, most people think about how a decision today affects their dreams tomorrow. Remember, a budget is just a tool to help you make decisions. The beauty of a good budget is that you don’t have to give up fun, you just get the opportunity to choose, to think for a moment before you say “yes.”
Here is an example. A budget does not stop you from going out to eat, but it helps you think, “If we go out to eat again, I will have less money for the ‘new house fund,’ so let’s pop a pizza in the oven instead,” or maybe “We haven’t gone out to eat for over a month and I have the money; let’s go have some fun!” Notice, the budget does not say yes or no, it just helps you decide what choice is right for you.
A budget helps you “see” what is going on with your money. Only a few people look at their budget and think “I have to get a better paying job.” Yet when the money comes in, where does it all go? Your budget helps you “see” if your money is going toward your needs and goals, or if it is disappearing somewhere else.
When you have a budget in place, you can guard against money running away, and you can ensure your money is transported to where you want it to go. Your budget works as a lookout tower helping you protect your money.
When you are thinking through your budget, you can take an opportunity to think, “what surprises me that really shouldn’t surprise me?” If you like to drive old cars, you should expect car repairs. If you have children, you should expect they will grow and need new clothes. If you have a calendar, I reckon should expect Christmas sometime toward the end of December…every year!
Yet many people are surprised and financially unprepared for car repairs, new clothes, and yes, even Christmas. A good budget will work in a little “just in case” fund as well as gifts, clothes, and other irregular expenses that you know are going to come eventually.
And you know what? If you plan for surprises using your trusty budget, while the surprises may still be unexpected, they won’t leave you up Bad Creek without a paddle. That means you won’t sweat and fret clothes shopping for the kids. That means the car repair is a minor inconvenience. That means Christmas shopping will be fun…alright, maybe that’s pushing it.
We hope you see that a good budget is about freedom, freedom to choose your priorities, freedom to put your money toward your goals, freedom to say no to what is not important in your life.
We hope you see budgets are about making your life better. The problem is often budgets are scary or feel controlling. While budgets take work, they don’t need to be scary or controlling. Budgets can be liberating and lead to a lot more fun in your life. So, where do we go from here?
You may already know, a lot of “how to budget” posts found on the internet are written by nerds for other nerds. If you were a nerd who loves numbers and spreadsheets, we reckon you wouldn’t be reading this blog. We are going to work on a post soon on how to budget for the normal, non-nerdy person. We have nothing against nerds (we love them!), but we feel like they have all the budgeting help they already need.
We are also going to give you some tips and tricks to help you stick to your budget. There are a few things that make it a lot easier to keep your budget to win at this game, and we would like to see as many people win as possible. Thanks for joining us on our little budgeting excursion!
Drop us a message and we'll get back to you with some answers!
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We had the pleasure of working with Luis and Theresa Ramos and couldn't be happier with the result.See More Family Stories