We recently sat down with loan officer Drew Fisher (NMLS # 44061) of Wyndham Capital Mortgage to discuss savings tips that will allow you to buy an extra round of beer for your friends or prepare you to buy the home of your dreams. Read on to check out Drew's recommendations.
Wyndham’s Top Savings Tips for Achieving Financial Fitness
Drew’s first (and possibly most important) tip? “Create a budget and stick to it,” he said.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but understanding where your money goes is the first step to understanding areas of improvement. We personally adore Mint, but even a classic spreadsheet will do. Just make sure you are intentional about what goes into each budgeting category.
“Make sure that you have an emergency fund,” Drew said. He recommends having six months of salary put away in an emergency fund before looking into investing (outside of your 401k/Roth IRA). Don’t touch this for your home down payment. You never know what may come up, and this is your safety net!
Drew also recommends that you set up an automatic savings plan. Whether it’s to build up your emergency savings account or to place into an account to buy your first home, have your HR department automatically direct deposit the budgeted amount into your account. If you don’t see it, you won’t be tempted by it. “Bank extra cash,” Drew continued. “Bonuses, income tax returns, gifts…” Whatever your ‘extra cash’ is, Drew recommends that you use the same motto as above and bank that immediately. (Okay, maybe not ALL of it— we all deserve to treat ourselves every once in a while!)
Drew also encourages you to wait before you buy. Impulse purchases are real, but we can avoid them by sitting on the purchase decision for 24 hours. Still absolutely need that item the next day? Then buy it (and hope that they sent you a coupon in between).
And one additional tried-and-true tip from the Work For Your Beer team? Use promo codes for online shopping! If you don’t at least search for a coupon to use on all of your online purchase, you are missing out. Honey is a free browser extension that allows you to check all of the promo codes available for that store before checking out. This has been a game-changer for online shopping, and all you need to do is install the plugin to snag your savings.
Next-Level Savings Tips, If You’re Looking To Buy A Home
If you’re in the market to buy a house, then the folks at Wyndham have plenty of advice to offer you -- but here are just a few of Drew’s top tips to start saving for your first home (or your forever home!).
“Figure out how much you will need for your down payment,” Drew said. Typically, three percent of the home value is the minimum needed for a first-time home buyer.
Next? “Determine your time-frame,” Drew added. The real estate market, especially in Charlotte, is crazy right now. You may be tempted to purchase before you are ready, so be sure to outline a time-frame that aligns with your savings plan.
Last but not least, “Set-up a savings account for your new home,” Drew said. “Have your HR department automatically direct deposit the budgeted amount to your account.” Once your emergency fund is in good shape, shift your automatic deposits into your new account. This will allow you to continue building towards your down payment goals.
(The "Work For Your Beer Money" series is brought to you in partnership with Wyndham Capital Mortgage (NMLS # 2948), one of the nation's fastest growing mortgage companies.
This article was originally published on Work for Your Beer.