Homeownership Guidance, Advice and Blogs

As the Director of Affiliate Relations at HomeFree-USA, I’ve always been fascinated with how people handle their money. Like everyone else, I’ve had my financial ups and downs. In fact, it took me 32 months to pay off $32,000 in credit card bills and build up a six-month emergency fund. While that was a very difficult period, I am grateful – and wiser -- for the experience.

Through my personal experiences and working at HomeFree-USA, I’ve gained a ton of insight that I feel compelled to share. You’ll find those lessons here. Feel free to take the thoughts and ideas that resonate with you most and put aside the rest for later. I look forward to sharing my journey.

How to Set Yourself Up for a Better 2021

The year 2020 was a year like no other. Here’s how to get financially prepared for a better 2021.

Between the pandemic, the election and this year’s protests against systemic racism, anxiety is probably a familiar feeling for most of us. But we can work now to create a better 2021. Consider these financial tips as you go into the holiday season.

Pause before you buy. This year you may be tempted to spend more on the holidays to make up for  the sacrifices you’ve had to make because of the pandemic. One way to be conscious of what you buy is to avoid impulse shopping. Make a list of gifts that you intend to buy and how much you intend to spend. If you see something you want that you haven’t planned for, wait 24 hours before you buy it. You may no longer want it.

Use cash, not credit. Racking up debt can hurt your credit score, making it more difficult to buy a house or accomplish other financial goals. Create a budget for holiday shopping that utilizes the money that you already have. HomeFree-USA’s  calculators can help you figure out how much disposable cash you have to spend.  If you’re easily tempted to pull out your credit cards, leave them home.

Get cash creative. If you want more money to spend for the holidays look for ways to bring in more cash. For example, if you have an old unused gift card or two lying around the house, you may be able to sell them at sites such as Cardpool.com and Raise.com and use the money to take care of this year’s holiday list. 

Be a savvy shopper. One of the best things about the holiday season is that there is no shortage of sales. Take advantage of them by comparing prices and getting the best deal. Whether you mask up and go to the store or do your shopping online, it never hurts to look for a lower price. 

Get a head start on 2021. Start off the new year knowing where you stand when it comes to your credit. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to get insight into the state of your finances and start thinking about what you want to accomplish financially. Do you want to buy a house or finally get out of debt? Once you have your goals in mind, contact HomeFree-USA so we can help you turn those 2021 goals into a reality.