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.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before the End of the Year

The road to wealth is a journey. This year may have been tough, but by answering these three simple questions, you’ll be in the mindset for a more financially successful 2021.

The end of the year is typically a time for cooking, shopping and entertaining. While this year may look different because of the pandemic, it’s the perfect time to reflect on what went wrong and what went right in 2020.

Before you head into the New Year, grab a journal or a piece of paper and write down the answers to these questions to gauge where you’re at and put yourself in the mindset for a more financially successful 2021.

Question 1: What was my single best financial move of 2020?

Too often when it comes to money we come down hard on ourselves and focus on what we didn’t do right. Think back over the year and write down the greatest financial move you made. Maybe you went into forbearance so you could get through the pandemic. Perhaps you paid off a credit card, or found a way to cut down your spending.  Whatever step you took – particularly in this challenging year – celebrate the win.

Question 2: In what way did my finances improve in 2020?

Along the same lines, ask yourself what aspect of your financial picture improved the most in 2020. Sure this was a tough year, but maybe you came out of it with more clarity about what’s important in your life. Perhaps you are ending this year with a desire to buy a house or plans to make improvements to the house you already own.  No matter how small your improvement may seem, write it down in a spirit of gratitude.

Question 3: What could I have done better in 2020?

An honest assessment looks at the good and the not-so-good. While we don’t want to dwell on our shortcomings, we want to examine them so we can improve them. What could you have done better this year? Be honest. Could you have saved more? Could you have created a more realistic budget? Could you have benefited from financial education such as a homebuying class? Write down where you could have improved. This will be your starting point for a better 2021.

The road to wealth is a journey. Determine where you are on the path – and discover where you need to go.