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Resolve to Get Your Personal Finances Under Control

Whether you’re buying a new home this year or refinancing your current mortgage—or simply looking to reducing your debt—getting a handle on your personal finances can be the ideal New Year’s resolution.

The first step in getting your finances in order is to make a workable personal budget—and then stick to it. Your budget doesn’t need to be complex or overly detailed; a simple budget with your monthly income and expenses—household expenses, groceries, entertainment, etc.—can really help keep you on track. Also, try to be realistic with your budget (don’t budget in a big raise at work, for example), leave plenty of room for any unexpected expenses, and consider future life changes such as getting married, having kids or changing jobs.

You should also set aside a certain amount of money each month. Putting money into savings on a regular basis is crucial if you want to buy a new home, not only for a down payment, but also for new home expenses such as relocation and furnishing costs. If you’re not in the market to buy in the near future, you can use that money to pay down debt or simply keep it as a backup fund in case of an emergency. Don’t fret if you aren’t able to put a lot of money into savings each month; even a small amount of money is better than nothing.

Another area you may want to concentrate on is improving your credit score. If you’re buying or refinancing, your credit score will determine what kind of mortgage you’ll be able to get and what your interest rate will be. If your credit score is poor, you may not be able to get a mortgage. To improve your credit, keep your credit card balances low, don’t open any new lines of credit or close existing credit accounts, and—most important of all—make sure all of your bills are paid on time, especially your mortgage.

If you’re having difficulty getting a handle on your finances and need some guidance, don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a professional, namely a financial planner or an investment counselor. These professionals can help you with every aspect of your finances from a basic household budget to setting aside money for the future to raising your credit score. Even if your financial situation isn’t in dire straits, a financial planner or investment counselor can give you tips and advice on how to stay the course with your personal finances.

In the end, getting your finances in order isn’t going to happen overnight. But if you have a little motivation and a lot of discipline—as well as a good plan—2014 could be a great year for you financially.

For more than 25 years, Omega Financial has been serving mortgage clients in Massachusetts. Our brokers have approximately 50 years in the mortgage business. You always will receive fast, courteous, and accurate information. Omega Financial, Inc. is a company duly licensed to operate in Massachusetts as a Mortgage Brokerage. We are located in the Town of Norwood, Massachusetts where we have been operating as Omega Financial Incorporated since 1988. Licensed by the Commissioner of Banks - License No. MB2671

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