Budgeting Meeting with Adam
Updated: Apr 26
One of the ways that I assist buyers and sellers, especially buyers, is by providing guidance to boost their budgeting power, especially prior to a house purchase. Below I wanted to provide some guidance on best practices before a meeting. Also keep in mind that I am a licensed real estate agent, not a certified public accountant, attorney, or certified financial planner & any insights I have are best discussed with your CPA, financial planner, or attorney when relevant to their respective field of specialty.
Review Helpful Resources from My Website 1st
In order for our meeting to be most effective, it's best to do some homework before the meeting. I’ve included some great information on my website that could be really helpful for you on getting financially prepared and getting your budget in a better place.
What do I Need to Buy a House?
I sometimes meet in person for credit-boosting meetings, but in the majority of cases, I use Zoom. If you've never used it before, I suggest signing up for a free account and going through my article on the subject here. With Zoom, we can use the screen share feature and otherwise so that I can see your screen. It's best to conduct the meeting while you're on a desktop or laptop including the Zoom meeting on there rather than using a phone. Also prior to the meeting, be sure to log in to the accounts that you've signed up for relevant to the meeting and have your budget spreadsheet ready.
No matter how much or how little your income, your financial potential will always be more limited if you don't develop and use a budget. If you would like to go over a budget and some ways that you might be able to save, and don't currently have a budget, here is one that you can fill out here that will also expedite & enhance our meeting. It's best to copy that template into a Google sheet rather than another format, that way we can both edit it without lag from remote desktop and make edits after the meeting has been completed. As close as you can, fill out your current budget, budget goals prior to purchase, & projected budget after purchase. As you go about this process, think about what you prioritize the most, especially among your flexible expenses. Be sure to look at the net amount of spending vs. income with your current spending habits to make sure that it lines up. There shouldn't be any surplus; if there is it means you're missing something. For expenses that fluctuate a lot, just put the average monthly cost.
Instructions on Copying & Sharing A Google Doc
If you're unfamiliar with Google Sheets, and don't have another platform (i.e. Microsoft OneDrive) that allows for document sharing and edits by others with real time updates, here are some instructions on how to make your budgeting template editable:
Create a free account with Google mail if you don't already have one.
Open the spreadsheet above
Click "File" on the top left & select "Make a copy"
4. Rename the new file and if desired, add it to a folder, then click "Make a copy":
5. Click "Share" on the top right.
6. Ensure that general access is provided to "Anyone with the link" & that "viewer" is changed to "editor" before clicking "Copy link".
7. Put the link in an email draft to Adam.
8. As close as you can, fill out your current budget, budget goals prior to purchase, & projected budget after purchase.
Where to Sign Up For Free Accounts for Budgeting
To help with your budget, while not required, I suggest using https://www.mint.com/ or a similar free program if you haven't already. To utilize it most effectively, instead of using cash or credit cards, use debit cards for every spending that you do where a debit card is possible, that way you can track all of your spending with a lot of options for budgeting. Be sure to connect whatever bank(s)/credit unions you use for spending (as well as any loans), whether you only use debit cards like I often suggest for those working on improving credit or use credit cards as well. Doing it long before the meeting will give you the best information. With Mint you can set individual budgets based on spending categories, then check Mint to see if you have gone pa