A healthy home budget is the key to wealth, success and even a healthy family life. American and Canadian Families could create a much healthier home budget with a bit of discipline and planning. Ask a Consumer and she may tell you, up front, that paying the Grocery Bills gives the greatest cause for concern in the family’s home budget. Too often, money creates family fights. Paying bills, the Home Budget and family finances too often cause divorce. Parents can avoid such calamities with financial discipline, greater research and some professional help. Unfortunately, areas for greatest financial relief too often lie off limits, outside of the usual scrutiny for possible savings in the family’s home budget.
These three areas: Mortgage Payments, Taxation of Income and Credit Card Debts drain away the family’s fortunes in ways we least suspect. In trying to reduce expenses from the Home Budget, you can dismiss high gas prices as a temporary event. Fluctuations in fruit and vegetable prices due to vagaries of the weather can impact the monthly home budget too. Those numbers pale in comparison to the heavy hitters in a home budget, such as Income Taxes paid, Mortgage Interest and excessive and un-necessary loan or Credit Card Payments.
An annual, Income Tax Refund Check can offer relief in many a Family Budget. In order for your family to benefit, you must arrange your finances to profit from all income tax deductions you might be entitled to. You may hear about certain deductions. But since you, like many an employed Consumer, are no Finance Wiz, you tend to ignore them to your peril. Unfortunately, as an Employee, your income tax deductions are limited. They are almost cast in stone by government legislation. As a Business Owner, however, the rules are much more generous. You could save huge sums in income tax payments because of business expenses. Fortunately the distinctions and the rules are not quite as rigid as you might think. Let’s leave out the obvious personal deductions, medical, and educational expenses and similar employee and work related expenses. Here are some additional income tax deductions you can snag if only you had the know-how. These tax deductions, when astutely applied, would add considerable income to your home budget:
1. You can create a Home Based Business and immediately qualify for related expenses as income tax deductions
2. You could increase your Savings for Retirement and for your Pension to create additional income tax deductions
3. You could use Other Peoples Money for Investments. Here again is a third very legit means for tax deductions most Consumers are not familiar with.
These are three key areas around which you could build substantial tax deductible expenses and hence keep a much larger portion of your income. They could add to the Income portion of your Household Budget and significantly reduce expenses.
On the expense side of the Home Budgets, American and Canadian Families pay way too much in housing costs. A recent study of home finance revealed that the cost of housing approaches closer to 50% of the household budget than the 30% and 40% debt service ratios, which bankers use in screening applicants for mortgage financing. Rising House Prices and lower interest charges have allowed many to occupy homes they may soon be unable to afford. Tenants have used rent money to purchase homes. As interest rates continue the recent upward trend, foreclosures will increase and Canadian and American Households as Tenants or Home Owners will be priced out of their regular home expense budget.
Newer approaches to mortgage payments have uncovered huge sums of excess profits that Lenders have been enjoying for years at the expense of the average Home Owner. These studies found that over the life of a mortgage, Consumers typically hand over DOUBLE the Purchase Price of their Homes as extended and un-necessary mortgage payments. At a time of record low interest rates, these large sums represent a voluntary contribution to the Lenders’ Profit margins. In the event you are hearing of these developments for the first time, then this over payment of a mortgage applies to you too. Almost every mortgage holder pays too much! Consumers as a group have been cajoled into giving our infinite trust to the Loan or Bank Officers. What we failed to realize is that in the lending industry, no one represents the interests of the Consumer. You must seek out your own professional for help.
The final item of Credit Card Debt relates to impulse buying of clothes, shoes, trinkets, entertainment and vacations, CD’s, snacks, lattes and other consumables. Such expenses dramatically increase the monthly household expenses. As a Parent or Single Mom, responsible for the Home Budget, you would be shocked to review actual expenses from impulse and non-essential purchases. One Bank engages a prominent Financial Planner, who advises Customers to refrain from needless expenses on items such as cigarettes, lattйs, candies, coffee, and gum. These savings, they claim, could help to create a tidy retirement fund.
With a bit of discipline, Consumers could reduce expenses by huge amounts in differing ways: 1. At $10.00 a purchase, you could drive a Mercedes Benz by giving up 6000 Trips to the Dollar Store. 2. At $40.00 a pack for cigarettes, a Consumer could have the entire gas bills paid if he simply quit smoking 3. A $250.00 a month Retirement Savings Contribution could result from ignoring the daily craving for an expensive lattй or the three cups of coffee a day habit.
These expenses, when paid by cash, reflect an unnecessary drain on the household budget. Because of service charges, the drain is even more severe when you use Credit Cards and even Debit Cards for small and impulse purchases. All of a sudden, that Lattй which costs you $3.50 is in fact $4.50 if the Credit or Debit Card Company charges a $1.00 fee for each transaction. After one month, that two Lattes-a-day habit becomes a $140.0 a month cost. With maximum financed credit or debit charges they become a $200.00 to $250.00 a month expense.
Consumers can generate huge savings to the Family’s Home Budget from a bit of research and from prudence and discipline in household expenses. It is vital for you to understand mortgages, loans and credit expenses much better. With a little tax planning, some stinginess and some savvy, Consumers can improve the household budget in ways they least expect. As a thrifty Consumer, you must start the search for more efficient ways to run your family’s home budget. The pay back would be terrific.