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(NAPSI)—Settling into a new place can be an exciting time. You’re unpacking, meeting new neighbors, getting the “lay of the land” and making decisions about how to furnish and decorate your home. At the same time, you’re assuming many new financial responsibilities, such as mortgage payments and maintenance costs. That’s one reason it’s important to protect yourself and your family by making sure you have a sound financial foundation.
Savings: More Important Than Ever
While setting aside money for emergencies is a good idea no matter what, it’s essential that, as a homeowner, you keep a reserve handy in case the unexpected happens. Homeowners can find themselves facing expensive repairs that shouldn’t—or can’t—be delayed. Adequate savings can keep you from having to choose between postponing a needed repair and risking further damage to your home—which may require spending beyond your budget. Savings can also be used to pay for home improvement projects, such as remodeling a kitchen or bathroom or building an addition, that may enhance the value of your investment and help you make the most of your home.
An obvious place to put your savings is in a traditional FDIC-insured bank account. Another alternative would be to place your money in a money market fund. These are conservative investments that offer competitive interest rates and check-writing privileges, so assets in money market funds can be easily used to pay your mortgage and expenses in case of an emergency.
An investment in a money market fund is not FDIC insured or guaranteed by any other government agency.
Pay Yourself First
It can be difficult to think about saving money when you’re a new homeowner; you may have just spent a significant amount of money on a down payment, and you are already diverting a large portion of your income toward the mortgage, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Even on a tight budget, however, saving money doesn’t have to be a painful experience.
Simply get into the habit of “paying yourself first.” Every time you get paid, put aside a set amount before using any of it to pay bills or make purchases. Many financial companies, such as First Investors, can facilitate this by making the process automatic; a fixed amount can be automatically deducted from your paycheck or your bank account on a regular basis and put into a mutual fund account.
Protecting Your Home
Most owners buy homeowner’s insurance, and for good reason. Your home is likely your largest single asset and investment. It must be protected in case of fire, burglary or natural disaster.
But a home is also a major source of expenses: mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance and the like. If your household loses the earning power of a loved one, your family might not be able to afford those costs. That’s where life insurance steps in. Its benefits can be used to help cover mortgage payments and other home-related expenses so that your family can remain in their home.
Don’t Overlook Life Insurance
Life insurance can also help:
• Replace lost income, so your family can maintain its current lifestyle;
• Ensure that goals—such as a child’s education—can still be achieved;
• Pay final expenses, such as medical bills and funeral expenditures.
Speak With Your Insurance Representative
An insurance representative can also discuss what products may be suitable for your unique needs and make specific investment and insurance recommendations.