Cynthia Owens - Five College REALTORS ®



Posted by Cynthia Owens on 1/31/2019

If you’re finding that your finances are a bit tighter these days, you might need to adjust your budget a bit. Have you ever thought about alternatives in helping you to pay your mortgage? There’s a few things that you might be able to do in your home to save a few bucks and be more comfortable with your budget and finances. 


Share The Space


This might sound crazy, but it works for many people. If you’re willing to share your living space with others, it could help you to make a dent in your mortgage. This works especially well if you have a home with a separate entrance like an in-law apartment or something similar. 


Make Adjustments To Your Expenses


There are many different costs that come along with owning a home. If you reduce some of these expenses, you’ll be able to cut your overall spending. You don’t need to completely adjust your entire way of living to do this. Some ideas:


  • Cut the cord on cable and install streaming devices
  • Go on a family cell phone plan
  • Skip the gym membership
  • Use public transportation
  • Cook at home instead of eating out
  • Use coupons


Put Tax Refunds To Good Use


If you normally get a tax refund, you can apply that money to your mortgage instead of using it to buy something else. You could also adjust your withholdings. This would allow you to get a bit more money in your paycheck each week. You’ll get less of a refund during tax time, but the extra money may help you to pay down bills throughout the year. 


Pay More Towards The Principal 


To make the most of your hard-earned savings, use your money wisely and pay down the mortgage faster. Just be sure that there’s no penalty for a prepayment of the loan. You can either make an extra loan payment each month or you can pay a bit over what you owe on the mortgage each month. If you pay the mortgage faster, you’ll save potentially thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. You’ll need to check with your mortgage company to see what their process is for paying more towards the principal of the loan. Keep in mind that the first few years‘ worth of your mortgage payments will be going towards interest unless you specify extra payments to go elsewhere.


Whether you’d like a little more of a financial cushion or are just looking to get rid of all those pesky monthly bills, it’s never a bad idea to focus on paying your mortgage down as quickly as possible.





Posted by Cynthia Owens on 11/9/2017

When you buy a home, you suddenly realize that your wallet and bank account become quickly drained with all of the expenses involved. If you want to save money when you own a home, you’ll need to find ways to cut down on your spending. This takes some creativity and some budgeting. The good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice everything in order to live in the home you want. There are many ways that you can trim your budget and you probably never even thought of them.  


The Grocery Store


We all need to eat, so you definitely can’t eliminate food from your budget! You can get your grocery bill down significantly with some careful planning. 


One of the biggest problems that people have, when they head to the grocery store, is that they simply shop without a plan. Make a list of what you need to buy. There are certain things that just about everyone needs every grocery trip like milk, bread, and eggs. If you go into the store with a list, you’ll have a plan that you can stick to. Know what you’re going to cook and what everyone will eat throughout the week. If you bring coupons along on a grocery trip, try not to bring anything that you don’t have use for. You’ll overspend if you buy just based on coupons. After you start your new system, you can have a clear budget that will become a habit over the course of time.


Don’t Pay For What You Don’t Use


Are you paying for things like a landline telephone or cable? Do you actually use these services? Cutting the cords can save you a lot of expenses. Also, you’re truly wasting money if you’re paying for something that you don’t use. There’s also some cheaper alternatives available when it comes to these types of services. 


Do More Yourself


While you may have relied on the luxury of a cleaning service or a landscaping service, you can cut these things out of your budget. It’s fairly simple to clean up after yourself, just set some standards with your family in order to keep the house up. As far as landscaping, you can probably do some of the mowing and raking on your own. You can still keep these services, but perhaps you want to save the maid for an every other month deep cleaning of your home. 


Other Places To Cut Expenses


Depending upon your lifestyle and needs, there are probably a few other places that you can save in your budget. These include:


  • Seeing where you can save on insurance policies
  • Finding alternatives for pet care and child care
  • Cutting back on your commuting costs by carpooling or using public transport


When you take a good look at your budget, you’ll see that there are plenty of ways that you can start saving, yet still live in the home of your dreams and keep your lifestyle.







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