Six simple money habits that changed my life

Habits play such an important role in every aspect of your life. And those habits, good or bad, are reflected in your finances.

Some of our habits are small, almost insignificant. Over time, though, they have a large effect. There are little things that I've done over many years that have had outsized results. Individually, they don't move the needle. But they're like little course corrections on the cruise ship of life. A little change early on, repeated and compounded over many years, can have a significant impact.

When you add them together, they can help you achieve things you never thought possible.

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More about...Psychology

How to Prepare for Buying a Home

When I bought a home three years ago, the economic climate was different from today. Back then, a house would could be listed on Friday and a contract signed by Monday. It was easy to get a loan (too easy, in fact) and you could make every mistake in the book and still find yourself a home.

Despite the market differences, sound financial planning and a handful of smart moves will ensure that you won't regret grabbing your piece of the American dream. This post isn't going to go over the merits of buying versus renting or how you should pick a real estate agent. Instead, I'll focus on the things you should do to prepare yourself before applying for a loan and then buying a home.

Don't borrow money

Your home will likely be the single largest debt you will take on and represents the greatest risk in the eyes of potential lenders. With lending rules tightening, it's becoming more and more important that you make yourself look as safe as possible. Safe means as little debt as possible and as little access to credit as possible.

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More about...Home & Garden, Planning