One of the biggest expenses in most Americans' monthly budget is housing. Whether you rent or own a home, a significant percentage of your income goes to keeping a roof over your head. Add in property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities and other homeownership expenses, plus food, clothing, a car payment and more, there many not be much left at the end of the month to put away for savings or investments. A recent survey showed 37 percent of respondents said their mortgage has a major impact on their ability to save. Another 46 percent said it has a minor impact.
As Bankrate.com lays out in the survey, more than half of parents said the mortgage had a major impact on saving, due largely to the many expenses involved in raising children. That may dissuade some people from buying, concerned about monthly expenses as well as a down payment. But homeownership protects you from rent hikes and comes with tax benefits that could help your overall ability to save and invest for retirement.
To help your viewers/readers/listeners understand their options and how saving is still possible while making mortgage payments, talk with financial planners in your area. They can come up with sample budgets that compare renting versus buying, outline the kinds of expenses homeowners may face along the way and explain how planning and saving can be built into most budgets, even when paying off debt.
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Rod Meloni of WDIV-TV entered the 2016 NEFE/RTDNA awards contest with his ongoing series Money Monday, which covers a variety of personal finance topics.