Flexible Mortgages

If you choose a ‘flexible’ mortgage, it will generally mean that there is scope for you to make both overpayments and underpayments in the course of the mortgage term. For example if a couple are both working and may not yet have children, they may have an amount of surplus income which it would be sensible to use for overpayments into a flexible mortgage. The payments in excess of the basic subscription are credited against the debt and reduce the amount which will need to be paid at a later date. The sooner such extra amounts are paid the more effective they will be in enabling lower payments later or a reduced instalment in later years.

It is important to check whether there are conditions limiting the number or the amount of overpayments, and whether there is scope for occasional larger lump sum payments when circumstances allow. In addition there may be a penalty of some kind payable for overpayments. These factors need to be compared in order to decide on the best flexible mortgage deal.

It is important to check as well whether there is a facility for underpayment, or a payment holiday, in case of future need.

Can We Afford Kids?

Many couples look forward to beginning a family but some even feel they can’t afford themselves! Between keeping up with personal needs, home repairs and educational needs if you are taking skill courses, you may wonder if you can afford to have children. Even a couple who already has a child may ponder at whether or not they can afford to expand their family. There are several factors to consider in answering whether or not you can afford children.

Even though you can plan ahead, a couple is usually not completely financially prepared. There really isn’t a set amount to have saved up to have a kid but you can be in control of your spending and saving. Financial stability and emotional readiness of the parents can work very well in this situation.

To get an idea of monthly costs, review what you are already paying currently and keep in mind of child-related expenses that could make your monthly spending increase. If you have debt, you’ll want to work on reducing it and paying it off to help structure finances. Make it a priority to pay off balances and even minimum payments can make a difference.

Looking into creating an emergency account and think about a savings account for your little ones. It helps to have cash aside for unexpected expenses that can provide a financial cushion. Saving for your child can help have funds on hand for school or other needed purchases without searching for a funding source. Look at your budget for ways to save and cut costs. Keep receipts to track spending, buy items on sale and cut visits to the ATM machine to bypass fees.

Couples make better decision when giving themselves time to develop emotionally and financially. You both feel you want children but at the same time there could be frustration in trying to get things balanced. Taking time to make emotional connections and planning for big moments can reduce disappointment. Understand that parenting is a demanding task that is often stressful. Many couples with an easy-going attitude are comfortable waiting until the time is right.

Overall, being able to afford children will likely have an effect on your future financial outlook. There are other things to consider including starting a retirement account for yourself (if you haven’t already), and ways to save for children if you plan for them to go to college. Discussing what you want in the future and taking necessary steps in planning can give a good idea of what to expect and how it can be accomplished.

Alex writes a blog for consumers on all matters financial and legal. He covers everything from mortgages to savings accounts and from DUI advice to how to find good personal injury attorneys .

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