The first step in getting yourself in financial shape to buy a home is to know what you make and what you spend now. Make a list of your expenses and your income using the information below as a guide.

Income:

Take-Home Pay for all family members
Child Support/Alimony
Pension/Social Security
Disability/Other Insurance
Interest/Dividends

Add up your total income to see what you have available to spend every month.

Expenses:

Rent/Mortgage
Life Insurance
Health/Disabilitiy Insurance
Vehicle Insurance
Homeowners or other Insurance
Car Payments
Other Loan Payments
Savings/Pension Contribution
Utilities
Credit Card Payments
Car Upkeep
Clothing
Personal Care Products
Groceries
Restaurant/Food Prepared Outside the Home
Medical/Dental/Prescriptions
Household Goods
Recreation/Entertainment
Child Care
Education
Charitable Donations
Miscellaneous

Add up your total expenses to see how much excess income you have left over every month.

This information is reprinted from Realtor Magazine Online by permission of the National Association of Realtors. Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

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