Are you ready to buy a house? I’ve teamed up with Citizens Bank for a two-part homeownership series. In Episode 103, we discussed the pros and cons of the most common types of mortgages and how your mortgage can have long-term effects on your finances. In this episode, I unpack why having multiple bank accounts as a homeowner is crucial for better money management and the three bank accounts I recommend.
Disclaimer: This episode is part of a paid partnership between Citizens and The Thought Card Podcast. Any views expressed are not necessarily those of Citizens, and any other products mentioned are not endorsed or sponsored by Citizens. Mortgages are offered and originated by Citizens Bank NA NMLSID #433960. All accounts, loans, and services are subject to individual approval. Equal housing lender.
As a new homeowner, I quickly realized I was financially responsible for a lot, including random expenses that weren’t accounted for in my monthly budget. So the easiest way to stay organized meant having multiple bank accounts.
Welcome to The Thought Card, a podcast about travel and money where planning, saving and creativity leads to affording travel, building wealth and paying off debt. We are the financially savvy travelers. Hey, financially savvy travelers and welcome back to another episode of The Thought Card Podcast. I'm Danielle Desir Corbett and, I've teamed up with Citizens for a two-part homeownership series where in episode 103, the previous episode, we chatted about the pros and cons of the most common types of mortgages and how your mortgage can have long-term effects on your finances. Well today, I'm following up by breaking down how to manage your money as a homeowner.
[1:03] If you followed me for a while, you know, I am a big, big, big advocate for having multiple bank accounts like a travel fund, which we dived deep on in episode number two. As a new homeowner, I quickly realized I was financially responsible for a lot. Some would say that I was maybe a little bit over my head. There were tons of random expenses that weren't accounted for in my monthly budget. I wish I had access to Citizens Ready To Buy a Home Hub’s interactive checklist which highlights 21 Unexpected or Hidden Costs new homeowners often forget about.
One of the helpful tips I wish I knew about sooner?
Requesting copies of past utility bills from the seller to get an idea of what those costs would look like in the summer and winter for example. Links to Citizens Ready To Buy a Home Hub and the Unexpected or Hidden Costs checklist will be in the show notes.
So, I discovered that the easiest way to stay organized meant having multiple bank accounts. So how many bank accounts do you need to manage your money as a homeowner? Well, it depends of course, but I recommend three.
[1:50] In this episode, I will unpack why having multiple bank accounts as a homeowner is crucial and the three bank accounts I recommend.
[2:01] As a disclaimer – This episode is part of a paid partnership between Citizens and The Thought Card Podcast. Any views expressed are not necessarily those of Citizens and any other products mentioned are not endorsed or sponsored by Citizens. Mortgages are offered and originated by Citizens Bank NA NMLSID #433960. All accounts, loans and services are subject to individual approval, equal housing lender.
[2:34] Alright. So why does having multiple bank accounts matter when you're a homeowner? So here's the truth. I'm always going to tell you the truth. The truth is that commingling funds and overspending can happen even if you have a budget. Therefore, one of the easiest ways to stay on top of your finances is to have multiple bank accounts and having each of these bank accounts dedicated to one particular housing bill or a particular goal. Some of the benefits for having multiple bank accounts include avoiding commingling funds, at a glance you know exactly how much you have to spend for a particular purpose and it definitely avoids overspending and can help you avoid under-saving as well. So, here are the three bank accounts I recommend having.
[3:28] Bank account number one is a mortgage fund. A mortgage fund is a big account dedicated to your monthly mortgage payment. Keeping these funds separate ensures you never miss allocate them. So as a financial savvy traveler, I prioritize financially saving for travel. So if my travel savings and the money I set aside for my mortgage every month were in the same bank account, I'd be in big trouble. One of these financial priorities would suffer because I would maybe have to have a spreadsheet or I would use a piece of paper or even my notes app to have which money in this bank account was dedicated to my travel, which dedicated to my mortgage. And that's a lot of mental gymnastics and it's a lot easier for you to misallocate, for you to miscalculate, and for you too overspend. So to simplify, I have an account for my travel savings and I have a separate account for my mortgage.
[4:34] with a mortgage fund – that mortgage bank account, you never have to worry. The funds will be there without any issues as long as you deposit those monies into that account, you know, it's air marked for paying your mortgage for the month.
As a bonus tip, I recommend having your mortgage fund automatically deposited to your mortgage bank account every paycheck or once per month. So when I was working full time with a 9 to 5 job, I had my mortgage payment just automatically sent to my mortgage fund. Half of it would be sent in paycheck one and then half it would be sent in paycheck two. So I never had to really be concerned like, oh my gosh, did I put the money aside, it was all done automatically for me. Now as an entrepreneur income is more in flux. So what I've done now is I just have a direct deposit that goes once per month into my mortgage fund and I really can just set it and it will just be there for when I need to make the payment. So overall I found that having a separate bank account for your mortgage is really, really helpful and like I said, you don't have to necessarily worry as long as the money is deposited in there and if you can use automation that will just again be like the icing on the cake.
[5:56] So bank account number two is a home emergency fund. So after creating a bank account for your monthly mortgage payment, I also recommend opening a separate account for unexpected home repairs. Similar to how your emergency fund acts as a cushion for unexpected or urgent expenses. Your home emergency fund or home maintenance fund will offer you peace of mind when the faucet leaks or a baseball comes flying through a window. These things truly do happen. You know, I've learned that as a new homeowner, I had to expect the unexpected, I had to stay ready. So I never had to get ready and I did not want to get caught slipping. So my emergency fund for my home was something that I put in place to really be prepared for the things that happened randomly because let me tell you, they do happen. Home emergencies include flooding, clogged toilets, which I've had many, frozen pipes, broken appliances, which I've had a few. So these are some of the things that your home emergency fund will help you cover. Check out Citizens’ interactive checklist and discover 21 unexpected costs of homeownership and how to mitigate them in the Ready To Buy a Home Hub which you can find again in the show notes.
Over the last five years of being a homeowner, I have been very grateful for having this home emergency fund when my toilet started leaking or when we found two extremely large wasp nests in our backyard, which actually cost us a pretty penny to have removed. So this is the account that we pulled from and it was very, very helpful. Both of these expenses, my leaky toilet and having these large wasp nest removed cost hundreds of dollars. But I was prepared. I had planned for emergencies and I had saved accordingly. So as a result, I didn't necessarily have to abandon my other savings goals or had to adjust my budget for this expense. This is really going to safeguard you and having some funds. So if something unexpected happens, you have a fund specifically set aside for those things.
[8:08] Speaking of unforeseen home related expenses and the stresses that come with that, check out today's sponsor Citizens Ready to Buy a Home Hub where you can access helpful articles, checklists, explore mortgage options and learn strategies for funding your home improvement projects.
Like the interactive experience where you click through to discover unexpected costs of homeownership homeowners often forget about. While scrolling through, I was nodding my head because I never thought about mortgage insurance, which we discussed in the previous episode, episode 103, lawn care or pest control, appliances, some furniture, and many more things. All of these items definitely add up and it would have been helpful to know what to anticipate. So I wouldn't have been caught off by surprise.
Citizens Ready to Buy a Home Hub also has informative videos that highlight mortgage myths and what comes next in the process after you've been preapproved for a mortgage, all resources that if I had access to, could have made my home ownership journey a lot smoother.
[9:41] The last bank account that I highly recommend for homeowners is your renovation fund. While your home emergency fund acts a backstop for when something urgent goes wrong, your renovation fund will help set money aside to enhance your home. A lot of us became homeowners because we want to not only use it as an opportunity to build wealth, but also to personalize and customize our living space. Remember renovations are not essential so they're not going to fall under the home emergency fund category because it is not necessarily something that's unexpected. It's not something that is unplanned that just happened. A renovation is usually well thought out. There is usually a process where you're getting an estimate from different kinds of contractors. So this is a great opportunity to put money aside for those home improvements and those potential upgrades that you want to work on.
[10:47] As the Corbett family, Kyle and I plan for one major home improvement or home renovation project a year. I found that as a homeowner there are so many things that I want to work on in my home, but not enough money to do all the things at once. So instead we really focused on one major innovation a year. So this allows us to continuously make improvements and increase the value of our home without feeling overwhelmed or discouraged that we haven't achieved all the things that we want to. So for the last couple of years we've worked on our curb appeal.
[11:26] So in 2019 we redid our driveway with brand new gravel that was like a huge project which I was really proud of to get done and that added an aspect to our curb appeal. Then in 2020 we had our walkway redone, we have a beautiful stone walkway, really really happy and it just again makes my home look so much better in terms of curb appeal. Last year, in 2021 we waterproofed our basement which was a huge project for us because it was a pretty penny. But also we had had flooding issues whenever there was a large rainfall Kyle and I unfortunately we had to get downstairs and have buckets and just be taking buckets of water out of our basement because we were flooded to our ankles sometimes even close to our knees. It was just really really bad. So being able to have a home renovation fund and put money aside for this particular purpose was so important to us and again it was separate from everything else. We could easily add a glance look at this account and know okay we are halfway there to reaching our goal. Let's go and start to get estimates from different contractors or we didn't advance towards our goals. Let's really rethink our strategy and how we could save more towards us. So having a separate bank account is super, super important.
[12:56] Now in 2022 we built out Baby K's nursery. So that was a kind of a smaller project because it really just needed to be painted so our room needs to be painted and we have like signs and other things like that to make it feel homey. So we worked on the baby nursery and then our big big big big project for this year is building out a patio and leveling our backyard. So I really want to make sure that our backyard, you know we live in Connecticut and it is cold out there for most of the year. So when summer comes we want to be out there grilling having family and friends over having little picnics and really having a backyard that is welcoming and inviting and also functional. So that is our big big big project for the year and we're working on saving for that and once that account is all set boom we can go ahead and get our patio in our backyard redone.
[13:52] Alright so in summary, each of these bank accounts I talked about today has a specific purpose that will help you organize your money so you know exactly where to go for a particular goal or a particular type of spend. Your mortgage fund, your home emergency fund or your maintenance fund, and lastly your home renovation fund together those three accounts have helped me, personally, helped me to stay organized and to get so much more done when it comes to my home and being a homeowner.
[14:24] Now I have way more homeownership tips to share with you. So if you are interested I recommend checking out my book, “Managing Your Money as a New Homeowner” for my biggest financial lessons which overall have helped me pay off over $40,000 of my mortgage in less than five years. One of our readers for this book Andrea says that “I did enjoy your book for new homeowners. I'd completely forgotten how home repairs and appliance replacement took us by surprise 30 plus years ago when we bought our home.” So I know that you are going to enjoy this. If you are a brand new home owner or if you are an existing home owner and you're looking for just strategies to be smarter when you're making financial decisions for your home.
[15:15] Alright, so whether you're just starting out or looking to purchase a home really soon or wanting to learn how to be a financially savvy homeowner, I hope you enjoyed this episode and take action to improve your finances and achieve your big, audacious goals. So, please share this episode with a friend and let me know what home ownership topics you would like for me to cover next on the podcast, fill out the episode request form which you can find the link in the show notes or hit me up on social @thethoughtcard on Twitter or @thedanielledesir on Instagram. Before I sign off, a special thank you to Citizens Ready to Buy a Home Hub for helping us stay informed and empowered throughout the home buying process. I will talk to you again in the next episode.
[16:10] I hope you enjoyed this episode. But don't forget there's way more where that came from. When you become a supporter of the show, you'll get bonus episodes, additional tips on affording travel, real-time updates as well as strategies for building wealth and creating multiple income streams. Head over to thoughtcard.com/join to support. Also, be sure to follow me on instagram. I'm @thedanielledesir, slide in my DMs and share with me your thoughts about this episode. What did you enjoy? What stood out to you? Let me know. I'd absolutely love to connect with you outside of the podcast. See you in the next one.
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In this episode, we cover:
- [2:34] Benefits of having multiple bank accounts as homeowners
- [5:56] What is a mortgage fund?
- [9:41] What is a home emergency fund or home maintenance fund?
- Types of home maintenance repairs
- [8:04] What is a home renovation fund?
- [10:47] How we plan for home renovations
Bank Account #1: Mortgage Fund
A mortgage fund is a bank account dedicated to your monthly mortgage payment.
Keeping these funds separate ensures you never misallocate them.
As a bonus tip, I recommend having your mortgage payment funds automatically deposited to your mortgage fund every paycheck or once per month.
Bank Account #2: Home Emergency Fund
After creating a bank account for your monthly mortgage payment, I recommend opening a separate account for unexpected home repairs.
Similar to how your emergency fund acts as a cushion for unexpected or urgent expenses, your home emergency fund or home maintenance fund will offer peace of mind when the faucet leaks or a baseball comes flying through a window.
Home emergencies include flooding, clogged toilets, frozen pipes, or broken appliances.
Bank Account #3: Home Renovation Fund
While your home emergency fund acts as a backstop for when something urgent comes up, your home renovation fund helps you set money aside to enhance your home. Renovations are not essential. They are upgrades or improvements.
About Citizen Bank
Check out Citizens Ready to Buy a Home Hub, where you can access helpful articles and checklists, explore mortgage options and learn strategies for funding home repairs or home improvement projects. Such as 21 Unexpected or Hidden Costs of Buying a Home which details the common expenses homeowners forget about.
Citizens Ready to Buy a Home Hub also has informative videos that highlight mortgage myths and what comes next in the process after you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage.
To ease your homeownership experience, Citizens offers resources and tools to help you feel more confident from application to move-in and beyond. Citizens has a 4.96 rating on Zillow and over 2,000 reviews you can browse through.
If you enjoy this show, please consider leaving me a tip by buying me a coffee. With your support, I look forward to continuing to bring you informative personal finance and travel content every other week.
Also, please take a moment to share what you’d like for us to cover next on the show. Request a podcast episode here.
Other Resources Mentioned
Managing Your Money As A New Homeowner (book): Shares the biggest financial lessons which helped me pay off over $40,000 of my mortgage in less than 5 years
How To Plan For Unexpected Home Repairs (blog post): For those who want to stay ahead of the curve, here are three ways to plan for house repairs.
Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy
Here’s 5 Types of Mortgages To Know About – Episode 103
How Investing Can Improve Your Financial Outlook – Episode 96
Creating Lucrative Side Hustles With Daniella Flores – Episode 72