Be Selfish, Pay Yourself First

by Stacy Tharp 13. January 2015

Savings Piggy Bank

Let me rephrase that - paying yourself first isn’t selfish, it’s smart. But we should back up. What does it mean to pay yourself first? You (hopefully) have a monthly budget that includes your bills and day-to-day expenses. Paying yourself first means that before you take anything else into account, you first set aside a pre-determined portion of your income into a savings account.

So let’s say you want to save 20% of your income, and your monthly take-home pay is $3,000*. You would first set aside that $600 (0.20 x $3,000), which would leave you with $2,400 ($3,000 - $600) to then allocate funds for bills and other monthly expenses. Sounds easy enough, right? It’s almost as if that $600 was never there – except it definitely is there, earning you interest in your savings account!

This concept could get a little bit tricky during those months when you have a few extra unexpected expenses. You should always be prepared for months like these because no one is immune to unforeseen expenses.

So think about it ahead of time – if you have to make an emergency home repair, how are you going to pay for it? How about an unexpected medical bill? If you have three out of town weddings in one month, are you going to pay for the hotels out of your regular monthly spending money, or from a savings account? Maybe you want to set up a savings account specifically for vacations and use funds from that account.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how to pay for these things – what you do want to avoid is not planning ahead, then panicking and stop paying yourself first.

You may have noticed that I was not specific about what type of savings account(s) you should use to pay yourself first. It’s up to you. It might be a good idea to speak with a Financial Consultant to decide how much money you should set aside, and into what types of accounts. The main idea is to have a plan of where you put your money, where you are “allowed” to pull money from in emergencies, and to pay yourself first!

*These figures are hypothetical and are not intended to be used as financial advice.

Baltimore City Homebuying Incentives

by Charlie Maykrantz 7. January 2015

Are you in the market to buy a home? If you're a first-time buyer looking to purchase a home in Baltimore City, but short on funds for down payment and closing costs or looking for a home within a particular price range, let 1st Mariner Bank show you the way. For qualified individuals, we can show you how the different grant and closing cost programs can provide you with the funds needed to make your transaction complete. Here are a few of those programs:

Buying into Baltimore

This trolley tour is a twice a year event sponsored by the Live Baltimore agency where 30 lucky individuals can receive up to $5,000 to be used for the purchase of a city property.

Baltimore City Employee Homeownership Incentive

The Baltimore City Employee Homeownership Incentive program is for qualified individuals who are employed and paid by the mayor and City Council program. The program can provide up to $5,000 toward buying a home.

Homeownership Assistance Program

This is for first-time buyers who may receive a $5,000 incentive from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) toward the purchase of a home. This loan may be used in conjunction with a Vacant to Value property.

Live Near Your Work

The Live Near Your Work program is for first-time homebuyers who would like to purchase a home near their place of employment. This incentive is only for participating lenders who will determine the eligibility requirements and benefits, as well as restrictions for their employees. The assistance amount of $2,000 to $36,000 will depend on your employer’s participation. It is a match program of the employer and the city. All individuals should contact their Human Resource department for eligibility and application information.

Good Neighbor Next Door

This is a program that offers an incentive for law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and teachers of grades K-12 who are interested in becoming a homeowner. This program offers a 50% discount from the list price of a home as offered by the program administrator.

For more information on these programs or any of our other products at 1st Mariner Bank please feel free to contact Charlie Maykrantz at or 410-735-2068.

The above programs are subject to change at any time and this does not constitute a guarantee on the part of 1st Mariner Bank as an obligation to offer these programs without the approval of the program administrator. All applicants must be qualified to purchase and participate in these programs per underwriting guidelines of both 1st Mariner and the program administrator.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

Best Loans for First-Time Homebuyers

The Importance of a Home Inspection

The Imaginary Mortgage: Fake It 'Til You Make It

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by Stacy Tharp 31. December 2014

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