BOSTON (CBS) – Q:  You keep talking about saving money, but I don’t see it when I mow the lawn or wash and iron my shirts.

A:  Try the jar approach. Find a wide mouth jar; at our house, I have an old pickle crock. And whenever you wash and iron 5 shirts pay yourself. Take the money out of your wallet or write a check and put it in the crock.

When it reaches a couple of hundred bucks put it into savings or your money market account. After a couple of months, you will see it.

Q:  Should I continue renting or should I buy?

A:  It depends! To get good rates on a loan you will need a good credit report and a stellar credit score above 740. And you need 20 to 25% as a down payment. Just like in the olden days! The bank wants you to have a stake in this deal.

If you have all that in place great. Next, you will need to find a place you want to live in for the next 5 to 10 years. You will need that long to recoup your closing costs. So if you are thinking you will want to move in a couple of years don’t buy.

There is a real estate rule of thumb when it comes to buying vs. renting. You should rent if the house price is greater than 15 times your annual cost to rent. So if you are paying $1000 in rent

And the house you are looking to buy is $350,000 you are better off renting.

As Americans, we think it is our right to own our homes. It’s not! And home ownership is not always the road to financial security. For some folks it’s a disaster!


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